Karen Hiatt, a Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager with Allianz Global Investors, Pounds the Table for Square (SQ)

March 14, 2018

Karen Hiatt, CFA, is a Senior Portfolio Manager, a Managing Director and CIO Focused Growth Equities with Allianz Global Investors. She manages all focused-growth strategies. Earlier, Ms. Hiatt was a senior research analyst, sector head of the U.S. consumer team and U.S. Director of Research. She has 22 years of investment-industry experience.  In this exclusive interview with the Wall Street Transcript, Ms. Hiatt details her meticulous approach to large cap tech investing.

“…We construct a portfolio, really on a stock-by-stock approach, meaning we try to pick the best stocks within our platform, with a growth and quality bias, trying to stay valuation-sensitive, really focusing on a risk/reward approach, picking the best stocks we can to ultimately construct a very concentrated portfolio. We try to keep the stock count below 40 stocks…”

Her current investment focus in on the payments processing side.

“So with that said, an area that we really like is payments. There’s a lot going on within the sector, both in terms of merchants’ willingness to utilize credit, really down to the very small companies, as well as a lot going on in the P2P side — person-to-person payments…But once mobile entered the scene and you could actually pay through a mobile device, Square (NYSE:SQ) introduced the ability for individuals to pay at small businesses.”

Ms. Hiatt has high hopes for Square (NYSE:SQ).

Square, it’s a very young company, really the first to penetrate the small business, and initially people felt that there was a very limited market because the hardware was to some extent a commodity. But what they’ve said and proven, “Not only are we a payments company, but we will provide our clients with the software that makes it really an all-in approach to managing your inventory and your sales and your receipts and providing the POS systems.” So it’s an all-in-one approach that a lot of small businesses just don’t have time to manage themselves.”

Get all the other recommendations from Karen Hiatt of Allianz Global at the Wall Street Transcript.