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Rating:Browne Leaves Tweedy Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Browne Leaves Tweedy

Reported by Meredith Mazzilli

Chris Browne of Tweedy, Browne stepped down from his role as managing director on Wednesday. The prominent value manager, 64, had been with the firm for 40 years, and he served as one of five managing directors of the firm's management and investment committee as well as chairman of the Tweedy, Browne mutual fund group. He will serve as a senior advisor while retaining his interest in the firm.

Browne pointed to the health issues he dealt with over the past two years as a "wake-up call." Those issues, he said, are now mostly resolved.

Chris Browne

Tweedy, Browne spokesperson Hedda Nadler-Hurvich told The MFWire that Browne's day-to-day analytical and portfolio management duties will be absorbed by the remaining four managing directors of the firm: his brother Will Browne, Thomas Shrager, John Spears and Robert Wyckoff, Jr.

There are no immediate plans to make any new additions to the management team, Hadler-Hurvich said.

"This has been a difficult decision for me, but in the past two years I have had to deal with some personal health issues, and there are other things I want to accomplish with the rest of my life," Browne said in a statement Thursday.

"While my health issues are now mostly resolved, I took this as a wake up call about the fragility of life," he added. "I am confident that the investment professionals we have assembled will do a great job going forward--so confident that I am leaving virtually all of my personal investments with the firm."

Browne joined the company in 1969, and became a partner five years later. He and his brother are the second generation of Brownes to work at the firm. Their father, Howard Browne, was a partner from 1943 to 1980.

Browne in 2006 authored the book The Little Book of Value Investing.

"Most value people end up rich -- they do," Browne told InvestmentNews in a May 1999 interview. "They end up rich. Before they sell out. Us. Michael Price. Mario Gabelli. Warren Buffett. Walter Schloss. Bill Ruane. Everybody's rich. By compounding away at not hedge fund expectation rates."

Asked for his message to those who proclaim that value was dead, he replied: "It prevents you from participating in the mania. You have to forgo those profits but it also keeps you away when the police raid the party. You're outside watching. You missed all the fun but you also missed going to jail. Some people will have left the party before the police show up, but most won't."
Company Press Release

Christopher Browne Takes a Step Back from Day-to-Day Portfolio Responsibilities at Tweedy, Browne The Managing Directors of investment manager, Tweedy, Browne, William H. Browne, Thomas H. Shrager, John D. Spears and Robert Q. Wyckoff, Jr. announced today that, effective July 29, 2009, Christopher H. Browne has stepped down from his day-to-day analytical and portfolio responsibilities as a member of the Firm’s Management and Investment Committees. Mr. Browne will retain his equity interest in the Firm and will continue to serve the Firm in his new capacity as a Senior Advisor. "This has been a difficult decision for me, but in the past two years I have had to deal with some personal health issues, and there are other things I want to accomplish with the rest of my life,” said Browne. “While my health issues are now mostly resolved, I took this as a wake up call about the fragility of life. I am confident that the investment professionals we have assembled will do a great job going forward — so confident that I am leaving virtually all of my personal investments with the Firm."

Commenting on Browne’s decision, Will Browne stated, "My brother, Chris, has made an immeasurable contribution to our investment team here at Tweedy, Browne. While we will miss Chris’ day-to-day involvement, we respect his decision and are looking forward to his advice and counsel in the years to come."

Chris joined Tweedy, Browne after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969, and became a partner of the Firm in 1974. His tenure at Tweedy spans some 40 years during which time Tweedy, Browne evolved from being a rather small investment advisor managing U.S. equities for high net worth individuals to a firm that today invests approximately $9 billion in assets globally for individuals, institutions and family groups from all over the world.

He, and his brother, Will, are the second generation of Brownes to work at Tweedy, Browne, following in the footsteps of their father, Howard Browne. As a partner of the Firm between 1943 and 1980, Howard Browne served both as an investment manager for clients and as a broker and market maker for such legendary value investors as Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett.

Today, Tweedy, Browne is managed by its four Managing Directors whose tenure at the Firm ranges from 18 to 35 years. As a group, together with retired partners and their families and the employees, they have over $600 million invested at the Firm in portfolios similar to, or combined with client portfolios. They are supported by nine securities analysts who on average have spent over 9 years at the Firm. "We have assembled what I believe is one of the best professional money management groups in the industry," said Chris Browne. "Just as my father and his partners entrusted the future of Tweedy to my generation, I would like to begin that process again. The Firm has an excellent reputation for honesty and placing the interests of our clients ahead of our own. I am confident that the current group of partners who have spent collectively over 100 years at Tweedy, Browne will continue that reputation into the future for many years to come. As my father once said, it can take fifty years to build a reputation, but only five minutes to destroy it." 

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