International Value Equity
Stephen Evans, CFA
Managing Director, Portfolio Manager
Stephen Evans, CFA, with 23 years of investment experience, serves as Managing Director of Advisory Research. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Senior Portfolio Manager within U.S. Trust, based in New York for 14 years. Stephen was also a portfolio manager with Merrill Lynch Investment Management for five years specializing in trust portfolio management and privately managed accounts. During his tenure in the financial services industry he has held positions as a financial advisor with Paine Webber and a mortgage banker with Arlington Capital Mortgage. Stephen graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1984 and earned his M.A. in English from McNeese State University. Stephen has also done graduate coursework in Finance and Economics at Princeton University and earned an M.B.A. (with distinction) from Rider University; he is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of both the CFA Institute and the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA).
Kevin Ross, CFA
Vice President, Research Analyst
Kevin Ross, with 11 years of investment experience, serves as Vice President of Advisory Research. Prior to joining the firm, Kevin was an international equity analyst at Driehaus Capital Management in Chicago. He also worked as a senior research associate at Raymond James with a focus on the real estate industry. Kevin holds a B.S.B.A. in finance and international business from Washington University – St. Louis and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in finance, international business, and economics.
Marco Priani, CFA, CPA
Managing Director, Research Analyst
Marco Priani, with 16 years of investment experience, serves as Managing Director of Advisory Research. Prior to joining the firm, he worked for more than 10 years as a partner in the corporate bankruptcy firm of Priani, Claps & Caamaño in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also worked as a risk manager intern for Deutsche Postbank in Bonn, Germany. Marco holds a J.D. from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, an M.A. in law and finance from the Universidad del CEMA, an M.B.A. in analytic finance and accounting from the University of Chicago, and an LLM from the Northwestern University School of Law. Marco is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Italian, German, French and Portuguese.
We analyze non-U.S. companies using the same value-based approach that has been utilized in our U.S. strategies for over 25 years and in the international markets for nearly a decade. Our team has firsthand experience living and working in many international countries, affording meaningful cultural and business practice insights to the management of our strategies.
The Advisory Research international investment philosophy follows a disciplined, bottom-up, value approach. We focus on international securities that we believe are undervalued, have minimal downside risk and have significant upside potential. We seek out investment opportunities with undervalued assets or stocks that have been abandoned by the institutional investment community.
We identify investment opportunities by performing comprehensive bottom-up analysis and due diligence, which allows us to assess company-specific risk and long-term upside potential. We then construct portfolios that are broadly diversified yet focused enough to allow for excess returns. Our general holding period is between one and three years. Our disciplined approach to value investing guides our thinking and frames our decision making through every step of the investment process. We believe our approach to investing in value securities in the international markets has the potential to create long-term value for our clients and to protect capital through market downturns.
We apply our value-based philosophy through a disciplined and consistent investment process. We utilize a bottom-up, fundamental investment approach and invest in stocks that we believe are trading at a discount to net asset value and that have, in our opinion, minimal downside risk.
Bottom-up research is the foundation of our process, with a focus on balance sheet analysis. Our investment team seeks to identify companies that trade at attractive valuations relative to net asset value, with low probability of financial distress (measured in terms of low net debt/equity or net debt/EBITDA), with adequate liquidity, and that are profitable. We perform extensive quantitative financial and business analysis to determine the possible downside risk of an investment. To do so, we convert the accounting statements from “accounting” to “economic” reality. Significant time is spent revaluing both the assets and the liabilities to determine the net asset value of the company. Then, we research the company to see if it has an identifiable path to unlock and enhance value. We are focused on determining the upside of a particular company and emphasize senior management interviews, company visits and competitor analysis to do so.