|Rick Imperiale, Dylan Harkness and Dr. David Krause|
Rick Imperiale, the President & Chief Investment Officer of Uniplan, visited the AIM classroom today and talked about his firm’s approach to micro-cap investing. He presented ideas for stock screening and approaching the process of conducting primary research on micro cap stocks.
He founded Uniplan in 1984 and has been the lead portfolio manager for the Uniplan REIT Strategy since its launch in 1988. He started investing in REITs in 1984 and with more than 30 years in financial services, Rick is one of the most experienced investors in alternative asset strategies. In 1999 he founded the Uniplan Micro Cap fund – which invests primarily in companies with market capitalizations under $500 million. It has a ‘value with catalyst’ focus concentrating on stocks with low relative P/E ratios; low relative price-to-free cash flows; and low leverage relative to peers.
After graduating from Marquette University, Rick got his start in financial services as a Credit Analyst at First Wisconsin Bank in 1980. The credit scoring models he built for evaluating companies still serve as the basis for some of the quantitative models Uniplan uses today. In 1982, Rick moved to Ziegler, an investment bank, where he served as a Corporate Analyst. Initially, his focus was on financial models that would help project how changes to specific variables would be likely to influence a company’s income statement and balance sheet.
Rick was asked to join a new project at the investment bank involving the creation and management of a hedged municipal bond fund. While he was managing the fund, Rick developed his formative ideas for measuring relative values of securities based on spreads. The REIT Strategy was the first of three alternative asset strategies that Rick has successfully managed at Uniplan. Over the course of his career, he has been a pioneer in the analysis of alternative asset classes and authored two books on the topic, including Real Estate Investment Trusts: New Strategies for Portfolio Management. He is also the author of Author of The Micro Cap Investor: Strategies for Making Big Returns in Small Companies. He leads a team of 9 investment professionals with more than 150 years of total investment experience.