Mutual Fund Reports

Mutual Fund Reports

Required Disclosures

S&P GLOBAL™ is used under license. The owner of these trademarks is S&P Global Inc. or its affiliate, which are not affiliated with CFRA Research or the author of this content.

This report is for informational purposes only. Neither the publisher nor its sources guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results from its usage. When using this report, investors are advised to consult the accompanying glossary of investment terms.

Throughout this report, total return performance shown is historical, and assumes reinvestment of all dividends and capital gain distributions. Total Return, Peer Rank and Category Rank do not take into account loads or any other sales charges. An investment in a fund is not a bank deposit. It is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other government agency. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that, when redeemed, an investor’s shares may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted; performance current to the most recent month-end or calendar quarter- end is included in the report and can also be obtained from the fund company’s website.

The data and information shown in this report is intended for use by financial professionals and/or sophisticated investors who should verify that all data, assumptions, and results are accurate before making any investment decision or recommendation. Before acting on any information in this document, an investor should consider whether the fund is suitable for their particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

CFRA’s Mutual Fund Rankings provide a quantitative and holistic assessment of the performance, risk profile, and relative costs of a given fund compared to other mutual funds in its category. Rankings range from ««««« (highest) to ««««« (lowest) and follow a normalized distribution curve.

Fund Rank in Category CFRA Ranking

Top 10% «««««

Next 20% ««««

Middle 40% «««

Next 20% ««

Bottom 10% «

Risks disclaimers

Investors should read the fund’s prospectus and consider the fund’s investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. The Fund may be subject, but not limited, to the following investment risks:

Equity Investing Risk

While stocks have historically outperformed other asset classes over the long term, they tend to fluctuate more dramatically over the short term. There are special risks associated with significant exposure to a particular sector,  including the possibility of increased economic, business or other developments affecting the sector, which may result in increased volatility to the fund’s share price.

Small and midsize company risk. Small and midsize companies carry additional risks because the operating histories of these companies tend to  be  more limited, their earnings and revenues less predictable, and their share prices more volatile than those of larger, more established companies. The shares of smaller companies tend to trade less frequently than those of larger, more established companies, which can adversely affect the pricing of these securities and the Fund’s ability to sell these securities.

Large cap stock risk. Stocks of large cap companies may underperform the stocks of lower quality, or smaller capitalization companies during periods when the stocks of such companies are in favor.

Growth securities risk. Growth companies generally seek to achieve high earning growth regardless of market conditions. Growth stocks usually have high price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, which means that these stocks are relatively high-priced in comparison with the companies’ Net Asset Values (NAVs). Stocks of growth companies or “growth securities” have market values that may be more volatile than those of other types of investments. Growth securities typically do not pay a dividend, which can help cushion stock prices in market downturns and reduce potential losses.

Value securities risk. Value stocks are those that generally have fallen out of favor in the marketplace and are considered bargain-priced compared with book value, replacement value, or liquidation value. Typically, value  stocks  are priced much lower than stocks of similar companies in the same industry. The prices of value stocks may lag the stock market for long periods of time if the market fails to recognize the company’s intrinsic worth.

International Equity Risk

Foreign investment risk. Fund’s investments in foreign securities may  be subject to political, social and economic factors affecting investments in foreign issuers. Special risks associated with investments in foreign issuers include exposure to currency fluctuations, less liquidity, less developed or less efficient trading markets, lack of comprehensive company information, political and economic instability and differing auditing and legal standards.

Foreign currency risk. Investments in foreign currencies are subject to the risk that those currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar or, in the case of hedged positions, that the U.S. dollar will decline relative to  the currency being hedged. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Foreign currencies are also subject to risks caused by inflation, interest rates, budget deficits and low savings rates, political factors and government intervention and controls.

Emerging market risk. The securities of issuers located in emerging markets tend to be more volatile and less liquid than securities of issuers located in more developed economies, and emerging markets generally have less diverse and less developed economic structures and less stable political systems than those of developed countries. The securities of issuers located or doing substantial business in emerging markets are often subject to rapid and large changes in price.

Fixed Income Investing Risk

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties.

Lower-quality (high yield bonds or junk bond) debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer.

Credit and default risk. Corporate bonds are subject to credit risk. It’s important to pay attention to changes in the credit quality of the issuer, as less creditworthy issuers may be more likely to default on interest payments or principal repayment. If a bond issuer fails to make either a coupon or principal payment when they are due, or fails to meet some other provision of the bond indenture, it is said to be in default. To the extent the fund invests in high yield, its portfolio is subject to heightened credit risk.

Liquidity risk. When there is little or no active trading market for specific types of securities, it can become more difficult to sell the securities at or near their perceived value. In such a market, the value of such securities and the Fund’s share price may fall dramatically, even during periods of declining interest rates. The secondary market for certain bonds tends to be less well developed or liquid than many other securities markets, which may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to sell such bonds at attractive prices.

Derivatives risk. Investments in derivatives could have a potentially large impact on the Fund’s performance. The use of derivatives involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the underlying assets. Derivatives can be highly volatile, illiquid and difficult to value.

Collateralized bond obligation risk. Collateralized Bond Obligations are structured financial products that pool together high yield bond obligations and repackages into separate groupings called tranches representing different degrees of credit quality. The higher quality tranches have greater degrees of protection and pay lower interest rates. The lower tranches, with greater risk, pay higher interest rates.

Government securities risk. The U.S. Treasury does not back in full all obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities. Some obligations are backed only by the credit of the issuing agency or instrumentality, and in some cases there may be some risk of default by the issuer. The U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities cannot guarantee the market value of a security and they can guarantee only the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity. U.S government securities may increase or decrease in value based on global demand  and changes in global economic conditions affect the demand for these securities.

Municipal securities risk. Public information available  about  municipal securities is in general limited and less available than that for corporate equities or bonds. Special factors, such as legislative changes, and state and local economic and business developments, may adversely affect the yield and/or value of the Fund’s investments in municipal securities. Fund’s investments in municipal projects of a municipality or a state may impact the Fund’s value, if economic, business or political conditions change for the municipality or state.

Blended Funds & Fund of Funds Risks

Allocation risk. The ability of a fund to achieve its investment goal depends, in part, on the ability of the fund’s portfolio manager to allocate effectively the fund’s assets among equity and fixed-income securities. There can be no assurance that the actual allocations will be effective in achieving the fund’s investment goal.

Correlation risk. Although the prices of equity securities and fixed-income securities, as well as other asset classes, often rise and fall at different times so that a fall in the price of one may be offset by a rise in the price of the other, in down markets the prices of these securities and asset classes can also fall in tandem. Because the fund allocates its investments among different asset classes, the fund is subject to correlation risk.

Fund of Funds Risk. The Fund pursues its investment objective by investing in assets in the underlying sector fund rather than investing directly in stocks, bonds, cash or other investments. The Fund’s investment performance, because it is a fund of funds, depends on the investment performance of the underlying sector fund in which it invests. The Fund will indirectly pay a proportional share of the asset-based fees of the underlying sector fund in which it invests.

Equity Investing Risk

While stocks have historically outperformed other asset classes over the long term, they tend to fluctuate more dramatically over the short term. There are special  risks  associated  with  significant  exposure  to  a  particular  sector, including the possibility of increased economic, business or other developments affecting the sector, which may result in increased volatility to the fund’s share price.

Small and midsize company risk. Small and midsize companies carry additional risks because the operating histories of these companies tend to be  more limited, their earnings and revenues less predictable, and their share prices more volatile than those of larger, more established companies. The shares of smaller companies tend to trade less frequently than those of larger, more established companies, which can adversely affect the pricing of these securities and the Fund’s ability to sell these securities.

Large cap stock risk. Stocks of large cap companies may underperform the stocks of lower quality, or smaller capitalization companies during periods when the stocks of such companies are in favor.

Growth securities risk. Growth companies generally seek to achieve high earning growth regardless of market conditions. Growth stocks usually have high price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, which means that these stocks are relatively high-priced in comparison with the companies’ Net Asset Values (NAVs). Stocks of growth companies or “growth securities” have market values that may be more volatile than those of other types of investments. Growth securities typically do not pay a dividend, which can help cushion stock prices in market downturns and reduce potential losses.

Value securities risk. Value stocks are those that generally have fallen out of favor in the marketplace and are considered bargain-priced compared with book value, replacement value, or liquidation value. Typically, value  stocks  are priced much lower than stocks of similar companies in the same industry. The prices of value stocks may lag the stock market for long periods of time if the market fails to recognize the company’s intrinsic worth.

Growth Funds

Growth funds focus on stocks that may not pay a regular dividend but have the potential for large capital gains.

Growth securities risk. Growth companies generally seek to achieve high earning growth regardless of market conditions. Growth stocks usually have high price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios, which means that these stocks are relatively high-priced in comparison with the companies’ Net Asset Values (NAVs). Stocks of growth companies or “growth securities” have market values that may be more volatile than those of other types of investments. Growth securities typically do not pay a dividend, which can help cushion stock prices in market downturns and reduce potential losses.

Income Funds

Income funds invest in stocks that pay regular dividends.

Risks of stock investing. While stocks have historically outperformed other asset classes over the long term, they tend to fluctuate more dramatically over the short term. There are special risks associated with significant exposure to a particular sector, including the possibility of increased economic, business or other developments affecting the sector, which may result in increased volatility to the fund’s share price.

Preferred stock risk. Preferred stock is a class of a capital stock that typically pays dividends at a specified rate. Preferred stock is generally senior to common stock, but subordinate to debt securities, with respect to the payment of dividends and on liquidation of the issuer. The market value of preferred stock generally decreases when interest rates rise and is also affected by the issuer’s ability to make payments on the preferred stock.

Index Funds

Index funds aim to achieve the same return as a particular market index by investing in all or perhaps a representative sample of the companies included in the particular index.

Indexing strategy risk. Funds that use an indexing strategy generally do not attempt to manage market volatility, but use defensive strategies or reduce the effects of any long-term periods of poor index performance. The correlation between fund and index performance may be affected by the fund’s expenses, changes in securities markets, changes in the composition of the index and the timing of purchases and redemptions of fund shares.

Non-diversification risk. Generally funds that have an indexing strategy tend to be non-diversified, which means that the fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. Therefore, the fund’s performance may be more vulnerable to changes in the market value of a single issuer or group of issuers and more susceptible to risks associated with a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund.

Sector Funds

Sector funds may specialize in a particular industry segment, such as technology or consumer products stocks.

