Neil J. Hennessy is portfolio manager and chief investment officer at Hennessy Funds, where he personally manages or co-manages the following funds: Cornerstone Growth Fund, Cornerstone Mid Cap 30 Fund, Cornerstone Large Growth Fund, Cornerstone Value Fund, Total Return Fund and Balanced Fund.

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He has more than three decades of financial industry experience. Neil began his career as a financial advisor, and in 1989 he opened his own broker-dealer firm. In 1996, Neil founded his own asset management firm and launched his first mutual fund. Neil has a successful history acquiring asset-management companies and starting mutual funds, and today he oversees the entire family of Hennessy Funds.

Neil is a recognized and respected asset manager, ranking among Barron's Top 100 Mutual Fund Managers for many years, and he is a frequent guest/contributor in national financial media. Neil’s unique strength comes from employing a consistent and repeatable investment process, and combining time-tested, stock selection strategies with a highly disciplined management style. Neil leads his investment team to manage portfolios for the sole benefit of their shareholders, never straying from this core value.

Neil graduated from the University of San Diego and the Wharton School of Upper Management through the SIA.

I spoke with Neil at the Schwab IMPACT conference on November 16.

Please give me an overview of your fund company. Where do you see yourself positioned, particularly with respect to advisors?

We manage 14 mutual funds. We have 350,000 shareholders and 19,000 RIAs who participate with us, and we are a publicly traded company at the same time, all with 19 employees.

We’ve had to think outside the box. Just like the RIA community, when you are small you ask, “How do you go up against the big boys?” At the start, we didn’t have the money to hire wholesalers, so our feeling was if we hired a PR firm to wholesale us to the media, they could write an article about one of our funds like a third-party endorsement. Over the years we’ve continued to do this, so you will see the Hennessy name often in national TV, radio or print media. We don’t advertise. We don’t compete with the RIA community because we have only our 14 mutual funds. We don’t do any institutional accounts. We don’t do SMA’s. We don’t do individual accounts. Our 14 clients are just those mutual funds.

Eight of the 14 are quantitative funds, so you know how the money is being managed. We have two that are managed in-house and are financial funds, run by Dave Ellison, the most tenured guy on the street in the financial arena. We have by far the two best performing Japan funds for a long, long time, sub-advised by SPARX Asset Management Co. Ltd. Broadrun, based in London, runs two of our other funds.

By Robert Huebscher, read the full article here.