Institutional Strategies

Small Cap Growth

The strategy seeks U.S. common stocks of small capitalization companies. Small capitalization companies typically have market capitalizations within the range of companies in the Russell 2000® Growth Index at time of acquisition. The strategy seeks new or unseasoned companies in their early stages of development, or smaller companies positioned in new or emerging industries where the portfolio management team believes there is opportunity for higher growth than in established companies or industries.

Investment Philosophy

The team seeks to purchase successful, innovative small-cap growth companies that are pursuing large-market opportunities.

We believe common characteristics of successful small-cap growth companies are:

  • Serve large-market opportunities and/or markets growing substantially in excess of the average industry and/or the general economy
  • Leaders in their industry
  • Enduring financial model
  • Effective company management

Investment Process

The team looks for sustainable growth that it believes is highly valued in the market and driven by the following components:

  • Sales unit growth
  • Margins showing upward momentum
  • Internal cash flow generation
  • Rising ROIC

Once a company is selected, the following is monitored on a regular basis:

  • Earnings quality, financial metrics
  • Competitive trends
  • Management's ability to execute
  • Quantitative risk review

Diversification across Growth Spectrum

Throughout the portfolio construction process, the team monitors the strategy's allocation across a proprietary spectrum of types of growth companies. Any of these categories may assume market leadership, so the team strives to maintain exposure to each. The growth spectrum is comprised of four major categories: Aggressive Growth, Accelerating Growth, Consistent Growth and Out of Favor Growth.

Timothy J. Miller, CFA

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Mr. Miller is co-portfolio manager of the firm’s Small Cap Growth investment strategy. He has been affiliated with the strategy since 2010 as portfolio manager of Ivy Small Cap Growth Fund. He was appointed to the leadership role of the small cap growth team and assumed co-portfolio manager responsibilities for the Small Cap Growth strategy in 2016. He joined the firm in 2008 as vice president and portfolio manager of Ivy and Ivy VIP Small Cap Core Funds (fka Small Cap Value).

Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Miller managed his personal funds in a hedged equity style from 2004 to 2007. From 1992 through mid-2004, he was affiliated with INVESCO Funds Group, including serving four years as its chief investment officer, five years as head of the growth funds group, and from 1993-2004 as lead manager of the INVESCO Dynamics Fund.

Mr. Miller earned an MBA from the University of Missouri/St. Louis and a BSBA in Finance from St. Louis University. He is a CFA charterholder.

Kenneth G. McQuade

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Mr. McQuade is co-portfolio manager of the firm’s Small Cap Growth investment strategy. He has been affiliated with the strategy since 2006 as portfolio manager of Ivy VIP Small Cap Growth. He was named co-portfolio manager of the strategy in 2016. Mr. McQuade joined the organization in 1997 as an equity investment analyst. He was named assistant portfolio manager of small cap growth institutional accounts in 2003.

Mr. McQuade earned a BS in Finance from Bradley University.

Bradley P. Halverson, CFA

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Mr. Halverson is co-portfolio manager of the firm’s Small Cap Growth investment strategy. He has been affiliated with the strategy since 2014 as assistant portfolio manager. He was named co-portfolio manager of the strategy in 2016. Mr. Halverson joined the organization in 2008 as an equity investment analyst, providing research analysis on small capitalization securities and industries in the industrials sector.

Mr. Halverson was previously associated with Northpointe Capital as an equity analyst responsible for researching growth stocks across micro, small, and mid cap portfolios.

Mr. Halverson earned an MBA with an emphasis in Finance and Corporate Strategy from the University of Michigan and a BS and MS in Accounting from Brigham Young University. He is a CFA charterholder.

Additional Small Cap Resources

Kenneth G. Gau

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Mr. Gau is part of the firm’s broader Small Cap team. He has been a portfolio manager of the firm’s Small Cap Core investment strategy since 2014. From 2011 to August 2014 he was assistant portfolio manager of small cap growth institutional accounts. He has been affiliated with the small cap strategy since 2006. He joined the firm in 2000 as an equity investment analyst. He provided research analysis on small capitalization securities and industries in the consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors.

Mr. Gau earned an MBA from Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management and a BS in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business Administration.

John Bichelmeyer, CFA

Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Mr. Bichelmeyer is part of the firm’s broader Small Cap team. He has been portfolio manager of the firm’s Micro Cap Growth investment strategy since joining the organization in 2015.

Mr. Bichelmeyer earned a BSBA in Finance from Creighton University. He is a CFA charterholder.

3 years, 5 years, 10 years annualized. Returns are presented on a dollar-weighted basis and may be impacted by ongoing market volatility. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please inquire for more current performance information.