Market sector risk. Sector funds may significantly overweight or underweight certain companies, industries or market sectors, which may cause the fund’s performance to be more or less sensitive to developments affecting those companies, industries or sectors.

Money Market Risks

Compared to other mutual funds, Money Market funds have relatively low risks. By law, Money Market funds can invest only in certain high-quality, short-term investments issued by the U.S. Government, U.S. corporations, and state and local governments. Money market funds try to keep their net asset value (NAV) at a stable $1.00 per share. However, the NAV may fall below

$1.00 if the fund’s investments perform poorly. Money Market funds pay dividends that generally reflect short-term interest rates, and historically the returns for Money Market funds have been lower than for either bond or stock funds.

Inflation risk. The risk that inflation will outpace and erode investment returns over time.

Interest rate risk. Prices of fixed-income securities may accompany a rise in the overall level of interest rates. A sharp and unexpected rise in interest rates could cause a money market fund’s share price to drop below a dollar.

Credit and default risk. Corporate bonds are subject to credit risk. It’s important to pay attention to changes in the credit quality of the issuer, as less creditworthy issuers may be more likely to default on interest payments or principal repayment. If a bond issuer fails to make either a coupon or principal payment when they are due, or fails to meet some other provision of the bond indenture, it is said to be in default. To the extent the fund invests in high yield, its portfolio is subject to heightened credit risk.

Liquidity risk. When there is little or no active trading market for specific types of securities, it can become more difficult to sell the securities at or near their perceived value. In such a market, the value of such securities and the Fund’s share price may fall dramatically, even during periods of declining interest rates. The secondary market for certain bonds tends to be less well developed or liquid than many other securities markets, which may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to sell such bonds at attractive prices..

Tax risk. To be tax-exempt, municipal obligations generally must meet certain regulatory requirements. If any such municipal obligation fails to meet these regulatory requirements, the interest received by the fund from its investment in such obligations and distributed to fund shareholders will be taxable.

Structured notes risk. Structured notes, a type of derivative instrument, can be volatile, and the possibility of default by the financial institution or counterparty may be greater for these instruments than for other types of money market instruments. Structured notes typically are purchased in privately negotiated transactions from financial institutions and, thus, an active trading market for such instruments may not exist.

Municipal securities risk. Public information available  about  municipal securities is in general limited and less available than that for corporate equities or bonds. Special factors, such as legislative changes, and state and local economic and business developments, may adversely affect the yield and/or value of the Fund’s investments in municipal securities. Fund’s investments in municipal projects of a municipality or a state may impact the Fund’s value, if economic, business or political conditions change for the municipality or state.

Municipal lease risk. Municipal leases generally are backed by revenues from a particular source or depend on future appropriations by municipalities and are not obligations of their issuers; therefore they are less secure than most municipal obligations.

Non-diversification risk. Money Market funds tend to be non-diversified, which means that the fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. Therefore, the fund’s performance may be more vulnerable to changes in the market value of a single issuer or group of issuers and more susceptible to risks associated with a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund.

Mutual Fund Ranking Methodology and Inputs

The overall Mutual Fund ranking is based on a weighted average computation of three components – performance analytics, risk considerations and  cost factors that evaluate, relative to its peers, a fund’s underlying holdings, its historical performance, and characteristics of the fund. For blended funds investing in individual securities, CFRA incorporates the following inputs:

Performance Analytics. The component score is a weighted average of up to four inputs:

Holdings-Based Inputs: STARS and 12-Month Yield (weighted average value of holdings)

Fund Inputs: trailing 1-year and 3-year performance vs. peers

Risk Considerations. This component score is a weighted average of up to four inputs:

Holdings-Based Inputs: Weighted Average Credit Rating

Fund Inputs: Manager Tenure, Standard Deviation and Debt Exposure

Cost Factors. This component score is a weighted average of up to three inputs: Expense Ratio (Net), Sales Load and Portfolio Turnover of the fund.

The component rankings are represented as Positive, Neutral or Negative indications, following the same methodology of a normalized distribution curve:

Positive component rankings are assigned to funds whose weighted-average score is in the top quartile of its asset category’s universe, applying a normalized distribution curve.

Neutral component rankings are assigned to funds whose weighted-average score is in the second or third quartiles of its asset category’s universe, applying a normalized distribution curve.

Negative component rankings are assigned to funds whose weighted-average score is the bottom quartile of its asset category’s universe, applying a normalized distribution curve.

In cases where sufficient analytical measures are not available on underlying assets, the component ranking will not be displayed.

For more details, including definitions, of the individual inputs to the Mutual Fund Ranking, see the Glossary section of this report. CFRA does not receive fees from funds for their inclusion in this report.

Analyst Certification
STARS Stock Reports are prepared by the equity research analysts of CFRA and its affiliates and subsidiaries. Quantitative Stock Reports are prepared by CFRA. All of the views expressed in STARS Stock Reports accurately reflect the research analyst’s personal views regarding any and all of the subject securities or issuers; all of the views expressed in the Quantitative Stock Reports accurately reflect the output of CFRA’s algorithms and programs. Analysts generally update STARS Stock Reports at least four times each year. Quantitative Stock Reports are generally updated weekly. No part of analyst, CFRA, CFRA affiliate, or CFRA subsidiary compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views expressed in any Stock Report.

