Ankur Crawford Call Transcript
Ankur Crawford: Really good question. I would say, first of all, our research process and our team dynamic are no different than before. What has been incredibly surprising is how seamless this process has been. It is remarkable that all of us are sitting at home right now. That’s another kind of shout out to the technological advances that we’ve made over that last 10 years. Had this happened even five years ago, I think the economy would be in a completely different spot. In terms of the research, it’s funny because the core of our research has been changing. We’re still doing the same processes we do, including customer calls, talking to the management. For a duration of April, May, June, July, that time, managements were actually very proactive because they themselves didn’t know what was going on in their businesses. They were proactively doing update calls. Mastercard and Visa were updating their viewpoints every few weeks just to let people know what was going on because it was a very confusing time. There are several managements and several sectors that had been doing that. We did get more information than management usually allows for us to have mid quarter. Additionally, they would publicly state their numbers in terms of how the month to month was trending. In terms of management access, it has been quite interesting because it does make me question all the travel that was required to get that management access sometimes, whether it was going to conferences in Florida or California or wherever they might be in order to meet with management teams. It is interesting that we are able to get the same access on Zoom. What we do miss is I personally know a lot of these management teams from my years of covering the stocks and interfacing with them on a face-to-face basis. I don’t know how one can build a relationship with any of them and truly understand the person that they are to lead the business, the culture that they carry if you’re not having some face-to-face interaction. That is yet to
be seen, I think. But for the most part, management teams have been accessible.
They actually prefer it since they don’t have to go anywhere to meet with us; they don’t have to socialize with any of the investors or answer these questions over and over again in a hotel room. You know what you see around the hotel desk at a hotel room and they keep answering questions and at the end of the day they’re completely bored. But a lot of them are appreciating the fact that they can reach investors in a way that’s less difficult. I do think there’s going to be some real change in our industry. It does make you question how efficient we can be or how inefficient we might have been. Dennis Hearns: You know I always like to conclude with this last question. We often hear from investors who ask whether it is a good time to invest in larger caps. Why now, why Alger and why your funds? index was composed of businesses that weren’t necessarily growing. I mean there are more mature businesses. They were good businesses. They were growing. But they were businesses that were slower growth and often mature. And our product cycle was rewarded handsomely oftentimes like with Apple in the early 2000s. When there was a new product cycle that drove growth, that was very exciting for large cap investors. This time and I hate to say it this way because someone’s going to be like everyone says that this time might be different because large caps are at the center of the change that we see. I mean, what business could have built a cloud business within a course of five to eight years? The amount of capital and prowess like intelligence and engineering prowess that is required, it can really only come from a large cap company. Ankur Crawford: I’ll start with why large cap. If you look at the large cap landscape call it 20 years ago, the
Conference Call 9/11
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