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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Men With Hats

by: Tony Pennino

What's it like running a smaller mutual fund shop? For the principals of Jensen Investment Management that means deciding on investment strategies, talking with media, taking care of payroll, and making the coffee. And that is just how they like it.

"Most of our team is not from the brokerage industry. We came to Jensen having run businesses," Bob Millen, principal, told the MutualFundWire.com at SunStar/Quasar press briefing held today at the Inter-Continental Hotel in New York City. "I come from 15 years in banking and another 10 years in the insurance business. One of our other principals has a Ph.D. in Chemistry."

"We spend time, of course, working on portfolio management. But we also spend our time speaking with our clients as well people in the industry and the media. We work on the marketing aspects of the business. There is a lot to do, but by staying involved in all aspects of the firm, it helps us stay focused on the clients' needs," Millen continued.

"And we see our business as investing in other businesses, not in buying and selling stock. Our story is a simple one. We help our clients build wealth and protect that wealth. We look to protect them from business risk and from pricing risk," the executive added.

And the firm is working hard to get its message out. "Our people have been speaking on television. We have had interviews on CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN. But we do turn down interviews. We won't speak on how the market did today. We will talk about our companies and their long range prospects. But we are not interested in forecasting the marketplace," added Robert Zaguins, also a principal at the firm.

The firm looks to invest in companies that have "outstanding business performance" in each one of the last ten years, strong debt-to-capital ratings, and have a strong position against their competition. Zaguins explained that that limited the potential universe to about 110 companies. Jensen will also only invest in companies that are priced below what the firm considers their intrinsic value. Equities could be sold when business performance falls below certain pre-selected standards or when the price exceeds the intrinsic value.

The firm is located in Portland, Oregon. For more information on Jensen, you can follow this link

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