Location: St. Louis
Principals: Dennis Nahnsen, president; Robert J. Anthony, chief investment officer; Ralph Webster, chief operating officer.
Style: Large-cap value and large-cap core manager
AUM as of June 30: $1.8 billion
Three-year annualized return: 3.76%
Benchmark (Russell 1000 Value): -0.18%
Three-year alpha: 3.98
Three-year annualized return: -6.12%
Benchmark (Russell 1000): -11%
Three-year alpha: 5.83
The team that runs Missouri Valley used to be at Mississippi Valley Advisors, St. Louis, which was owned by Mercantile Bank. The bank was acquired by Firstar Bank of Milwaukee in 1999, recalled Dennis Nahnsen. "We had always operated as an independent subsidiary, but Firstar began making changes which we didn't like, so we decided to look for a new owner who would allow us to keep the equity group together."
The team hooked up with James Dierberg, a St. Louis banker and winery owner, who agreed to finance the group. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of First Bank, a St. Louis-based holding company owned by Mr. Dierberg.
The firm uses a similar strategy for its large-cap core and large-cap value portfolios, Mr. Nahnsen said. It is a research-driven bottom-up approach. The firm has nine research analysts, who visit the companies in their portfolios, with each having responsibility for certain industries. "We try to find undervalued companies with greater growth potential than average," Mr. Nahnsen said. Currently the portfolios are overweight in health care. They have cut back their overweightings in technology and basic industries. Schering-Plough Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Clear Channel Communications Inc. are among the stocks they like now.
"There seems to be some buzz about Missouri Valley. I hear good things about them," said a consultant who asked not be identified.