We believe energy infrastructure investments have many years of growth remaining. New technology is driving down costs, unlocking previously inaccessible hydrocarbons, and allowing producers to get more out of existing fields. We believe applying fundamental analysis will uncover high growth opportunities within midstream securities.
~David C. McColl, Assistant Portfolio Manager 

 


 

Producers to Ports: Capturing Growth Along the
Value Chain

The key to examining companies in the midstream sector is utilizing extensive fundamental research to identify under-priced growth opportunities. Our philosophy relies on three main tenets:

  • Go where the growth takes you - Consider the entire capital structure of all midstream entities
  • Strong management - Leadership teams with the proven ability to execute provide better opportunities for growth
  • Synergy - Companies that have well integrated assets across the value chain have the most growth potential

Adhering to our straight forward, fundamentals-based approach is how we've captured growth within midstream energy. We welcome the opportunity to share our approach with you.

 

We're looking for companies that can provide consistent and organic growth over time. Companies with strong management teams and well-positioned assets across the value chain provide the best opportunity to accomplish this.
~ William H. Bunn, CFA, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager



American Energy: Structural Inefficiencies

In our view, the pricing of securities within the midstream energy sector is inefficient. As a result, we believe insightful research should lead to opportunities for investors. 

  • The dynamics of the investment banking industry operate in our favor. Analysts covering the midstream energy sector demonstrate two biases:
    • Short-term forecasting: Sell-size analyst forecasts typically look forward only two years, a horizon that misses many long-term growth prospects.
    • Lower growth estimates: Analysts are not willing to risk their franchise on outsized growth forecasts.
  • Midstream energy is often confused with the more volatile upstream energy sector (i.e. exploration and production). A majority of contracts in the midstream sector have long-term fee arrangements (often times at fixed rates), which can eliminate commodity and completion risks.
  • Fort Washington's Midstream Energy/MLP strategy is total-return-oriented. Many participants in this space are "retail investors" whose primary investment objective is to seek income-generating assets. Consequently, the universe of buyers of growth-oriented securities is limited.   

We're in the midst of an American energy production boom. Hydrocarbons need to get to market and midstream energy assets are vital in accomplishing that.
We believe that's what is going to drive growth going forward.

~ William H. Bunn, CFA, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager

 



Navigating the US Energy Renaissance

The U.S. has always had an active oil and gas industry, but in recent years technological innovations have allowed U.S. producers to unlock previously inaccessible hydrocarbons. Much of the country’s shale basins are underserved by midstream energy infrastructure or not served at all. Substantial investments in midstream infrastructure will be required to get these hydrocarbons from producers to consumers. We believe this is going to drive growth going forward and your portfolio should be involved.

  • The United States is projected to become energy self-sufficient by 2035¹
  • Industry forecasts of oil and gas infrastructure investment over the next 12 years estimate a 10X cumulative spending increase from $87 billion in 2014 to $890 billion in 2025²
  • An allocation to midstream energy assets may fulfill important roles in an investor’s portfolio: diversification, improvement in risk-adjusted returns, income, and inflation protection

Fort Washington recently made their midstream strategy available to external clients.

This strategy has been a top-quartile performer since its inception. We’re excited to be able to share our knowledge and experience of midstream energy.³
~ Steve Kreider, PhD, CFA, Chief Investment Officer

¹ IEA (2013a), World Energy Outlook 2013, OECD/IEA, Paris.
² IHS, Oil and Natural Gas Transportation and Storage Infrastructure: Status, Trends and Economic Benefits, December 2013.
³ eVestment Alliance, LLC ease Analytics. Benchmark: Alerian MLP Index. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Midstream/MLP investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.




Investment Team

William H. Bunn, CFA
Senior Portfolio Manager

Bill Bunn is a Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager responsible for the Midstream Energy/MLP strategy. Bill has followed Midstream Energy for over two decades as a fixed income analyst, equity analyst, and portfolio manager.

Bill joined the firm in 1991 from Standard & Poor’s in New York, where he spent five years analyzing utilities and telecommunications companies. Prior to S&P, Bill worked at the Chase Manhattan Bank as a lending officer to the utility industry.

Bill received a BS in Environmental Administration from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from the University of Virginia. He is a CFA charterholder.

John A. Wieging, CFA
Assistant Portfolio Manager

John Wieging is an Assistant Portfolio Manager for the Midstream Energy/MLP strategy. He has been covering energy and utilities for over 10 years.

John joined the firm in 1999. Prior to joining Fort Washington, he was with Star Bank (now US Bancorp) where he was a portfolio manager and equity analyst. Prior to that, he was an equity analyst at Fifth Third Bank where he was focused on mid-cap stocks. John has been in the investment management industry since 1994.

John received a BBA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University with a concentration in finance and economics. He is a CFA charterholder.

David C. McColl
Assistant Portfolio Manager

David McColl is an Assistant Portfolio Manager for the Midstream Energy/MLP strategy. He is responsible for analyzing companies' financial conditions, industry trends, future prospects, and providing investment recommendations. He has over 10 years of experience in the energy space.

David joined the firm in 2014. Prior to joining Fort Washington, David was a Senior Equity Analyst at Morningstar, Inc. He served as an industry expert for the Oil & Gas team. Before Morningstar, he worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York as a Research Analyst on the Canadian Oil & Gas team and acted as the key oil sands analyst. David also was the Research Director for the Canadian Energy Research Institute and the Founder of DCM Energy Associates, an energy consultancy firm.

David is from Canada; he received a Master of Arts in Economics in 2004 from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts in 2003 from the University of Waterloo.

Jonathan P. Westerman, CFA
Credit and Equity Research Analyst

Jonathan Westerman is a member of the Fort Washington Global Credit and Midstream Energy/MLP investment teams. Jon has fundamental research and portfolio management responsibilities for the firm’s investment grade credit investments in the Midstream Energy and Utility sectors as well as equity investments in the firm’s Midstream Energy/MLP strategy. 

Jon joined the firm in 2012, initially serving as an analyst supporting the portfolio management team responsible for all of the firm’s diversified fixed income and institutional balanced portfolios. In this role, Jon developed and maintained quantitative models to analyze, recommend, and monitor allocations to asset classes and sectors across multiple portfolios and strategies. Jon also modeled and executed portfolio duration trades (US Treasuries and interest rate derivatives) to shift or maintain interest rate exposure objectives across multiple fixed income portfolios. 

Prior to joining Fort Washington, Jon served in various roles within Fort Washington’s parent company, Western & Southern Financial Group, most recently as member of a four person team responsible for conducting due diligence and recommending investments in private credit and hedge funds for Western & Southern. 

Jon began his career as an Associate in the Risk Assurance practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he was responsible for planning and executing risk advisory and audit services for public and private clients across multiple industries, including Energy and Utilities. 

Jon received a BS in Accounting and Decision Science & Information Systems (magna cum laude) from the University of Kentucky and an MBA, Finance from Xavier University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CFA charterholder.

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