WCM assesses portfolio candidates using fundamental analysis to identify great businesses based on positioning (we seek attractive "runways" for growth), competitive advantages (we insist on durable, strengthening economic moats), and corporate culture (those that value great people to sustain economic moat). Portfolio construction then provides a high level of risk control through thoughtful diversification, while concentrating capital into the team's highest conviction ideas. When contemplating an investment, the team will consider how the business fits from a traditional diversification perspective (sector, industry, country, and currency), and from a non-traditional "three baskets" perspective – each portfolio holding is categorized as cyclical, consistent earner, or emerging franchise. Additionally, having exposure to a wide variety of economic moats and growth tailwinds helps reduce intra portfolio correlation, adding an additional layer of diversification and risk control. The final portfolio is built with these inputs towards the goal of upside participation and downside protection.
WCM's universe includes quality businesses with high and/or improving returns on invested capital, free cash generation, and low financial leverage. The Global Core Team will only consider companies deemed to possess durable competitive advantages – what management terms an economic moat. WCM also considers qualitative elements such as corporate culture and sustainability, as well as the strength, quality, and trustworthiness of management. The investment team focuses on exceptional businesses at reasonable prices, and concentrates on large, established companies, with a primary emphasis in the large cap space. The team's investable universe covers the full range of sectors, spanning traditional value and growth industries.