About This Report’s Distributors:

This Report is published and originally distributed by Accounting Research & Analytics, LLC d/b/a CFRA (“CFRA US”), with the following exceptions: In the UK/EU/EEA, it is published and originally distributed by CFRA UK Limited (“CFRA UK”), which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 775151), and in Malaysia by CFRA MY Sdn Bhd (Company No. 683377-A) (formerly known as Standard & Poor’s Malaysia Sdn Bhd) (“CFRA Malaysia”), which is regulated by Securities Commission Malaysia, (No. CMSL/A0181/2007) under license from CFRA US. These parties and their subsidiaries maintain no responsibility for reports redistributed by third parties such as brokers or financial advisors.

General Disclaimers
Notice to all jurisdictions

Where reports are made available in a language other than English and in the case of inconsistencies between the English and translated versions of a Research Report, the English version will control and supersede any ambiguities associated with any part or section of a Research Report that has been issued in a foreign language. Neither CFRA nor its affiliates guarantee the accuracy of the translation.

The content of this material and the opinions expressed herein are those of CFRA based upon publicly-available information that CFRA believes to be reliable and the opinions are subject to change without notice. This analysis has not been submitted to, nor received approval from, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any other regulatory body. While CFRA exercised due care in compiling this analysis, CFRA AND ALL RELATED ENTITIES SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, to the full extent permitted by law, regarding the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information and assumes no liability with respect to the consequences of relying on this information for investment or other purposes. No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of CFRA. The Content shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. CFRA and any third-party providers, as well as their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the Content.

Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. This document may contain forward-looking statements or forecasts; such forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future performance.

This report is not intended to, and does not, constitute an offer or solicitation to buy and sell securities or engage in any investment activity. This report is for informational purposes only. Recommendations in this report are not made with respect to any particular investor or type of investor. Securities, financial instruments or strategies mentioned herein may not be suitable for all investors and this material is not intended for any specific investor and does not take into account an investor’s particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs. Investors should seek independent financial advice regarding the suitability and/or appropriateness of making an investment or implementing the investment strategies discussed in this document and should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. Investors should note that income from such investments, if any, may fluctuate and that the value of such investments may rise or fall. Accordingly, investors may receive back less than they originally invested. Investors should seek advice concerning any impact this investment may have on their personal tax position from their own tax advisor. Please note the publication date of this document. It may contain specific information that is no longer current and should not be used to make an investment decision. Unless otherwise indicated, there is no intention to update this document.

CFRA may license certain intellectual property or provide services to, or otherwise have a business relationship with, certain issuers of securities that are the subject of CFRA research reports, including exchange-traded investments whose investment objective is to substantially replicate the returns of a proprietary index of CFRA. In cases where CFRA is paid fees that are tied to the amount of assets invested in a fund or the volume of trading activity in a fund, investment in the fund may result in CFRA receiving compensation in addition to the subscription fees or other compensation for services rendered by CFRA, however, no part of CFRA’s compensation for services is tied to any recommendation or rating. Additional information on a subject company may be available upon request.

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The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) was developed by and/or is the exclusive property of MSCI, Inc. and Capital IQ, Inc. (“Capital IQ”). GICS is a service mark of MSCI and Capital IQ and has been licensed for use by CFRA.

For residents of the European Union/European Economic Area: Research reports are originally distributed by CFRA UK Limited (company number 08456139 registered in England & Wales with its registered office address at PO Box 698, Titchfield House, 69-85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR, United Kingdom). CFRA UK Limited is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (No. 775151).

For residents of Malaysia: Research reports are originally produced and distributed by CFRA MY Sdn Bhd (Company No. 683377-A) (formerly known as Standard & Poor’s Malaysia Sdn Bhd) (“CFRA Malaysia”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CFRA US. CFRA Malaysia is regulated by Securities Commission Malaysia (License No. CMSL/A0181/2007).

For residents of all other countries: Research reports are originally distributed by Accounting Research & Analytics, LLC d/b/a CFRA.

Copyright © 2018 CFRA. All rights reserved.
CFRA and STARS are registered trademarks of CFRA.

John is Vice President of Equity Research. He joined CFRA in April 2019. He is responsible for fundamental equity research and analysis covering several segments within the Information Technology and Communication Services sectors, including enterprise software and SaaS/cloud providers, Internet advertising/social media platforms, and game developers.

Prior to joining CFRA, John co-founded Samadhi Capital Partners, an investment advisor and equity research firm where he developed an investment process and framework targeted at tech sector equities, with a particular emphasis on gauging the impact of and identifying the long-term winners from artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and related developments categorized under the larger “cognification of software” mega-trend. Before his entrepreneurial stint, he served as Senior Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Sands Capital Management, responsible for the firm’s investments within the tech sector.

John began his career in equity research with an independent equity research firm, Precursor, where he was ranked as the top analyst covering network equipment stocks among independent research firms. He also spent the first dozen years of his career in various roles within the tech industry. During this time, he published dozens of white papers and research reports on topics ranging from network processors, Virtual LAN (VLAN) technology, and the historical evolution of enterprise application architecture.

John graduated from Harvard University with a BA in East Asian Studies.

Matthew is Vice President of Equity Research at CFRA. He is responsible for providing differentiated and actionable research and recommendations on equities in the Materials and Industrials sectors. Matthew’s areas of focus include: metals & mining, construction materials, containers & packaging, and building products. Matthew previously held the position of Industry/Equity Analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Matthew joined CFRA in 2016 and S&P Global in 2014, after working on the buy-side as an Equity Analyst at London Capital Management in London, Canada, where he covered North American stocks in the Energy and Consumer Staples sectors. Prior to joining the equity research industry, Matthew worked as a Financial Analyst for companies in both the retail and fitness areas.

