Flexible. Patient. Sensitive. Those might sound like adjectives from a Match.com listing, but they're terms Morningstar analyst Dan Lefkovitz uses to describe Artisan International fund manager Mark Yockey. Yockey, who has helmed the portfolio since 1996, has made a name for himself by finding long-term growth stories across developed and emerging markets.
He closely studies global trends like demographic changes, infrastructure development, increasing privatization, and the surge in outsourcing to unearth catalysts that could spark corporate earnings growth or high levels of free cash flow. At the same time, Yockey is sensitive to valuations, using a variety of metrics to make sure he's not overpaying.
Those themes and price concerns result in a portfolio of some 90 stocks based anywhere from Canada to Qatar. (European stocks make up roughly 60% of the fund; companies in emerging markets account for about 20%.) One recent addition: In the third quarter of this year, Yockey picked up Spanish telecom leader Telefónica, which serves some 220 million customers in Europe. It was a call that paid off quickly: The stock has soared more than 40% since the beginning of July, helping the fund post an impressive 23% gain over the past 12 months.
With stock-picking successes like that, it's no wonder the fund has gained more than 15% a year over the past decade, whipping the MSCI EAFE foreign index by six percentage points. That makes Artisan International a real world-beater -- and puts Yockey well on his way to becoming an Old Master.