e-fundresearch.com: What is the current size of the fund?
Thomas Ognar: The AUM for the Wells Fargo US All Cap Growth Fund is $1,548.18m (USD).
e-fundresearch.com: Do you also manage other funds or mandates?
Thomas Ognar: For international investors, my team also manages the US Premier Growth fund, which invests in mid and large cap US equities. For our US customers we manage four portfolio composites with the same strategy, differentiated merely by market cap segments, and have managed each of those US equity portfolios successfully for more than 10 years.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the total amount of assets you manage currently?
Thomas Ognar: My team and I manage more than $25 billion (USD) of client money – from institutional separate accounts to mutual funds for US retail investors and open-ended funds for institutional and retail investors in the UK, Europe and Asia.
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been in the business as a fund manager?
Thomas Ognar: I joined Strong Capital management in 1998. Prior to that, I worked for M&I Investment Management. In 2005, Wells Capital Management (subsidiary of Wells Fargo) acquired Strong Capital Management. Our team has worked for Wells Fargo since the acquisition.
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?
Thomas Ognar: We aim to identify companies that offer robust and sustainable growth rates. Our team focuses on those companies where the market is underappreciating that growth (the “gap”). That insight helps us to try and act ahead of the market and reap the potential benefit of that insight, and follow a stick/sell discipline in an effort to minimise the impact of negative developments.
Our investment process is built on a foundation of continuous risk management and a strict sell discipline. As a result, the team maintains a continual and rigorous evaluation of a company’s true growth rate relative to investor expectations. This remains a critical and unique part of the team’s investment process and a key risk management tool that has historically added value to its portfolios.
e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark is most relevant and how should investors compare the fund vs. benchmarks or peer groups?
Thomas Ognar: This fund is invested in small, mid and large cap US equity markets so we benchmark the fund against the Russell 3000 Growth Index. In 2013 the fund won the Lipper Fund Awards US equity category in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and overall for Europe.
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?
Thomas Ognar: Wells Fargo US All Cap Growth A USD Fund
YTD performance: 27.62% as of 31 October 2013 (source: Wells Fargo Asset Management).
5 Year performance: 172.17% as of 31 October 2013 (source: Wells Fargo Asset Management).
e-fundresearch.com: Thank You!