Matthew holds his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Colorado State University and his MBA from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Paul Beland, CFA is the Deputy Director of Research at CFRA.
Before joining CFRA in 2017, he spent over 10 years working as a sell side equity research analyst with Citigroup and Lazard Capital Markets in New York City. He has covered Accounting and Valuation, Education Services, and Media. Previously, Paul led the TMT research team at ISS. He currently serves as a board member of the Global Regulatory Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Paul earned a BA in Economics with honors and distinction from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Sam Stovall is Chief Investment Strategist of U.S. Equity Strategy at CFRA. He serves as analyst, publisher and communicator of CFRA’s outlooks for the economy, market, and sectors. Sam is the Chairman of the CFRA Investment Policy Committee, where he focuses on market history and valuations, as well as industry momentum strategies. He is the author of The Standard & Poor’s Guide to Sector Investing and The Seven Rules of Wall Street. In addition, Sam writes a weekly investment piece, featured on CFRA’s MarketScope Advisor platform and his work is also found in the flagship weekly newsletter The Outlook.

Prior to joining S&P Global in 1989 and CFRA in 2016, Sam served as Editor In Chief at Argus Research, an independent investment research firm in New York City.

He holds an MBA in Finance from New York University and a B.A. in History/Education from Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, PA. He is a CFP® certificant and is a Trustee of the Securities Industry Institute®, the executive development program held annually at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @StovallCFRA

Giles Flower is head of global institutional sales, where he is responsible for the having the right team in place to reach our new business targets. This includes managing sales teams in North America, Europe and Asia, and ensuring they have strong pipelines to reach targets. In addition, Giles is responsible for managing his own sales territory in EMEA.
Prior to joining CFRA in 2011, Giles worked for 10 years on the sell side at Collins Stewart (now Canaccord Genuity) in sales and analyst roles within their Quest team.
Giles holds a Bachelors of Arts (Hons) degree from Kingston University, London.

Todd Rosenbluth is Senior Director of ETF and Mutual Fund Research at CFRA where he leads the firm’s holdings-based research efforts within the Equity Research and Fund group. Todd publishes regular thought leadership content on equity and fixed income products, maintains the quantitative fund models and supports client needs. He also serves as a member of Portfolio Strategy Committee and the Investment Policy Committee. Todd also held the position of Senior Director of ETF and Mutual Fund Research for S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Prior to joining CFRA, Todd previously served in other financial positions at S&P Global, such as International Mutual Fund Sector Specialist, Large Cap Value and Large Cap Growth Analyst and has served on the Fund Services Asset Allocation Committee. Prior to joining S&P Global in 2001, Todd was managing editor of Value Line Mutual Fund Survey and Senior Large Cap and Small Cap Value Mutual Fund Analyst. He was also a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley.

Todd holds a B.G.S in Finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from New York University.

Follow Todd on Twitter at: @ToddCFRA

David Ibbeken is CFRA’s General Counsel overseeing the company’s legal, regulatory and compliance matters.
David joined CFRA in 2016 having previously served as Assistant General Counsel for S&P Global Market Intelligence, and as Senior Counsel for SNL Financial immediately prior thereto, where he handled a wide variety of legal matters.
David graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Economics and holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Lindsey Bell is an Investment Strategist at CFRA. Along with the Chief Investment Officer, she determines CFRA’s asset class allocation and equity sector level recommendations. She participates in projecting the firm’s 12-month S&P 500 price target. Her market observations and sector opinions are expressed in regular writings on CFRA’s MarketScope Advisor (MSA) platform. She oversees CFRA’s portfolio management committee which manages five portfolios of stocks. Finally, she also assists in authoring monthly European and Asian Investment Policy Committee (IPC) notes, also available on MSA. She is a frequent guest on FoxBusiness, CNBC, Bloomberg and Yahoo! Finance, etc.

Prior to joining CFRA, Lindsey worked as an Investment Strategist with S&P Global within the Investment Advisory Services division. She worked in several different capacities at TheStreet.com before that, from helping to manage Jim Cramer’s small and mid-cap Charitable Trusts, to leading trader blog conversations and writing research. She learned the ropes as an equity research analyst at J.P Morgan and Deutsche Bank covering retail companies, and began her career in investment banking with Jefferies & Company’s Mergers & Acquisition group.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter: @LBellCFRA

Jennifer Latz leads CFRA’s Forensic Research team and serves as a Senior Analyst on CFRA’s European Forensic Research team while also leading the Consumer/Retail research team.
Prior to joining CFRA in 2011, Jennifer worked in the New York office of Ziff Brothers Investments for 5 years. Before ZBI, Jennifer performed financial due diligence for KPMG's Transaction Services Group.
Jennifer holds a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Tuna is Director & Industry Analyst at CFRA. He is responsible for general oversight of the firm’s Consumer sector strategy and recommendations by a team of equity analysts, for hundreds of securities. He covers companies in the Internet Retail universe such as Amazon and Netflix, as well as media companies such as CBS, Comcast and Disney. Tuna previously held a similar position at S&P Global Market Intelligence where he led a core team that created and implemented a proprietary S&P Core Earnings® framework, also serving on the firm’s Analytical Policy Board. He currently authors a biannual industry survey called “Media”.

