Jennifer DeSisto Picks the Winners from the Anchor Capital Portfolio for You

August 27, 2020

Jennifer K. DeSisto, CFA, CAIA, is Chief Investment Officer of Anchor Capital Advisors, LLC. She received a B.S. in industrial management and economics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997 and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Business in 2005.

She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2007 and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation in 2018. Ms. DeSisto has worked for Anchor Capital Advisors, LLC since 2016. From 2011 to 2016, Ms. DeSisto was a portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust Company.

In this 3,532 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript, Ms. DeSisto illuminates the philosophy behind some of her top stock picks in her portfolio.

“In 2018, Anchor employees, along with a local private equity group called Lincoln Peak, reacquired the firm, which is now 70% employee-owned. It has been a great experience to be independent again.

We really have a founder’s mentality at Anchor. We have always been focused on value investing. We are focused on small and midcap stocks, which is where we believe we have an edge in finding opportunities in the market. Our largest strategy at Anchor is the Mid Cap Value strategy, but all of our strategies incorporate a heavy mix of midcap stocks.

In the past several years, we also started a Founders Value strategy, including a highly concentrated portfolio of approximately 15 stocks. That’s where the founder is still very involved, or there’s high insider ownership.”

This interesting investing strategy has led to some interesting recent additions to the portfolio:

“One of these companies that suddenly has garnered attention are thermal scanners and thermal sensors to take people’s temperature.

As the economy is opening up, a lot of businesses — including retailers and warehouses, manufacturing plants and others — are using thermal sensors to take people’s temperatures before they come in, which seems to have benefited FLIR Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR), the company that makes these thermal sensors.

It’s not really gaining any attention, even though they are a leader in sensor technology. They now have this tremendous opportunity because of COVID. And so early on, when we started to see how things were evolving, we bought that stock for the portfolios.

Another area that’s really interesting to us is home improvement because people are staying at home, and they’re not traveling or going out.

They’re actually investing in their homes, and they’re spending money at home improvement stores. Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), one of the stocks we own, seems to have really benefited from people doing home improvement projects.

The other aspect is the stimulus that is coming from the government — giving people extra money in their pockets — so they are spending at retailers like Lowe’s.

Another place that we have added more recently is Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (NASDAQ:OLLI). It provides clearance close-out opportunities for people who are shopping there, and you’re seeing strong sales coming out of there.

Those are some of the areas where we see opportunities, and we have been adding to our positions if we already own them, or we have been buying them to add to our portfolios.”

To get more of the reasoning behind these picks, and many others, read the entire 3,532 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript.