|Keith A. Lee, President, Chief Operating Officer, Brown Capital Management|
Portfolio managers at Brown Capital Management, an investment management firm founded in 1983 by Howard University engineering graduate Eddie Brown, have won the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year award,
The Morningstar Fund Manager Award recognizes portfolio managers who demonstrate excellent investment skill and the courage to differ from the consensus to benefit investors.
This award is the highest given in the investment management business – the “Oscars” of the industry.
Fund Manager of the Year award winners are chosen based on Morningstar’s proprietary research and in-depth qualitative evaluation by its manager research analysts.
To qualify for the award, managers’ funds must have not only posted impressive returns for the year, but the managers also must have a record of delivering outstanding long-term risk-adjusted performance and of aligning their interests with shareholders’.
‘Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year’
Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year award winners are Keith Lee, Robert Hall, Kempton Ingersol, Damien Davis, and Andrew Fones of Brown Capital Management Small Company. Lee, president and chief operating officer, and Robert Hall have led Brown Capital Management Small Company since the fund’s inception in 1992.
The fund has a Morningstar Analyst RatingTM of Gold, the company’s highest Medalist rating. The team employs a unique and patient strategy, buying companies that earn $250 million or less in revenue at the time of initial investment and “save lives, time, money, or headaches.” In 2015, the top 10 contributors to performance have been in the portfolio for an average of nine years.
“We have had high regard for the team at Brown Capital Management for a long time. Since we launched the Morningstar Analyst Rating in 2011, the fund has carried a Gold rating,” Jon Hale, Morningstar’s director of manager research, North America, said.
“In a year when stocks struggled to stay positive, the fund gained 8.8 percent in 2015, while its typical small-growth fund peer lost 2.4 percent. The fund ranked in the top percentile over the trailing one-, three-, five-, and 10-year periods.”
Eddie Brown is the founder and president of Brown Capital Management, a Baltimore-based firm that’s amassed more than $6 billion under management since it opened for business in 1983.
An avid traveler and jazz aficionado, Brown and his wife, Sylvia, have given millions to various charitable causes under the aegis of the Baltimore-based Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation.
After matriculating from Howard, Brown worked for a few months with defense contractor Martin Marietta in Orlando, Florida, where he did quality control work on Titan Intercontinental ballistic missiles.
That ended after Brown was called into Army service as a lieutenant at Ft. Monmouth County, New Jersey, to satisfy a military obligation Brown incurred when he joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Howard University.
Following two years on active duty as a Signal Corps officer, Brown joined IBM’s Systems Development Division in Poughkeepsie, New York. Brown spent five years designing computer circuits for large mainframe computers while employed by IBM, and also earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University.
During his time at IBM Brown became increasingly fascinated with finance and investing, so he opted to take advantage of an IBM management development program that allowed him to earn an M.B.A. from Indiana University in 1970.
Eager to learn everything he could about wealth creation and use it for his family’s benefit, Brown joined Irwin Management Co., in Columbus, Indiana, eventually becoming a member of the money management firm’s marketable securities group.
In 1973, Brown moved to Baltimore to take a position as a portfolio manager with investment firm T. Rowe Price.
A decade later Brown left to start Brown Capital Management, which initially operated out of his suburban Baltimore home. A valuation-conscious investor, Brown put his company’s focus on stocks offering growth-at-a-reasonable-price, or GARP. Brown Capital Management caters to high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
In the early years of Brown Capital Management, Brown’s ability to attract investors received a welcome boost when he became a regular panelist on the PBS financial television program Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser, which was popular during the 1980s and 1990s. “Ed is one of the most careful, and successful, students of securities alive today, and he gives us the specifics of what’s on his list,” Rukeyser noted.
Brown Capital Management celebrated its 30th year in business in 2013, occupies a three-story building at 1201 North Calvert Street in downtown Baltimore and employs 33 workers. Brown continues to find money management a compelling and invigorating exercise and remains an active and highly engaged participant in the day-to-day operations of the company he founded.
“This is the kind of business that, if you really enjoy it, like I do, it’s not like work, it’s like fun,” Brown says.