Vladimir de Vassal, co-manager of the Glenmede Large Cap Core and Glenmede Large Cap Growth, actively manages on the basis of data run through numerous models that he has developed and constantly evolved over the course of his career. The Large Cap Core fund has beat the S&P 500 in eight of the last 10 years, producing an average annual return of 8.8% (better than 96% of its peers). “A lot of our outperformance,” de Vassal says, “comes not just from identifying stocks likely to outperform, but from criteria that focuses on what not to own.”
The active management approach is important, de Vassal suggests. He found that the various factors commonly relied upon – P/E ratios, etc. – should be used in a nuanced way because some factors are more or less relevant to various sectors at different times. In an interview with Barron’s, the manager states that “our goal is to diversify idiosyncratic risk”. The funds are composed of no more than 2% of any one stock. Past decisions show that de Vassal has successful gotten ahead of the market in both buying and selling stocks shortly before significant changes in value. The Large Cap Growth fund is based on 40 different models, but de Vassal emphasizes that analysts are necessary to make the distinctions between which information is most relevant in which sectors and when.