Total Returns1,2,3

Average Annual Total Returns as of 3/31/2018
(Returns for periods of less than 1-yr are not annualized)

  QTD  YTD 1YR 3YR 5YR 10YR
Small Cap Growth - Gross 4.90%  4.90% 22.38% 14.55% 16.64% 14.04%
Small Cap Growth - Net 4.68%  4.68% 21.35% 13.58% 15.66% 13.08%
Russell 2000 Growth Index 2.30%  2.30% 18.63% 8.77% 12.90% 10.95%

Calendar Year Returns1,2

  Small Cap Growth Gross Small Cap Growth Net Russell 2000 Growth Index
2017 25.37%  24.31%  22.17% 
2016  23.16% 22.12%  11.32%
2015 -2.47% -3.30% -1.38%
2014 4.22% 3.34% 5.60%
2013 46.81% 45.57% 43.30%
2012 12.21% 11.26% 14.59%
2011 -4.39% -5.20% -2.91%
2010 35.29% 34.17% 29.09%
2009 44.43% 43.24% 34.47%
2008 -35.32% -35.89% -38.54%

1Small Cap Growth composite is comprised of 10 accounts that had $3,091.2 million in total assets as of 3/31/18. • Composite returns are measured in U.S. dollars. Returns reflect the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings. Portfolio returns are net of all foreign reclaimable and nonreclaimable withholding taxes, if applicable. Withholding taxes are recognized on an accrual basis or cash basis depending on client and/or account type. Additional information regarding treatment of withholding taxes is available upon request. Returns shown gross of fees reflect the deduction of commissions paid, but are gross of all other expenses. Net-of-fees returns are calculated by deducting the highest applicable advisory fee from the monthly gross composite return. The actual fees paid by a client may vary based on assets under management and other factors. A client’s return will be reduced by investment management fees and other expenses incurred in the management of a client’s account. Investment advisory fees are described in Part 2 of the ADV. Investment returns and the actual value of each client account will fluctuate, and at any given time an account could be worth more or less than the amount invested. • The benchmark selected for the composite is intended to provide a method to compare the composite’s performance to an index including securities that are generally similar to those that are included in the composite. However, composite holdings (and, accordingly, risk and volatility) may differ significantly from the securities tracked by its benchmark.

2Russell Investment Group is the source and owner of the Russell Index data contained or reflected in this material and all trademarks and copyrights related thereto. The presentation may contain confidential information and unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, dissemination or redistribution is strictly prohibited. This is a presentation of Ivy Investment Management Company (IICO). Russell Investment Group is not responsible for the formatting or configuration of this material or for any inaccuracy in IICO’s presentation thereof.

3QTD return from January 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018.

Data as of 3/31/2018

10 Largest Holdings

as a % of total assets

AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. 2.90%
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. 2.30%
XPO Logistics, Inc. 2.06%
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. 2.02%
Ultimate Software Group, Inc. (The) 1.99%
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. 1.91%
Burlington Stores, Inc. 1.85%
Dycom Industries, Inc. 1.84%
John Bean Technologies Corp. 1.82%
Paycom Software, Inc. 1.80%

Sector Diversification

as a % of equity assets

Information Technology 28.08%
Industrials 21.26%
Health Care 17.97%
Consumer Discretionary 17.08%
Financials 8.30%
Energy 3.99%
Materials 1.79%
Consumer Staples 0.95%
Real Estate 0.59%

Composite Composition1

Domestic Common Stock 94.00%
Foreign Common Stock  1.44%
Cash and Cash Equivalents 4.56%

Composite Total Assets1

Assets ($M) $3,091.2
Number of Accounts 10

Supplemental data: The Small Cap Growth holdings and sector diversification data shown are 1 of the 10 composite accounts without client specific investment restrictions and may not be reflective of the Small Cap Growth composite as a whole or of any other Small Cap Growth account currently, or in the future, included in such composite. The securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for client accounts. The reader should not assume that an investment in the securities identified was or will be profitable.

