The Australian: Strong culture the key to investment

Source: The Australian
By Damon Kitney

This is an excerpt of an article that appeared in The Australia. Click here to view the full article.

His name is William “JB” Horner. To his bosses at the $42 billion California-based global equities firm known as WCM Investment Management, his work underpins the firm’s key point of difference in the highly competitive world of international funds management.

Horner holds a masters degree in psychology from Columbia University and is employed bat WCM with the peculiar title of “business culture analyst”.

Others in WCM also hold psychology qualifications, including the manager who oversees the firm’s internal culture.

Says WCM client portfolio manager Jon Tringale: “William is someone who has been with our firm for many years, was on our trading floor and has a graduate degree in psychology.

WCM's Jon TringaleHe is someone who is intellectually curious about corporate culture.

He says: “Having a psychology degree certainly doesn’t hurt but I think the more important part of his training is understanding the context of how culture matters and how it gives a company a competitive advantage.”

Horner’s work is key to WCM’s investment process, which is based on the belief that culture is the biggest influence on a company’s ability to grow its competitive advantage.

It is an approach that has helped WCM more than double fund under management globally over the past two years.

Six years ago, WCM entered the Australian market and it now manages more than $2bn on behalf of institutional and retail investors through its WCM Quality Global Growth strategy, which has outperformed the MSCI World Index by more than 5 per cent annualised each year over a decade.

Mr Tringale says: “As an outsider, trying to assess a company’s culture is massively challenging.”

Read the complete article on The Australian website here.

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