Jim is passionate about mentorship and investing. As the Founder of Saguaro Capital Management, he lives these passions daily.
Jim was previously a Principal and Portfolio Manager at Vulcan Value Partners. With the Senior Investment Team, he was responsible for portfolio management, coverage of both portfolio and watch list names, and seeking out new investment opportunities. He also co-developed and co-led Vulcan’s internship and associate analyst programs. Additionally, Jim initiated and led the development of Vulcan’s AI and Machine Learning capabilities. A five-year effort, this project significantly increased Vulcan’s research productivity and opened the door for revolutionary new products in the future. He also has experience with Notre Dame’s Investment Office and Devotion Capital Management (previously Schacht Value Investors).
Before Equity Research, Jim was a humanitarian worker in the Middle East/North Africa region. Starting as an English teacher in Jordan, he taught over 800 students and finished by helping run a training center that educated over 1,500 students per year. His team of fourteen was on the ground during the Arab Spring and helped build a network for international aid efforts in Egypt and Libya.
Jim is a CFA® Charterholder and earned his MBA in Investments from the University of Notre Dame. He also holds an MDiv in Theology and a BA as a University Scholar from Baylor University.
Married with four energetic kids, Jim loves science fiction, history, long walks, chess, and Baylor Football.
Bryan was previously an Associate Analyst at Vulcan Value Partners. He spent three years in various equity-related analytical roles to support coverage of names in both the portfolio and on the watchlist. Bryan was also the primary instructor for Vulcan’s Intern and Associate Analyst training programs. Feeling a desire to serve his fellow man more directly, Bryan left Vulcan in the summer of 2019 to attend a vocational ministry school, Highlands College.
During his two years at Highlands College, Bryan dedicated his time to building relationships with families living in the public housing projects of Birmingham, AL and Los Angeles, CA. He is passionate about mentoring at-risk youth and teaching the principles of financial literacy to everyone. At Saguaro, Bryan will be empowered to continue this critical outreach, and we hope to amplify his impact.
Bryan is a CFA® Charterholder and has a BS in Commerce & Business Administration with a major in Finance and a concentration in Insurance from the University of Alabama. He also received an Advanced Certificate of Ministry and Leadership from Highlands College.
Bryan also loves board games, hiking, ultimate frisbee, and disc golf.
Tyler has a Ph.D. in Applied Statistics from the University of Alabama. His dissertation is on Statistical Applications to Finance. He is currently working on applying model-based clustering to public equity data for portfolio selection.
Previously, Tyler was a Data Scientist at Vulcan Value Partners. He was primarily responsible for predictive modeling of text and time-series data but also spearheaded Vulcan’s Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision efforts. Tyler’s processes and trained algorithms were successfully tested in hypothetical portfolios and continue to aid Vulcan’s human research productivity. Tyler left Vulcan in May 2021 to return full-time to his Ph.D. program.
Tyler also did a large project for Crazy Cazboy’s, a start-up internet discount retailer (They titled him Interim Chief Data Science Officer). He created a machine learning toolkit for processing new inventory. Additionally, he built the predictive modeling pipeline and cross-trained permanent members of the company. Tyler has an MS in Applied Statistics from the University of Alabama, and a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Tyler received his PhD from the University of Alabama, has an MS in Applied Statistics from the University of Alabama, and a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Tyler is passionate about passing his love of technology to the next generation, enjoys most forms of outdoor recreation, lives to beat Bryan at board games, and is very committed to English soccer.
Before joining Saguaro, Bryan worked as an Investment Analyst for a single-family office called North Nelson. At North Nelson, he researched public equities in addition to conducting diligence on hedge funds and long-only managers. He graduated from Bentley University in 2018 as a Finance major. During college, he had two internships for value-oriented investment firms. The first was a remote internship with a startup microcap fund called Askeladden Capital where he got his start researching companies and evaluating them for portfolio inclusion. The second was with Vulcan Value Partners in 2017, where he received mentorship from Jim and Bryan.
Bryan has a B.S. in Finance from Bentley University.
Bryan is enthusiastic about mentoring the next generation of value investors. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, basketball, frisbee, and listening to podcasts.
