May 2021 IssueLong scroll reading

A decade on: Artisan Global Value (ARTGX)

By David Snowball

What they do

The managers pursue long-term growth by investing in 30-50 undervalued global stocks.  Generally, they avoid small-cap stocks but can invest up to 30% in emerging and less developed markets. The managers look for four characteristics in their investments:

  1. A high-quality business
  2. With a strong balance sheet
  3. Shareholder-focused management
  4. Selling for less than it’s worth.

The managers can hedge their currency exposure.

How they’ve done

Over the past decade, the fund has averaged 10.1% annual returns.

ARTGX has higher returns, lower volatility, and higher risk-adjusted returns (Sharpe ratio, Sortino ratio, Martin ratio, Ulcer index) than its Lipper Global Multi-Cap Value peer group. Over the past decade, it has posted the highest total return and second-highest return risk-adjusted returns in its 31-fund peer group.

The fund has earned a three-stars and a Silver analyst rating from Morningstar, as well as the equivalent of a five-star rating from MFO. The difference reflects the greater granularity of the Lipper category system that we use; they categorize ARTGX as a Global Multi-Cap Value fund while Morningstar uses World Large Cap. That’s important because the average global large-cap fund has a growth orientation and growth had been substantially outperforming value until 2020.

What we liked

From our May 2011 profile: “on whole, Artisan Global Value offers a management team that is as deep, disciplined and consistent as any around. They bring an enormous amount of experience and an admirable track record stretching back to 1997. Like all of the Artisan funds, it is risk-conscious and embedded in a shareholder-friendly culture. There are few better offerings in the global fund realm.”

The fund has steadily outperformed its global value peers, primarily by excelling during rocky markets. That’s an entirely admirable attribute from a shareholder’s perspective.

It’s a pretty concentrated fund, with a portfolio of about 35 names and an average holding period of three years. The managers are benchmark agnostic, which is reflected in a far lower-than-normal weighting in US equities at a time when US stock market prices are at all-time highs. The managers “incorporate ESG considerations in its search for sustainable growth and the compelling investment opportunities in the areas of energy efficiency, clean energy, and emissions reduction.” Morningstar gives them just middle-of-the-road grades in sustainability.

Then and now, Artisan is one of the premier advisors in the industry. They’re very good at communication, at selecting category-crushing teams, and at adapting to new challenges.

What’s changed

The fund was launched in 2007 under the leadership of David Samra and Daniel O’Keefe. Mr. Samra was the lead dog who had launched Artisan International Value in 2002 with Mr. O’Keefe as an analyst on the fund. Messrs. Samra and O’Keefe chose to divide responsibilities for the two portfolios, with Mr. Samra leaving Global in 2018. One of the two co-managers brought on in the wake of Mr. Samra’s departure resigned in January 2021.

The fund has seen pretty steady outflows since the middle of 2018, which complicates both the managers’ work and the investor’s tax bill.

The administrative stuff

Artisan Global Value has $2.3 billion in assets and an expense ratio of 1.29%. The minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Other funds we’re reviewed in the category

    Age/yrs Returns since launch, vs peer group Yield
Castle Focus MOATX 10.7 -0.9 0.40
Cook & Bynum COBYX 11.7 -3.2 0.31
Polaris Global Value PGVFX 22.8 +1.8 1.06


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About David Snowball

David Snowball, PhD (Massachusetts). Cofounder, lead writer. David is a Professor of Communication Studies at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, a nationally-recognized college of the liberal arts and sciences, founded in 1860. For a quarter century, David competed in academic debate and coached college debate teams to over 1500 individual victories and 50 tournament championships. When he retired from that research-intensive endeavor, his interest turned to researching fund investing and fund communication strategies. He served as the closing moderator of Brill’s Mutual Funds Interactive (a Forbes “Best of the Web” site), was the Senior Fund Analyst at FundAlarm and author of over 120 fund profiles. David lives in Davenport, Iowa, and spends an amazing amount of time ferrying his son, Will, to baseball tryouts, baseball lessons, baseball practices, baseball games … and social gatherings with young ladies who seem unnervingly interested in him.