Succession Planning

Print

Don’t Play In The Street

A Good Plan Doesn’t Happen Overnight

As part of a planned succession, on December 31, 2015, firm founder and Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”) Wally Weitz seamlessly transitioned all Large-Cap Value (Value Fund) portfolio management responsibilities to co-managers Brad Hinton and Dave Perkins.   Wally will continue to serve in his current portfolio manager role on Weitz Multi-Cap Value Strategy (Partners Value Fund), Weitz Multi-Cap Alternative Strategy (Partners III Opportunity Fund) and Weitz Small/Mid-Cap Value Strategy (Hickory Fund). Wally remains committed to the firm and the investment strategies, and he will continue to play a vital role as CIO.  

“Our commitment to our shareholders and our business partners remains unchanged.  The bench strength and expertise we have in our organization are what allow us to make this type of a change when the timing is right.” -Wally Weitz  

At Weitz we focus on the long term in all we do, and our ability to make seamless changes like this is part of our strategy for the long-term success of our firm and investors.  While this particular change may have come as a surprise to some, proactive succession planning does not happen overnight.  Succession planning should be a natural part of growing and securing a business through a strong foundation. Successful succession planning begins with the recruitment and employment of exceptional individuals, promoting internally and employee retention.  

While Wally is the architect of our philosophy, style and methodology, there are no solo acts at Weitz. Wally is supported by an experienced, hand-picked team of eleven that includes additional portfolio managers, research analysts and two dedicated traders. We have steadily and methodically built our team over time to include investment professionals that share the same passion, intuition and abilities as Wally. 

 As of 12/31/2015
Investment Team 12.15-01

Our long-term investment approach, collegial work environment and unique firm culture help attract investment professionals. In addition, Weitz is a family and employee-owned firm.  We typically do not use search firms or post job openings for our investment team. We have found great talent in the networking we do across the industry. Most often when we bring on a new member to our investment team, it is someone we have known for years. This has allowed us to find individuals who are driven, intelligent and a good cultural fit.

Weitz is a boutique firm, where being a research analyst is considered a career. With that being said, it does not mean that an opportunity to manage money is not available. As we have expanded our product line over time, certain individuals from our team of investment professionals have emerged as leaders with a clear passion for value investing as we define it and the appropriate skill set to manage funds. In 2005, we launched, Weitz Research Partnership, for which certain analysts have the opportunity to manage a sleeve. In 2011, we transferred the assets from the private partnership into a mutual fund, retaining the sleeve management process.  In 2011, research analysts Dave Perkins and Drew Weitz were added as co-portfolio managers to the Large-Cap Value (Weitz Value Fund) and Small/Mid-Cap Value (Weitz Hickory Fund) portfolios, respectively.

Departures from our firm are rare, as illustrated in the “Average Years at Weitz” column. Even with eight new positions created in the past two years, average tenure at our firm is 10 years.  We have had no investment professionals leave the team since 2008.   

 

As of December 2015

Department

# of Employees

Average Years at Weitz

Average Years Experience

Investment Team

12

12

19

Client Experience Team

17

7

17

Operations

14

12

18

According to Morningstar analyst, Kevin McDevitt, CFA, “Overall, shareholders should applaud Weitz for proactively addressing succession issues.  That’s a rarity among boutique firms. By promoting internally and selling equity to employees, retention has been excellent, leaving the team well-prepared.”