AmeriCap Advisers LLC
Location: New York
Principals: Nadia Albert, chairman; Steven Shobin, president; Michael Gayed, CIO; Carlos Mercado, senior vice president, director of research.
Year founded: 1999
Style: U.S. large-cap growth equity manager
AUM as of June 30: $193 million
Three-year annualized performance:
Benchmark (Standard & Poor's 500):
Three-year alpha: 12.96
Nadia Albert who had been doing research at Michael Gayed's former company, Woodford-Gayed Capital Management Inc., decided in 1999 that she wanted to branch out on her own. So she started AmeriCap. Mr. Gayed, who is married to Ms. Albert, subsequently sold his interest in Woodford-Gayed to his partners there, and joined AmeriCap.
The firm uses multiple screens to find companies that are "highly liquid household names that can grow their revenues and earnings over time," said Carlos Mercado. "That does not include Internet companies, and avoiding those businesses served us well when the bubble burst, because we didn't experience the downside that others did and participated in the upside. We like to invest in companies trading at valuations near bankruptcy, but which were leaders and wouldn't be likely to go out of business."
The portfolio is cautiously overweighted in technology. It has also increased its trading in recent months in response to the increase in market volatility, Mr. Mercado said. The turnover had been 60% to 80% over the last two years, but now it's around 100% in order to protect against the downside. Current favorites include Intel Corp., Biogen Inc. and General Electric Co.
"We like AmeriCap because they're a young firm, but have proven people there," said Rick Dahl, chief investment officer of the $5.5 billion Missouri State Employees' Retirement System, Jefferson City, a client. "We believe that's an important mix for success, because it gives them the ability to be nimble — more nimble than some of the larger firms with so much more under management."