Eccles School alum Burton Flynn started his finance career as a humble business student working in the Student Investment Fund, an undergraduate investment experience in fund management. Now, as a CFA and managing partner at Terra Nova Capital, Evli Group, Flynn has graduated from the $700,000 SIF portfolio and manages the Evli Emerging Frontier Fund.
Flynn and his colleague Ivan Nechunaev, appearing in the Bloomberg article “Working in 12 Markets in 12 Months Puts Stock Picking to Test,” worked on a project to prove that research and stock picking can lend solid returns. This was no ordinary research project, as it involved a significant amount of travel, too. In fact, Burton and Ivan lived in 12 countries over 12 months to study the investment strategies of research and stock picking.
As they shared their travel experiences, Flynn and Nechunaev highlighted the importance of finding untapped emerging markets that can only be discovered through direct contact. The advantage to this approach is that Hong Kong or New York offices can easily pass over hidden gems, and their unconventional strategy has paid off, too.
The Bloomberg article highlights the success of the two traveling fund managers, reporting that the “19 stocks selected in the first six months of the journey have contributed 8.8 percentage points to the fund’s performance during the period.” Within eight months, the two realized even bigger profits with a 10% return on the $81 million fund. This stems from contact with over 500 companies and its executives in countries such as the Philippines, Egypt, Argentina, and Thailand.
Immense amounts of valuable data stem from this kind of hands-on contact, and clearly the investment in time and money is paying off for the Evli Emerging Frontier Fund. At the same time, the fund managers asked questions surrounding environmental, social and governance topics and collected data surrounding ESG practices. The scope of markets has certainly expanded horizons for the Eccles alum and his investment partner, who should both be proud of the miles covered, countries visited, profits earned, networks built, and experiences lived.