U.S. Growth Equity
Managing Director, Portfolio Manager
Drew Cupps, with 25 years of investment experience, is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager for the Advisory Research U.S. Growth Equity team. Prior to joining Advisory Research in 2016, Drew was the founder and portfolio manager of Cupps Capital Management. Drew also worked at Strong Capital Management, where he managed hedge fund and mutual fund assets beginning in 1994. At Strong, Drew managed the Strong Enterprise Fund from its inception in October 1998 until October 2000. Before Strong, Drew worked at Driehaus Capital Management beginning in 1992. Drew attended Harvard University where he studied economics and graduated cum laude in 1992. At Harvard, he served as President of the Harvard Investment Association.
Kevin Leitner, CFA
Managing Director, Research Analyst
Kevin Leitner, with 25 years of investment experience, is a Managing Director and Research Analyst for the Advisory Research U.S. Growth Equity team. Prior to joining Advisory Research in 2016, Kevin was an Equity Analyst at Cupps Capital Management (CCM) with primary responsibility for retail and consumer companies. Prior to joining CCM, Kevin was an Equity Analyst for the Cupps team at Strong Capital Management. Before Strong, he was a Business Volunteer for two years for the United States Peace Corps in Romania. There, he was involved in the country’s privatization process as a Consultant to Transilvania Capital Invest. Before his Peace Corps service, he was an Equity Analyst at Harold C. Brown in Buffalo, New York, and a Statistical Analyst for American Express Financial Corporation in Minneapolis. Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa in 1992.
Vice President, Quantitative & Process Analyst; Trader
Chris Bush, with 10 years of investment experience, serves as a Quantitative and Process Analyst and Trader on the U.S. Growth Equity Team. Prior to joining Advisory Research in 2016, Chris was a trader and Operations Associate at Cupps Capital Management (CCM). He has responsibilities in the trading and operations functions of the firm and manages the IT infrastructure. Chris is a graduate from Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics. During his college tenure, Chris received the Board of Trustees Award in Business Administration.
The U.S. Growth Equity team strives to generate superior returns across its investment strategies by applying insight and discipline to the process of investing in growth opportunities that are created by an ever-changing world.
The U.S. Growth Equity team believes that the drivers of stock performance include valuation and other fundamental and technical variables that are inherently qualitative in nature. The team’s investment framework was established in 1994 to judge and quantify these qualitative variables that many other approaches find difficult to capture and act upon.
Today, the U.S. Growth Equity team balances a disciplined and systematic approach to portfolio construction with a forward-looking, company-specific approach to research, which we believe is required to identify and understand rapidly growing companies. It has been our experience that this is the combination of art and science that most effectively produces outstanding long-term results.
The U.S. Growth Equity team works in the field, meeting with management teams and conducting research on products and emerging industry trends. The team complements this fundamental research with a rigorous review of technical and quantitative screens that supply additional candidates to take into the Evaluation phase of the research process.
The U.S. Growth Equity team has developed a proprietary process to determine the attractiveness of each stock candidate. In this Five Perspective approach, an assessment of valuation is combined with assessments of four other key variables to provide a holistic view and determine the overall attractiveness of the investment.
Portfolio Construction and Risk Management
The portfolio manager works to optimize the portfolio by incorporating the stocks that are most attractive according to the investment team’s Five Perspective research and analysis. The portfolio manager also attempts to allocate the appropriate weights to industry groups and investment themes to attain the best risk reward profile.
Similar to our purchase decisions, sales are based on fundamental and technical considerations that are captured by our Five Perspective approach. The most common drivers of sales include overvaluation, fundamental developments underperforming the team’s investment thesis and technical deterioration.