Evan Bauman: I am co-manager of the fund since inception in 2007, together with Richie Freeman, who is running the strategy now for 30 years, since 1983.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the current size of the fund?
Evan Bauman: The fund volume recently passed the 1 billion US Dollar mark, while we are managing over 22 billion US Dollar in the strategy.
e-fundresearch.com: Do you also manage other funds or mandates?
Evan Bauman: Besides the Legg Mason ClearBridge US Aggressive Growth strategy I am also co-managing the Legg Mason ClearBridge Multi Cap Growth and Legg Mason ClearBridge All Cap Growth strategies.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the total amount of assets you manage currently?
Evan Bauman: $22.8bn
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been in the business as a fund manager?
Evan Bauman: I joined the organization in 1996 right before graduating with a BS in Mathematics from Duke University – so now I have 17 years of investment industry experience.
e-fundresearch.com: What are the main steps in your investment process and in which area is your competitive edge to add value to investors?
Evan Bauman: Our high conviction strategy focuses on a differentiated approach to growth and seeks to invest in stocks over the very long-term. Companies are typically owned for five to 10 years and tend to exhibit what we at ClearBridge define as sustainable growth business models: firms with the opportunity to grow earnings and cash flows for many years due to innovation and disruptive technologies. As a consequence of this process, the strategy positioning deviates significantly from US equity indices.
e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark is most relevant and how should investors compare the fund vs. benchmarks or peer groups?
Evan Bauman: For the Legg Mason ClearBridge US Aggressive Growth Fund our benchmark is the Russell 3000 Growth index, although our portfolio is looking very different from the benchmark. But it is also looking different from the S&P 500 and from other growth funds. We are comparing to Morningstar GIFS USD, the US equity Growth peer group, and we were able to beat the peer group as well as the index repeatedly.
e-fundresearch.com: Which performance did you achieve for the fund YTD and over the past five calendar years in absolute terms and relative to relevant benchmark or other reference indices?
Evan Bauman: YTD we achieved 20.96 per cent, while the our benchmark, the Russell 3000 Growth index, made 16.33 per cent and the peer group Morningstar GIFS (USD) 15.16 per cent. Our performance over the past five years was 50.97 per cent (50.01 per cent for the index and 26.21 for the peer group).
e-fundresearch.com: What motivates you in your job?
Evan Bauman: The motivation is to be the best. Not to beat a pre-defined benchmark but to generate the best possible absolute returns without taking undue risk. It is rewarding to know clients who have been with the strategy as long term investors who have built substantial wealth through ownership.
e-fundresearch.com: Which other profession would you have considered apart from becoming a fund manager?
Evan Bauman: Originally I went to school for Medicine and Mathematics so I’d likely have been a physician. I would have liked to have been a professional golfer but don’t have the game for it.
e-fundresearch.com: Thank you!