Global small-cap manager looks past the big picture

Cambridge Growth Companies' Greg Dean favours businesses that are growing even when the economy isn't.

Michael Ryval 21 September, 2017 | 5:00PM

In scanning the global universe of stocks, small-cap specialist Greg Dean argues that smaller companies that outperform the market are less reliant on macro events and tend to control their own fortunes.

"Typically, it's not so much that they do well in great times, but those businesses that are in control of their destinies suffer less in bad times," says Dean, a 10-year industry veteran and principal at Cambridge Global Asset Management who manages the $375-million CI Cambridge Growth Companies Corporate Class. "There are a few reasons for that. Because they operate in industries with less regulation, they are less susceptible to things like interest-rate pressures or political intervention. Call them left-field risks that can come out of nowhere."

A bottom-up stock picker, Dean looks for firms that do not rely on exogenous factors to succeed. "They are small, but through organic growth and acquisitions they can execute well." He points, for example, to TransForce Inc. (TFII), which has 5% market share of the North American truckload-shipping market yet has been able to grow through acquisition and internal growth. "They could double in size and would still not be very big."

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc Class B45.75 CAD0.66
TFI International Inc51.20 CAD-1.02

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Michael Ryval

Michael Ryval  

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