Eager to kickstart his career in the investment industry, Jonathan left his role as an associate banker at J.P. Morgan Chase and volunteered to join the team in February 2022 as an unpaid intern, three months ahead of his scheduled summer internship with Saguaro. Jonathan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2023 with a double major in Finance and Accounting. During his time at ASU, Jonathan joined the Student Investment Management Club, managing over $1.3 million of the school’s endowment, as well as the Investment Banking Industry Scholars program. During his senior year, Jonathan along with four friends competed in the annual CFA challenge and received the first-place award for the Desert region. Having spent his formative years in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, Jonathan has developed a passion for travel and a skill for making friends around the world.
In his free time, Jonathan enjoys exploring new cooking recipes, attending exotic car shows, and spending quality time with his family.
Andy has over a decade of experience building and leading high-performance organizations. Andy joined team Saguaro in the Fall of 2023 with a vision to take the firm’s excellence to the next level. During his twelve-year run as the Executive Director of the non-profit he co-founded, he was responsible for shaping and executing firm-wide growth strategies. His tenure saw their staff grow 6x and their budget grow almost 20x, all with a high-output culture marked by exceptionally low turnover. Eager to expand his business acumen, he went back to school in 2020 to earn his MBA with academic honors from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. In 2021, he was recruited for and successfully led a turnaround effort for the K-8 private school that his children currently attend. With a passion for teamwork, a commitment to excellence, and a track-record of results in the non-profit sector, Andy’s operational and leadership savvy will be an invaluable asset to the Saguaro team.
Andy received his MBA with a concentration in Strategy and Organizational Leadership from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He has a BA in Secondary Education and History from Boston College.
In his free time, Andy enjoys playing golf, listening to books about business and leadership, and spending time with his beautiful wife and 5 children.
Leah Bennett, CFA has been the President of Westwood Wealth Management(a division of the publicly traded Westwood Holdings) since 2018. Her division is focused on serving high-net-worth clients and nonprofits with comprehensive financial solutions. She also oversees the Westwood Select investment strategy, a tax-managed investment strategy offering the best ideas across Westwood; as well as High Alpha, an investment strategy focused on maximizing returns; and an Electric Vehicle/Clean Energy strategy.
Prior to joining Westwood Leah was the Co-Chief Investment Officer at South Texas Money Management and a Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at King Investment Advisors. From July 2017 to 2020, Leah served on the CFA Global Board of Governors, where she served on the Audit and Risk Committee and chaired the society partnership advisory committee. To top itall off she is a former president and director of CFA Society Houston and co-founder of the CFA Women in Investment Management Initiative and the CFAInstitute Global Research Challenge of the Southwest.
Leah earned her BS in Economics from Texas A&M University.
In Saguaro’s Words: A strategic thinker to her core, Leah is a natural leader in everything she does. This shines through in both her industry and her community. Despite what is mentioned above, she also serves on the board of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto and the Society for Performing Arts. We admire the initiative she takes to grow and support those around her. We cherish her advice to not only help build a more successful firm, but also onethat mentors and gives back as well.
Paul Black is the CEO of WCM Investment Management and a portfolio manager for the firm’s global fundamental growth strategies. Headquartered in Laguna Beach, California, WCM is an independent asset management firm motivated by a spirit of broad-based employee ownership. At WCM, they have worked hard to build and maintain an organization that nurtures excellence and innovation.
One of WCM's strongest competitive advantages is its focus on corporate culture—both its own and within the portfolio companies.
"Over the years, we've come to believe that culture is one of the most important—yet least understood—drivers of long-term value. It separates the great companies from the merely good ones. It can grow a firm's competitive advantage, provide a compass when faced with a difficult decision, and help avoid disruption. At the same time, it's extremely hard to pin down, and even more difficult to quantify."
Paul has helped lead WCM since the 1990s. Prior to joining the WCM team in 1989, Paul was a portfolio manager with Wells Fargo Private Banking Group and Bank of America. Paul has a B.S. in Finance from the University of San Diego.
In Saguaro’s Words: Often found wearing shorts and sandals at their Laguna Beach office, Paul makes being a titan of the investment industry seem like a day at the beach. He freely offers his wisdom and guidance and openly shares both the good and bad decisions he’s made along the way. There is a lot to soak up from him and we are grateful to have him as a trusted advisor.
