Investing in the lesser known leads to advantages in High Yield

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Excerpt of Money Managers Interview from The Wall Street Transcript

Sector — General investing

TWST: Could you tell me about the firm?
Mr. Sydow:
Mesirow is an independent financial services firm that has been in business for 83 years. We’re based in Chicago, with 19 offices located around the world. We are an entrepreneurial firm — and with 100% of voting shares held by employees, our interests are aligned with those of our clients. We would like to think we do a pretty darn good job of sustainable investing, and we have a strong commitment to corporate responsibility, with particular focus on sustainability and community engagement. I joined the firm three years ago, and those are the reasons I joined.

TWST: And is there an overarching investment philosophy at the firm?
Mr. Sydow:
Well, each of the different asset groups is given a lot of latitude. I would say the most overarching thing about all of our strategies is that we do attempt to be very distinguishable from the very, very large managers. We kind of have to be, and that’s how we choose to be.

Most of the strategies, I would say, have a preference for small- and mid-cap issuers. I know we certainly do within the high-yield and leveraged loan department, where I am the chief investment officer.

TWST: Do you target mostly institutional investors?
Mr. Sydow:
As for the firm as a whole, 95% of our assets under management are institutional and in our group—the high-yield group—that number is 100%.

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