Prior to joining CFRA and S&P Global, Tuna was a Senior Equity Analyst at Lehman Brothers, New York. He participated in key decisions by the firm’s Investment Policy Committee and was highly instrumental in managing a multi-capitalization equity portfolio, with primary focus on the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sectors. Tuna also gained extensive global consulting experience in his previous roles at Arthur Andersen and KPMG.

Tuna earned an MBA in Finance from the Strathclyde University Business School in Scotland, U.K. He also holds a B.Sc. in Accounting from University of Nigeria as well as LL.B. (JD). Tuna is a CFA charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Brendan McAuley is Head of Global Wealth Management Sales. He leads a global team of senior salespeople tasked with establishing and growing relationships with key Registered Investment Advisory and Wealth Management firms, Banks and Broker/Dealers.
Brendan joined CFRA in 2015 and previously lead the CFRA’s Institutional Account Management team in the US, and continues to manage some of the firm’s largest relationships. Prior to CFRA, Brendan was a Director of Institutional Research Sales at Oppenheimer & Company and an Institutional Relationship Manager at Dreyfus Funds.
Brendan holds his MBA from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and his BA in from Sacred Heart University.
Lili Mehta is head of global marketing at CFRA, responsible for developing and executing strategies to build the company's brand, generate leads, identify opportunities to reach new market segments, and expand market share. Prior to joining CFRA in 2018, Lili served as Executive Director Of Marketing at Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) where she designed and implemented marketing strategies and programs to increase market penetration across institutional investor market segments globally. Prior to serving in that role, Lili served as an independent marketing consultant for several large and high-profile B2B organizations, providing product and strategic marketing services under long term consulting engagements.
Lili graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science and holds an MBA from George Washington University.
Beth Piskora heads editorial operations for CFRA. She serves as the editorial director for CFRA’s MarketScope Advisor website, as well as CFRA publications like The Outlook (an investment-oriented website and weekly newsletter) and Industry Surveys (extensive reports on several dozen industries). Beth and the Editorial team review and vet all equity analyst-written content to ensure high-quality standards. In addition, Beth works closely with colleagues in Research, Technology, Sales & Marketing and Finance to brainstorm new content initiatives and bring them to fruition.
Earlier in her career, Beth was an award-winning business reporter/investing columnist for the New York Post, the oldest daily newspaper in the U.S. Beth started her editorial career as a reporter for the American Banker, a daily trade newspaper.
Beth holds a B.A. in Communications from The Pennsylvania State University.
Ishtmeet is the Vice President of Engineering at CFRA where he defines technology strategy and leads the application and infrastructure teams to build cutting edge tools for CFRA’s analysts.
Prior to joining CFRA in 2019, Ishtmeet has worked in various companies like Amazon, Capital One and Fannie Mae as Senior Technology executive. In his prior role as Vice President of Software Engineering at Gannett Co Inc, he led the digital content technology group. In this role he had overall responsibility for defining technology strategy and executing business alignment by delivering software solutions. This including an in-house SAAS content management solutions used by 100+ Gannett Newspapers across the nation. In addition to his prior company experiences, Ishtmeet also served as Captain in the Indian Army for six years.
Ishtmeet graduated from MGM College of Engineering in Nanded, India with BE in Computer Sciences and holds an MBA in Finance from Stern School of Business, New York University.
Chris Schenkkan is the head of Finance at CFRA, were he leads the company’s global financial affairs including statutory financial audits, budgeting/forecasting, tax compliance, monthly accounting closes, and accounts payable. Prior to joining CFRA in 2017, Chris was the Associate Director, Content Management at SNL Financial (now part of S&P Global) where he worked for twelve years to help the business scale to $250 million in revenues and over 3,000 employees.
Chris graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Economics and holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.
Will Suess is a senior quantitative analyst and head of the quantitative research for CFRA. Will joined CFRA in April 2018 after leading quantitative strategy for a Registered Investment Advisor and a Long-Short Equity Hedge Fund. Prior to that, Will served as a consultant to quantitative institutional investors to develop alpha and risk models. Will graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.B.A in Finance and Economics. Will is a CFA Charterholder.
Aniket Ullal is VP, ETF Data and Analytics for CFRA, one of the world’s largest providers of independent investment research. Aniket founded First Bridge Data, a leading source for global ETF data and analytics that was acquired by CFRA in August 2019. Prior to starting First Bridge, he had product management responsibility for S&P’s US indices, including the widely followed S&P 500 and S&P/Case-Shiller indices. These indices have over $1Trillion in ETF assets tracking them. Aniket is the author of 'ETF Investment Strategies' (McGraw-Hill; 2013). He is a graduate of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
Peter is the CEO at CFRA where he is responsible for the global strategic leadership of the firm. Peter acquired CFRA in March 2013. Previously he was Executive Managing Director at S&P Global. Prior to this role, Peter was Executive Director at Morgan Stanley and Vice President at JPMorgan where he helped develop leading Financial Technology investment banking practices. In addition, Peter was Vice President with LabMorgan, a JPMorgan venture capital division investing in financial information and technology companies. Peter graduated from Union College with a BA in Economics and holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Theresa is the CFO & COO at CFRA, leading the company’s global financial and operational affairs. Theresa was most recently the Senior Director of Finance, Corporate Controller for SNL Financial (now part of S&P Global) where she worked for approximately ten years in helping the business to scale to $250 million in revenues and over 3,000 employees. Prior to SNL Financial, she was Director of Business Management with LexisNexis and a Consulting Manager with Grant Thornton LLP. Theresa graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Mathematics and holds an MBA from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, William & Mary.