Stacy Havener is the founder and CEO of Havener Capital, a sales and marketing agency created to help boutique funds build, launch, and grow funds. Starting her own firm at the age of 30, Stacy has raised $8+ billion fornew/undiscovered funds that led to $30+ billion in follow-on AUM. Her passion for storytelling has contributed to her success in marketing and has also led to the launch of her podcast, Billion Dollar Backstory. In this podcast, Stacy interviews founders, portfolio managers, and investors who have launched, seeded, and scaled billion-dollar businesses and gives them the opportunity to tell their story.
Prior to working in the investment industry Stacy was an award-winning writer who dreamed of becoming a literature professor. While studying for her BA in English Literature from Western Connecticut State University, she also played soccer at a high-enough level to become an Academic All-American.
In Saguaro’s Words: Stacy found us. Somehow, she knew we were starting a new firm before we’d even agreed to do it together. Conversations about working together led to a belief that there needed to be a long-term partnership. She impressed us immediately with her ability to tell a complicated story in a simple way. This respect and admiration was mutual and we asked her to join our Board of Advisors. Stacy has a knack for sharing small pieces of advice that make an enormous impact. She has helped us to communicate our story more clearly, effectively, and succinctly.
Bill McDonald was a highly awarded Professor of Finance at Notre Dame before retiring in 2022. In the late 1990s, Bill served in a vice president position at the Schwab Center for Investment Research in San Francisco. During his time there, Bill developed financial planning software, including a patented portfolio optimization package. With more than 50 publications, predominantly in capital markets, Bill’s research has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, The London Times, The New Yorker, Barron’s, Quartz, and other popular press outlets.
Often partnered with Tim Loughran, Bill helped develop the most cited and used dictionary for sentiment analysis. This work led to a stint with Citadel and consulting conversations across the industry. Bill’s finalyears teaching were spent combining the power of python and other coding languages with the fundamentals of investing.
Bill received Kaneb Teaching Awards in both 1999 and 2003 and the Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2015. Bill received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 1979.
In Saguaro’s Words: Bill was Jim’s most demanding professor at Notre Dame. His professor for the applied investment management course, Jim credits Bill with teaching him many of applied modelling and analysis tools that Saguaro still uses today. Fortunately for us, Bill recently retired from his long career in academia to settle down in Scottsdale, Arizona. We couldn’t think of a better person or a better combination of knowledge to have as an advisor on our team. We hope to continue to learn from him for many years to come.
Widely recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s leading intellectual property lawyers, Sasha is the Chair of Maynard's nationwide Intellectual Property Practice. Sasha’s clients range from tech start-ups to the largest multinational companies. Sasha’s extensive intellectual property experience ranges from high-stakes patent litigation to IP issues in corporate, transactional, policy and regulatory matters, including IP aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Sasha regularly leads intellectual property and commercial litigation for her clients involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition and complex commercial disputes.
Sasha has tried cases in district courts throughout the U.S. involving technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology to computers, Internet and software. Sasha is recognized as one of the leading practitioners in the emerging fields of electric vehicles, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence. In addition to being admitted topractice law in New York and California, Sasha is registered to practice in theUnited States Patent and Trademark Office. Chambers USA recognized Sashain 2022 (and also 2021 and 2020) as a Leading Individual in Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation. She was also named by the Daily Journal in 2022 as one of California’s Top Intellectual Property Lawyers (having previously received this recognition in 2020, 2019 and 2013). Sasha received her BA in Physics from Randolph College and her JD from NYU.
In Saguaro’s Words: It only took a single conversation to recognize both Sasha’s intellect and work ethic. A long-time partner during our tenure at Vulcan Value Partners, there was no other legal mind around our IP that we wanted to consult. Sasha has already been instrumental in ensuring that we have the proper trademarks, copyrights, and protections around everything that we’re building. We are thrilled to have this level of advice on our board.
Geoffrey is currently a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School (Michigan Medicine) and a research associate at theMichigan Center for Global Health Equity. His research focuses on innovation using both computational technologies like artificial intelligence and programmable biotechnologies such as CRISPR/Cas systems. Geoffrey's work integrates fundamental biology with high throughput biological and clinical datasets to advance basic understanding of disease mechanisms, drug discovery and clinical medicine. He has developed a novel approach for the intrinsic bio containment of highly pathogenic viruses, a computational and DNA sequencing pipeline for predicting human age/ aging from body fluids or tissues and a machine learning model for predicting the expression levels of synthetic genes using their promoter sequences.
