Johnston evolves into Hardman Johnston to reflect growth

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US-based global manager Johnston Asset Management has changed its name to Hardman Johnston Global Advisors, reflecting the role played by Cassandra Hardman, the CIO and lead portfolio manager for non-US and global equity strategies.

The firm has also upgraded its offices, in Stamford, Connecticut, and built a new website to reflect its evolutionary growth. The new site address is: www.hardmanjohnston.com. The firm has increased its assets under management from about US$1 billion to almost US$6 billion since the global financial crisis.

Hardman was one of the pioneers of concentrated portfolios earlier in her career at PCM International, an affiliate of the Prudential insurance group, and still manages to the style, favouring a tight list of quality growth names at value prices.

She became majority shareholder in the firm last year, which, with two of her female colleagues, makes it one of the few women-controlled global equity shops. Julie O’Connor, the COO, and, Nimy Kayala, portfolio analyst, are the other women who hold equity.

Richard Johnston, who founded the firm in 1985, remains a shareholder and CIO for US strategies. He said: “Having worked alongside Cassandra for over 20 years, I have the greatest respect and admiration for her, both as a portfolio manager and a person. She has been a wonderful partner to work with. Her experience in international equities and her disciplined investment approach have few equals.”

Johnston has had Australian clients, including Perpetual Investments, and an Australian representative office – Catallyst Advisors – for several years. Perpetual came on board initially in 2005 and subsequently expanded its mandate, while Catallyst Advisors, which is run by former asset consultant John Schaffer, started representing Johnston AM in 2008.

Schaffer echoed Richard Johnston’s thoughts on Hardman last week, saying: “To my mind, Cassandra is one of the world’s truly great portfolio managers. The descriptor “quiet achiever” was invented for her.  She is the antithesis of the industry’s “talking heads” who have built huge followings off their eloquence and their firms’ very strong marketing culture.  That’s not her.  As passionate as she is about finding the next “winner” and managing portfolios, she definitely brings that Buffet-like objective, dispassionate approach to stock selection, inherent in the process she introduced to the firm 20 years ago, and so important to the performance outcomes that the firm has achieved.”

Hardman said: “I am pleased to have been a part of realizing our clients’ long-term investment goals over the past twenty years. We continue to concentrate on providing strong returns to our clients as an independent boutique firm, through the focused, disciplined and repeatable investment process that’s integral to our philosophy.”

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