Morningstar Advisor - December 2010/January 2011 - (Page 54)

Undiscovered Manager What Fires Up Mairs & Power By Daniel Culloton and Josh Koeck Homegrown stocks and talent drive the Minnesota firm’s long-term success. When Glenn Johnson first interviewed for a job at Mairs & Power, one of the partners at the St. Paul, Minn., investment firm asked whether he minded being a generalist. Not at all, replied Johnson. He’d covered a variety of sectors in 20 years as an analyst and manager in Twin Cities wealthmanagement outfits. But that wasn’t what Johnson’s interrogator meant; he wanted to know whether Johnson would mind painting walls, making coffee, and taking out the trash. The exchange may have been a joke. But it reveals a lot about Mairs & Power. You don’t go there to be a rock-star fund manager. Indeed, though the firm has been around for nearly 80 years and has almost $4 billion under management, its investment professionals are hardly household names, and they don’t want to be. They are there because they share the firm’s affinity for frugality, humility, diligence, and patience and its passion for long-term investing and Midwestern stocks, particularly those located near its Minnesota home. Deliberate and Provincial Money may never sleep on Wall Street, but 1,200 miles away, in offices overlooking the Mississippi River, Mairs & Power moves at a languid, some might say somnolent, pace. It has launched just two mutual funds since George Mairs Jr. founded the firm in 1931. Portfolio turnover at both Mairs & Power Growth MPGFX and Mairs & Power Balanced MAPOX is lower than some index funds, and personnel turnover isn’t much higher. The firm does virtually nothing to promote or market itself, and as recently as 2002, both 54 Morningstar Advisor December/January 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - December 2010/January 2011

Morningstar Advisor - December 2010/january 2011
New on
Letter From the Editor
What Strategies Do You Use to Help Retirees Hedge Against Longevity Risk?
Investment Briefs
Four Picks for the Present
Scaring the Swiss
Tech Is the Apple of Managers’ Eyes
How to Read an Sec Filing
A Strategy That Loves Performance Chasers
Things Fall Apart, Even in Industrials
A Future in Questions, Not Answers
Research Over Chocolates
Creating Portfolios That Confront Retirement’s Risks
Building in-Retirement Portfolios to Last
On the Lookout for Guaranteed Income Streams
What Fires Up Mairs & Power
All Aboard!
Aiming at Alternatives
Stuff Your Stocking with Out-of-Favor Bargains
Stable, High Yields (No Bonds Included)
Mutural Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks with Wide Moats
Twelve Bee, Huh?

Morningstar Advisor - December 2010/January 2011