Mike Tian – Moat Trajectories and Investing in China at WCM (Capital Allocators, EP.212)
Three years ago, Paul Black from WCM Investment Management joined me on the show for a very popular conversation. At the time, WCM managed $25 billion in global growth equities out of the limelight in Laguna Beach, CA. Last year, I had a second conversation with WCM with Mike Trigg, the Portfolio Manager of its Focused Growth International strategy. Mike discussed the colorful history of the firm and its research to identify businesses with widening moats and cultures aligned with their competitive advantage. Both shows are available on the feed.
Well, in the last three years, WCM has continued to excel and defy the headwinds of active management. Their $25 billion in assets under management three years ago has grown to around $100 billion today.
Today’s show is, in effect, the third meeting with WCM. My guest is Mike Tian, Portfolio Manager and Analyst at WCM, where he oversees the firm’s emerging markets strategy and thinks deeply about moat trajectories.
Our conversation begins with Mike’s definition of moats and assessment of moat trajectories, using Visa as an example. We then turn to his application of moat trajectory analysis in China, including the value of heavy industries, analysis of culture, consumer preferences, risk, and some investment examples along the way. We close with Mike’s thoughts on the moat trajectory of WCM itself.
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