CHAPTER 4: On the Shoulders of Value Giants


William Browne

Tweedy, Browne Company

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.

George Washington

William Hetherington Browne is a managing director and portfolio manager at Tweedy, Browne Company LLC. Founded in 1920, the company started life as a brokerage firm, then changed its business model in 1959 and began managing capital according to Benjamin Graham’s value investing philosophy. In 1997, the estate planning needs of its partners prompted the firm to sell a 70 percent stake to the Affiliated Managers Group.

Working at Tweedy, Browne since 1978, Browne now has more than 40 years of investment experience. Managing directors Browne, John D. Spears, Thomas H. Shrager, and Robert Q. Wyckoff Jr. are responsible for the firm’s $12.6 billion in assets under management.

At the end of 2011, approximately $6.6 billion of that amount was in managed portfolios for individuals, partnerships, and institutions. The remaining $6 billion was in offshore funds and four mutual funds. Both the employees and directors of Tweedy, Browne “eat their own cooking,” with approximately $626 million of their own money invested in the company’s own investment products.

Managing mutual funds since 1993, Tweedy, Browne currently offers the Value Global Fund, Value Global Fund II (currency ...

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