Dan is the Chief Revenue Officer of CFRA where he oversees the company's global sales and marketing efforts. He has over 20 years of experience in sales management, team building and partner development including roles as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at WealthEngine and CEO of GMI Ratings, an independent provider of global corporate governance, forensic accounting and ESG ratings and research. As CEO, Dan led the company to a successful exit for shareholders through a sale to strategic acquirer, MSCI, Inc. He also served as Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) where he helped significantly increase revenues and actively participated in the sale to RiskMetrics Group (now part of MSCI, Inc.). Dan graduated from the University of Maryland and holds an MBA from Baruch College.

Zach is President at CFRA, overseeing the firm's intellectual property and client activities including research, analytics, data, client coverage, and marketing. He previously served as Global Head of Research at the company from 2015-2019 as well as Head of the Financial Institutions Research team. Prior to returning to CFRA in 2013, Zach was with Paulson & Co. and Paulson Europe where he covered financial institutions globally. He has worked in microfinance internationally and testified before the U.S. House and Senate on small business lending and development. Zach graduated from Brown University with BAs in Political Science and Italian Studies and holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is a CFA charterholder.

Eram is the CTO and Chief Product officer at CFRA where he defines product strategy and leads technology innovation leveraging his 15 years of experience delivering commercially profitable client-centered solutions. Prior to joining CFRA, Eram was Senior Director of Commercial Solutions at Fitch Solutions for buy and sell-side markets. As Global Head of Desktop Product Development, he developed the strategy and launched the flagship Fitch Connect Web and Excel platform that accounted for over $100M of revenue targeting counterparty credit and credit markets. Prior to Fitch, Eram held product development roles at S&P Global and other information services firms. Eram graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis with a BS in Marketing & Strategy and holds an MA in Cognitive Science from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Heather is the Global Head of Talent, driving Talent strategy and related matters across the globe. Heather was most recently the Senior Director of Human Resources at SNL Financial (now part of S&P Global) where she worked for approximately 19 years helping the business scale to $250 million in revenue and over 3,000 employees. Prior to filling the HR role at SNL, Heather worked as the Director of SNL’s Content Operations. Heather graduated from Mary Baldwin College with a BA in Business Administration.

David is CFRA’s General Counsel overseeing the company’s legal, regulatory and compliance matters. David served previously as Assistant General Counsel for S&P Global Market Intelligence, and as Senior Counsel for SNL Financial immediately prior thereto, where he handled a wide variety of legal matters. David graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Economics and holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

“What makes CFRA unique is the delicate balance of skepticism, curiosity and conviction that we experience throughout the company.”

What makes CFRA special?
The diversity of views (both long and short) across the company, which drives prudent decisions free of bias. A rarity in our business.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
That the delicate balance of skepticism, curiosity and conviction can often be rewarded if correctly executed.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
What makes your days at CFRA different than other jobs you have had?
At CFRA, your opinions and suggestions go further, which was something I had not experienced when working at larger corporations.

“At CFRA, everyone shares the same values
and is dedicated to the mission…No egos, no politics.”

What makes CFRA special?
You always hear how first impression is the most important one. When I joined CFRA some 18 months ago, it was in a midst of a large RFP in EMEA. We had extremely tight deadline and very complex proposal to make. I was new, nobody knew me and I needed a lot of support. I am still amazed how everyone came together to help. Every department pitched in and went for that famous extra mile to meet the deadline. Still today, there is not a one single person I could not reach out to if I need help. In essence, that is what makes CFRA special.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Independence. I am given the goals and know exactly how I’m measured, but I have the autonomy over my responsibilities and daily tasks.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
Everyone shares the same values and is dedicated to the mission. Many companies talk about breaking down their silos, but here people do whatever it takes to get the job done – even if it’s not written in their job description. No egos, no politics. This is a first for me.

“At CFRA, the degree of freedom and flexibility in conducting research, coupled with the emphasis on integrity, performance and excellence, provides a healthy working environment which encourages collaboration, analytical rigor and a continuous drive for incremental improvement, while remaining cognizant of the need for work-life balance.”

What makes CFRA special?
Having worked with a large multinational corporation for close to a decade, I can testify that CFRA feels a lot more close-knit, where what each and every individual does is important and plays a part in the overall direction of the business. As we continue to grow, I believe it is very important to maintain this aspect of who we are.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Even after being in research for close to 15 years, I'm happy to find that there will always be new things to learn on a daily basis, new ways of doing things, new challenges to tackle, whether strictly in research or in the day-to-day management of CFRA Malaysia.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
I think the degree of freedom and flexibility in conducting research, coupled with the emphasis on integrity, performance and excellence, provides a healthy working environment which encourages collaboration, analytical rigor and a continuous drive for incremental improvement, while remaining cognizant of the need for work-life balance.

“I really enjoy helping clients uncover risks in their investment decisions, and thereby save money.”

