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.

CFRA’s financial data provider is S&P Global Market Intelligence. THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS COPYRIGHTED AND TRADE SECRET MATERIAL DISTRIBUTED UNDER LICENSE FROM S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE. FOR RECIPIENT’S INTERNAL USE ONLY.

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.

Ahmad Halim is the Vice President of Equity Research Services at CFRA. He is responsible for a number of roles, including fundamental research and sector coverage (APAC Energy, Telecommunications, Utilities, and Healthcare), and regional equity strategy (APAC and EMEA). Ahmad is also responsible for the management and oversight of the International arm of CFRA’s Equity Research Services business, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Previously, Ahmad held the position of Senior Research Manager and Industry Analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence. Prior to joining CFRA in 2016 and S&P Global in 2008, Ahmad worked on the sell-side as an Equity Analyst at Nomura Securities and Deutsche Bank, covering a wide range of industries including utilities, transportation, plantation, properties, and oil & gas companies.

Ahmad holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from City, University of London. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Nick Rodelli is the founder and head of CFRA’s Legal Edge, an institutional investor research product focused on legal and regulatory risk.

Prior to joining the firm, Nick was a litigator and corporate governance counselor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, a Palo Alto, CA technology sector-focused law firm, and Jenner & Block in Chicago, IL, and a merger arbitrage and special situations analyst at a multi-strategy hedge fund, where he performed merger antitrust, litigation, SEC Enforcement, and regulatory risk assessments, and fundamental analysis. Nick has appeared on CNBC and has been quoted in Barron's, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and other major publications.

Nick holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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

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

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

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).

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 the Global Head of Research at CFRA, overseeing the company’s research, analytics and advisory services. Zach was formerly the Head of the Financial Institutions Research for CFRA. Prior to returning to CFRA, where he worked from 2005-2009, Zach was with Paulson & Co. and Paulson Europe where he covered financial institutions globally. He has also 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 also 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.

“I enjoy the freedom to provide independent research and provide my findings and conclusions without being influenced by other voices.”

What makes CFRA special?
The ability to provide unique, independent and actionable research across our forensic accounting, legal edge and equity research analyst teams is what truly differentiates our firm from all others. Providing views through all three lenses allows for differentiated idea generation while also offering diagnostic industry and company monitoring for risk assessment, which is unmatched in our industry.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
The freedom to provide independent research and provide my findings and conclusions without being influenced by other voices. Working with a great analytical team where insights can be cross-pollinated is also something I thoroughly enjoy and find as a major competitive advantage.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
A typical day involves doing analysis on my underlying coverage universe (an equity analyst covers on average 40-50 companies) by staying abreast on key trends, attending/listening to company events/conferences and maintaining models. Significant time is then spent on providing that research insight obtained to our consumers in a well-thought-out manner via our instant reaction research notes as well as in-depth company stock reports. The remainder of my time is spent engaging with clients, often done with presentations, by phone or person.

“At CFRA, we have the freedom to explore new and unique ideas. We have the ability to become an industry expert and show our dedication to the quality of work we deliver.”

What makes CFRA special?
Everyone at CFRA genuinely loves research, and I believe that shows in the quality of work we deliver to clients. As a smaller firm, everyone has the opportunity to share new ideas and know that those ideas are heard and considered. You feel like the work you do really matters.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I enjoy working with so many intelligent people who push me to approach ideas in new ways and always develop my skills. The environment offers a unique balance of challenge and collaboration.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
One of my favorite things about CFRA is that every day can be so different. You have the freedom to explore new and unique ideas, dig deep into specific companies, became an industry expert, and of course, the market is always changing.

“CFRA takes great pride in the quality and independence of our analysis.”

What makes CFRA special?
CFRA takes great pride in the quality and independence of our analysis, underpinned by high caliber staff and a transparent, proven and rigorous research methodology.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I like the opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from across the globe in generating investment ideas, and at the same time learning from their vast experience and knowledge in their respective fields.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
A truly friendly and warm working environment, in which everyone is focused on the tasks at hand. Even though we are located in Kuala Lumpur, the constant communications with the team in the U.S., be it quarterly updates by the CEO or weekly sharing sessions, really makes me feel a part of the team.

“I get to work with people from so many different departments and projects, that there is no typical day at the office.”

What makes CFRA special?
The company culture. Everyone is very committed to what they are doing, and it’s great to see people here get acknowledged for their work and effort.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I get to work with people from so many different departments and learn a lot from them. I also get to work on various and different projects that help me grow not only professionally but also personally.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
There are no typical days! Every day is different because there are always new challenges and projects to tackle.

“If there’s something we want to invent or do differently, it doesn’t take a lot of yesses to go from idea to implementation.”

What makes CFRA special?
We’re a small firm, and we’re entrepreneurial. If there’s something we want to invent or do differently, it doesn’t take a lot of yesses to go from idea to implementation.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Talking with clients. It’s fun to try and boil down a large amount of data on a given topic into the key points that investors need to know.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
It’s a combination of being reactive and proactive. The news flow is usually early and so I’m sifting through the stories and new data releases to see if anything merits further commentary. If it’s during one of the quarterly earnings cycles, there’s a lot of blocking and tackling to get research notes out to clients as fast as is reasonably possible and to follow that up with a stock report update. If we’re off-peak, I have more time to be thoughtful on thematic ideas that I want to bring to clients that might tie together different parts of my sector (the Energy sector).

“CFRA’s core values are what keep us dedicated to always delivering the best for our clients.”

What makes CFRA special?
The investments being made into our firm, clients, and personnel to deliver on CFRA’s goal of being the most trusted global independent investment research provider is outstanding. Being surrounded by teammates who put our clients first, focus on integrity, promote courage, and push their peers towards excellence is why I wake up every morning to compete at CFRA. We have a world class research product that has outperformed the markets over long periods of time and is backed up by audited data. Every employee is focused on keeping the fly wheel moving - ensuring each subsequent day has more velocity than the previous.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Being around people who take their internal relationships just as seriously as their external client relationships is a recurring theme across all business lines at CFRA and is what motivates me. We are a performance-based firm where you are encouraged to take risks and ownership of initiatives that will drive firm growth. There is never an idea that won’t be vetted by the executive management team if it is in the greater good of the firm.

Can you describe your typical day at CFRA?
There is no “typical day” at CFRA, but each day starts seeing the sun rise at my desk while catching up on the close of Asian markets and the open of European markets. From there, I organize client outreach before US markets open based upon new research that is being published. Once the bell rings, client meetings and calls commence as investors look to CFRA to understand complex accounting, legal and fundamental analysis. Once the closing bell rings, I re-adjust my focus to our West Coast clientele to ensure we are providing answers to tough questions and actionable insights across global markets. From Asian market open on Monday to US close on Friday – the only constant is no day is ever the same.

“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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