Friday, November 11, 2016

CastleArk's Small Cap Growth Manager, Jim Stark, Spoke to the AIM Students This Week

Jim Stark of CastleArk Small Cap Growth Fund Visited the AIM Program on Friday, November 11

Dr. Krause and Jim Stark of CastleArk
Another highly regarded small cap equity manager – Jim Stark, CFA - visited the students in the AIM program on Friday, November 11, 2016. Mr. Stark is a Vice President, Portfolio Manager, and Principal of the CastleArk Fund (  

Jim Stark and Andy Krueger
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.
An AIM alumnus, Eoghan Bahnson, joined CastleArk in 2014 and works with Jim Stark on the small cap growth fund. He graduated from Marquette University with a BSBA in Economics and Finance – and he covered the health care sector as a member of the AIM program.

Bill Walker and Jim Stark in the AIM Room

Mr. Stark talked about their investment 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. He discussed their investment process which included how they screen for stocks, which fundamental drivers they seek, and how they value common stock. In addition, Mr. Stark discussed their portfolio constructions process and talked with the students about their sell discipline. He also covered many of their existing holdings.

Dr. Krause, AIM program director said, “This is the 12th portfolio manager to visit the AIM program this semester and discuss the 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.”