Friday, November 20, 2015

Jim Stark and Eoghan Bahnson of CastleArk Small Cap Growth Fund Visited the AIM Program

Bill Walker, Jim Stark and Eoghan Bahnson
Another set of experienced equity managers visited the students in the AIM program on Friday, November 20, 2015. Jim Stark, CFA, and Eoghan Bahnson (AIM ’14) talked about the CastleArk Small Cap Growth fund.

Mr. Stark is a Vice President, Portfolio Manager, and Principal of the CastleArk Fund (  He joined the firm in 2007 and has worked within the industry since 1987. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BBA – Finance in 1983 and from Northwestern University with an MBA in Finance & Marketing in1987.  He began his career as an equity analyst at Investment & Capital Management and then joined Kemper Financial Services as a research analyst supporting the portfolio managers, two of whom were Jerry Castellini and Bob Takazawa.

In 1993, Jim joined American Century as a small cap growth portfolio manager. After 12 years managing small cap growth portfolios, Jim teamed with Greg Baxter at M&I Investment Management. In 2007, Jim and Greg reunited with Jerry and Bob to manage the small company growth portfolios for CastleArk.

Eoghan Bahnson joined CastleArk in 2014. He graduated from Marquette University with a BSBA in Economics and Finance. He covered the health care sector as a member of the AIM program.

Mr. Stark and Eoghan talked about their team’s philosophy which is based on the belief that earnings growth is the primary driver of stock prices over the long term, and that excess return can be achieved by investing in those companies with improving business fundamentals. They discussed their investment process which included how they screen for stocks, which fundamental drivers they seek, and how they value common stock. They discussed their portfolio constructions process and talked with the students about their sell discipline.

This is the 11th portfolio team to visit the AIM program this semester and discuss their investment philosophy, strategy, and process behind their fund. These presentations provide valuable investment valuation and fundamental analysis insights. The students learn from experts and attempt to apply the same discipline as their management the AIM Small Cap and International Equity Funds.

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