What makes CFRA special?
People…even though I don’t get to work with everyone in our office as we expand and offer more products, I truly feel we are all on the same team, working towards the same goal of keeping our clients first in all that we do, by collaborating with each other to produce the best quality products that add value to our clients.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Clients…Helping clients uncover risks in their investment decisions and thereby save money. It is really fun to uncover situations where management of public companies are trying to mislead investors.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
People…I enjoy the work that I do, but more importantly I enjoy working and collaborating with our team.

“As a smaller company, everyone at CFRA is willing to wear whatever hat is needed on any given day, and do it well.”

What makes CFRA special?
There are numerous things, but one that stands out to me is the people. As a smaller company, everyone is willing to wear whatever hat is needed on any given day and do it well. I like the relaxed atmosphere combined with the fact that everyone is willing and able to buckle down when necessary. And, I think that’s embodied in our corporate culture where integrity and excellence are the expectation.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
A couple items. First, I really am thankful to be able to apply my education directly into my work. That has not always been the case in my career. Second, I’ve really enjoyed leading the financial audit process across all of our entities with our external auditors. It’s been a great learning process and has allowed me to develop a keener understanding of our financials across the company.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
I work more closely with the senior management team on a more consistent basis. The insight into corporate strategy, goals, and performance has been welcome from a knowledge, understanding, and alignment perspective.

“The independence that we have to explore new idea generation or to do a deeper dive into research, allows for CFRA to stay ahead of financial trends.”
What makes CFRA special?
Having flexibility at CFRA allows for creativity and idea generation. We get to explore deeper dimensions while conducting research and see the unseen. The freedom I have at work is exchanged with self-discipline and independence which allows me to be inventive.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I appreciate life-long learning, which the company provides. Whether it’s a small gesture or breaking headlines, you continuously get exposed and stay sensitive to diverse perspectives, in-depth understanding and vast amount of information. It is satisfying to connect the dots and make actionable conclusions, to maneuver through the ever-changing financial world.
Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
There is no typical day here. It’s never the same and there are no rigid daily schedules to dictate what comes next. Inspiration and information come at anytime and anywhere and when it does, I let it sink in, and then I begin to filter and retrieve the essence. My highest responsibility is to meet my goals and deadline so that our clients receive that best independent research every time they read.
“Each analyst has the ability to be objective and make conclusions as he/she sees it.”
What makes CFRA special?
CFRA is independent and objective. We are not swayed by banking and trading relationships. Each analyst calls it like he/she sees it.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite part of the job is authoring thematic research. I like to find novel applications to data pertaining to my coverage universe (retail, apparel, accessories & luxury goods) and to bring a more holistic approach to investment analysis.
Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
A typical day starts out catching up on news for my coverage universe. From there, the days can diverge from updating models and authoring research notes reflecting breaking news events, to writing thematic research and Industry Surveys.
“The learning never stops. We are encouraged to explore new topics, propose new mythologies, and collaborate with one another while upholding CFRA’s core values.”
What makes CFRA special?
Employees take pride in their work and everyone has the opportunity for their voice to be heard. CFRA places emphasis on independence and integrity, keeping ethics at the forefront of the business.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Collaboration. The quantitative team is a close-knit group; we are always working together to improve our process. In addition to collaboration, my position gives me the leeway to explore an interesting topic and propose new methods to implement in our models.
Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
The benefit of quantitative research is you don’t necessarily know where your day will end up. Whether it is exploring a new method or working to improve an old process, each day can hold something difference.
“There’s not typical day here at the office! Our entrepreneurial environment is advantageous and allows for us to be client focused.”
What makes CFRA special?
The people at CFRA are great to work with, and our research is unique.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Top of my list is people, but since I’ve already mentioned that, I’ll go with the close second of the entrepreneurial nature of the job.
Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
Not really, and that’s something that I like too. Some activities happen daily, but many are client-focused or project-based, providing variation over time.
“The most rewarding part of my day is being able to build a profound relationship with our clients.”
What makes CFRA special?
CFRA has a deeply-ingrained culture of independence, analytical rigor, and intellectual curiosity. Being part of that tradition is a privilege and is a reminder, every day, of the significance of our individual and collective efforts.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Taking on board all the different inputs to our analysis, drawing conclusions, and then communicating our views to clients.
Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
The day begins with a review of our “firehose” inbox, consisting of legal filings and developments across the many lawsuits and regulatory matters we’re tracking. A Report or Alert is drafted and issued in the event of significant new developments. A portion of the day is devoted to new ideas or further research on existing situations under coverage. Perhaps the most important and gratifying component of our typical day is responding to client questions and building deeper relationships with clients.
“I am always learning something new everyday here at CFRA. The learning never stops, it only gets better.”
What makes CFRA special?
Unique and impactful research.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Always learnings something new.
Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
Mostly reading filings and associated documents.
“At CFRA, there’s an infectious intellectual
curiosity that permeates the
corporate culture.”

What makes CFRA special?
CFRA has the best corporate culture I’ve experienced in my long career, and it cascades down from the CEO to all employees. There’s a pride and a tireless purpose to be the best, but never at the expense of integrity.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite part of my job is heading analyst training. We host several training sessions each quarter on exciting topics like effective research writing, statistical analysis, valuation, and complex forensic accounting. And while we bring in external resources when needed, we have so many highly accomplished professionals and academics working at CFRA that enjoy cross-pollinating skills to other employees.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
That’s a tough question. I think one of the reasons I’ve been working as a research analyst for nearly 20 years is that every day is different.

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