If this weren’t enough, Geoffrey is also the founder and Chief Scientific Officer and Anza Bio, which uses AI to boost molecule discovery for drug development. He has helped found three other technology companies, and has a lengthy CV. Here are some highlights: Previously, he was a research assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame, lead researcher at IBM Research Africa and part of the United Genomes project. He is the recipient of several awards including a Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Fellow, TED Fellow, Quartz Africa Innovator and a recipient of the Young African Committed to Excellence award. His work has been featured by CNN, USA Today, Fast Company, Ozy, and others. Geoffrey has a BS and MS in Biochemistry from Egerton University and further studies in computational biology from the University of Notre Dame.
In Saguaro’s Words: Geoffrey may be the nicest human being on planet Earth. With an infectious smile, Geoffrey’s kindness dispels any discomfort one may have with his level of intelligence and achievement. For Saguaro, while Geoffrey operates in a completely different field, the tools he uses daily are exactly the same. The opportunities for cross-pollination are rife and have already been helpful. We are thrilled to have Geoffrey as an advisor.
Bill Terry, CFA is the Co-founder and former Chairman of the Board for Highland Associates. Highland is a leading institutional investment advisor that helps develop, implement, and maintain investment management programs for institutions such as not-for-profit healthcare and mission-based organizations, foundations, endowments, defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, and high-net-worth individuals. At present, they manage approximately $26 billion in client assets. After successfully growing Highland for over 30 years, Bill and his partner sold Highland to Regions Bank.
Bill earned his BA in Philosophy from Davidson College.
In Saguaro’s Words: Bill has been a part of our background and pedigree for multiple generations. He and his partners not only backed Vulcan Value Partners financially, but also launched the much-lauded Longleaf Partners series of mutual funds in partnership with Southeastern Asset Management.
Bill and his other partners also recruited John’s mentor, his father-in-law, Bill Berkemeier, to Birmingham to start Canterbury Trust in the early 90s. Bill Terry has seen our style of investing evolve over three generations. Bill’s belief in us boosts our own faith in the journey. We could think of no one better to serve as the first Chairman of our Board of Advisors.
Perhaps the highest praise of Bill was a lunchtime political conversation many years ago when a simple question was asked, “If you could appoint anyone president, who would it be?” After many answers, it came time for Will Terry (Bill’s son) to answer: “I’d appoint my Dad.”
Joel Wittenberg recently retired from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he was Vice President and Chief Investment Officer from 2009 through 2021. He is Managing Partner of Joel Wittenberg Consulting LLC and Lone Pine Investments LLC where he provides research, leadership, and investment services to investment firms, universities, individuals, and impact investors. Joel was named Trusted Insight’s 2019 Distinguished Foundation CIO and Institutional Investor’s 2016 Hedge Fund award. He was featured in an interview for the book, Billion Dollar Insights: A Collection of Interviews with 40 Savvy Institutional Investors. In addition, Joel was awarded the Toigo Foundation Institutional Investor Trailblazer Award. From 2019 through 2021, Joel collaborated with McKinsey & Company on the Expanding Equity program to help Wall Street and large companies bring DEI best practices into their organizations.
Prior to joining the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Joel served at several Fortune 500 companies. He was Vice President at the Kellogg Company, serving as Treasurer as well as heading up investor relations. Before joining the Kellogg Company, Joel was Vice President and Treasurer with Armstrong World Industries and held several key treasury roles with the Dow Chemical Company. Joel serves on the board of directors of the Michigan State University Foundation as well as the Michigan State University Investment Advisory Board.
Joel earned his BS in Accounting and Finance at Michigan State and his MBA from the University of Michigan.
In Saguaro’s Words: As a former client, we’ve known Joel for many years. He has been a longtime, steadfast supporter of our investment philosophy. After Joel’s retirement, he was John’s first call and was the first Advisor to join our Board. He represents the type of relationship we would aspire to have with future Saguaro clients- one that rises above and endures beyond aworking relationship- he is our friend, even if he cheers for the wrong football team.