Small Cap Growth composite is comprised of 10 accounts that had $3,091.2 million in total assets as of 3/31/18. • Composite returns are measured in U.S. dollars. Returns reflect the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings. Portfolio returns are net of all foreign reclaimable and nonreclaimable withholding taxes, if applicable. Withholding taxes are recognized on an accrual basis or cash basis depending on client and/or account type. Additional information regarding treatment of withholding taxes is available upon request. Returns shown gross of fees reflect the deduction of commissions paid, but are gross of all other expenses. Net-of-fees returns are calculated by deducting the highest applicable advisory fee from the monthly gross composite return. The actual fees paid by a client may vary based on assets under management and other factors. A client’s return will be reduced by investment management fees and other expenses incurred in the management of a client’s account. Investment advisory fees are described in Part 2 of the ADV. Investment returns and the actual value of each client account will fluctuate, and at any given time an account could be worth more or less than the amount invested. • The benchmark selected for the composite is intended to provide a method to compare the composite’s performance to an index including securities that are generally similar to those that are included in the composite. However, composite holdings (and, accordingly, risk and volatility) may differ significantly from the securities tracked by its benchmark.

Russell Investment Group is the source and owner of the Russell Index data contained or reflected in this material and all trademarks and copyrights related thereto. The presentation may contain confidential information and unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, dissemination or redistribution is strictly prohibited. This is a presentation of Ivy Investment Management Company (IICO). Russell Investment Group is not responsible for the formatting or configuration of this material or for any inaccuracy in IICO’s presentation thereof.

QTD return from January 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018.

As of 3/31/2018

Portfolio Managers:
Timothy J. Miller, CFA
Kenneth G. McQuade
Bradley P. Halverson, CFA

Market Update

Market volatility rose in the first quarter of 2018 as stock price sentiment was impacted by rising interest rates, concerns over a trade war with China, and regulatory fears lingering over the FANG stocks. The volatility actually affected large cap stocks more than small caps. Small cap growth outperformed for the period, with the Russell 2000 Growth Index gaining 2.3%, which also beat small cap value as earnings growth has been faster and results generally solid. Despite market gyrations, the economy and the consumer are on solid footing with favorable employment prospects, modest inflation and recent tax cuts beginning to trickle into sentiment and pocketbooks. Business sentiment as evidenced by capital spending and CEO optimism remains supportive of further economic growth.

Portfolio Review

The Ivy Investments small cap growth strategy delivered positive returns and solid outperformance relative to the index for the first quarter. Strong stock selection across Information Technology, Health Care and Consumer Discretionary was offset by headwinds primarily in Energy and to a lesser extent Industrials. Our positions in software and internet services were rewarded as smaller secular growth themes were supported by strong fundamentals and avoided the regulatory and trade war concerns of prominent large cap technology stocks. Positive stock selection within health care service providers and health care equipment industries also contributed to performance. Consumer Discretionary strength was driven by stock selection within restaurants and distributors. Energy was a detractor as the stocks continue to stubbornly underperform in spite of strength of the commodity. The portfolio’s underweight position in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industries was a modest headwind in the period.

Information Technology remains the largest weighting in the portfolio, but rotation out of certain names in IT services and communications equipment modestly reduced the overweight during the period. Within Industrials, the building products position was reduced and gains were harvested from logistics, with proceeds going into new positions in capital markets within Financials and certain service providers within Health Care. We also increased the Consumer Staples weighting with the addition of a new specialty grocer. We are vigilantly monitoring our overweight in Information Technology, primarily the valuations in software, given the recent strength of the group while noting sustained positive fundamentals. Health Care remains an underweight, primarily due to limited exposure to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

Outlook

While the economic data and outlook remain positive, the market showed some jitters in the quarter over issues such as the trade war, rising interest rates, and political turmoil. The strategy’s outperformance reflects the quality and fundamental attractiveness of the companies in the portfolio as well as both sector and industry balance that are part of the risk management process. Small stocks are also proving to be less vulnerable to the swings in ETF flows that are impacting the market. The economic tailwinds are a boost for small company growth and we remain focused on identifying the companies best positioned to deliver sustainable performance.

The opinions expressed are those of the portfolio manager(s) and are not meant as investment advice or to predict or project the future performance of any investment product. The opinions are current through March 31, 2018 and are subject to change due to market conditions or other factors. Any mention of investment performance refers to gross-of-fees performance, unless otherwise noted.
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Key Features

Composite Performance History Since 2/1/2003 
Benchmark Russell 2000 Growth Index
Style Fundamental, Growth
Target Alpha 200 bps above Index
Over full market cycles (3-5 years)
Peer Universe U.S. Small Cap Growth Equity
Typical Tracking Error 400-800 bps
Holdings Range 70-90
Max Position Size 5%
Sectors +/- 10 percentage points of the Index
Proprietary Growth Spectrum Diversification across four growth buckets: Aggressive, Accelerating, Consistent and Out of Favor
Investment Vehicles Institutional Separate Account
Collective Investment Trust
U.S. Mutual Fund: Institutional Share Class
Variable Insurance Portfolio