Applied Research Announces Key Leadership Transitions

·8 min read

CEO Amira Strasser to Lead Investment Team on Interim Basis

NEW YORK & MONTREAL, January 25, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Applied Research today announced that Amira Strasser will lead as part of the investment team, effective January 21. Strasser, who founded the firm in 2016, will continue to serve as CEO. The move will provide long-term leadership continuity for the firm’s global equity investment group, whose diverse team, alignment with investor interests, and long-only strategies have enabled it to deliver long-term absolute returns. Applied Research’s concentrated long-only fund strategy is focused on investing in worldwide global and regional leaders with sustainable business models.

Applied Research has generated strong performance under Strasser’s leadership, both as a result of its analyst team and stock selection, which has benefited from sector diversification. The firm has grown considerably – increasing its assets under management each year since its inception, surpassing $1 billion in 2021, from $25 million in 2018. During this span the firm’s client accounts, which include pension funds, emerging managers, and private clients and family offices, have risen 40-fold.

"At Applied Research, we’re a partnership focused on serving the long-term objectives of our clients," said Strasser. "We’ve built out a deep and exceptionally talented team of investment professionals to execute our mission of generating alpha and preserving capital. Our vision and focus on adhering to our process remain intact. As an employee-owned firm, we are accountable solely to our clients and our interests are aligned with those of our investors."

Strasser’s research acumen, investing expertise, solid track record in equity markets and commitment to incubating diverse talent that generates alpha have contributed to her significant accomplishments. "I am excited about partnering closely with our team in the coming years to increase team focus and maximize opportunities for our clients," said Strasser. "The broad expertise and deep experience of Amira Strasser in the global equity arena, and in particular, work with institutional investors, will provide strong and strategic leadership in guiding the firm’s institutional efforts for the exciting journey ahead," said Alexandra Jarislowsky, a strategic advisor to Applied Research.

Since 2017, Applied Research has enjoyed rapid growth, both in its client portfolio and in the expansion of its investment team. These accomplishments include:

  • Increasing institutional client investment accounts from 1 to 30 since inception to over $1 billion today

  • Sector and analyst stock selection led to strategies outperforming their benchmarks since inception in April 2017 through year ended December 31, 2021. ARI EAFE strategy remains top quartile relative to the EAFE growth peer group on Evestment institutional database. The firm’s investment performance and solid capital preservation metric such as 66% downside capture since inception is attributed to an institutional research platform that is driven by the depth and breadth of its stock selection decision making.

  • During this period, the firm has significantly broadened its sector and regional reach; the firm’s global and international strategies and sector focus has deepened in industrials, healthcare, financial services and consumer goods as well as regionally with Japanese expertise.

  • Growing its analyst team by 50%

As part of the transition, Applied Research has announced that Mark Lin, lead portfolio manager, has left the firm to pursue other interests. "We respect Mark’s decision to resign and wish him well as he moves on to the next chapter in his life. We wish him all the best and thank him for his contributions to the firm."

Alexandra Jarislowsky, who has 25+ years of experience in the investment management industry, will join the firm as a strategic advisor. Previously she served as Director of Research at Jarislowsky, Fraser Ltd, an asset management firm, where she oversaw a team of 30 equity and fixed income analysts and was responsible for healthcare investments across multiple funds. Her stock picks were a significant source of alpha over three, five and seven- year periods.

"As part of our business, we always maintain a robust transition plan and are executing on that plan now," said Strasser. "We are in touch with our clients, and they are supportive of our transition plan."

"I am thrilled that Alexandra will be assisting Applied Research’s team and work with us," said Strasser. "Alexandra strategically strengthens the team with her investment acumen. We see enormous growth potential for the firm to address investor needs with authenticity. I look forward to further collaborating closely with the team on investment strategies that produce meaningful outcomes for investors."

"Many firms claim that they possess a global perspective and local expertise, but few actually deliver on it," said Jarislowsky. "Amira has been a flag bearer for alpha generating diversity and minority-led asset managers, and her ability to communicate and forge ties with investors across the world will be a key asset in continued growth and ability to preserve long-term capital and generate consistent returns."

As part of the transition, Matthew Ingrassia, Senior Partner, Director of Research, and registered portfolio manager, will assume a greater role in portfolio management responsibilities. Ingrassia brings 22 years of experience in financial markets, including 12 years of experience in international equities and served as an analyst at CIBC Asset Management and investment banker at Citigroup Global Markets, BMO Capital Markets, UBS Global Asset Management and UBS Investment Banking division.

Strasser began her investment management career in 1998, in global equities at Jarislowsky Fraser. She also held global investment management research positions for Standard Life Investments, and Sigma Capital. Amira also founded an advisory firm with the mission of Creating Value over the long run for companies and people. During her investment career, Amira analyzed various industries including oil and gas, industrials, transportation, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods.

The firm’s solid process with strict parameters is carried along by the seasoned team also includes an ESG risk management framework internally developed. A transition plan is in place to first and foremost act with fiduciary care in managing our clients’ assets. We are uniquely focused on delivering and focused on bringing on additional talent. Applied Research’s institutional investment platform incubates diverse talent that generates alpha over the long run for its clients.

Investment highlights

Since its inception in April, 2017, ARI EAFE GIPS compliant composite generated a return of 17.8% gross of fees on an annualized basis through December 2021, 940 basis points ahead of MSCI EAFE, ranked top quartile on Evestment versus EAFE growth peer group. The ARI EAFE strategy seeks to produce long-term growth of capital through investments made in equity securities of companies in EAFE & Developed Countries located outside the U.S.

ARI Global GIPS compliant composite generated a return of 19.9% gross of fees on an annualized basis since inception in April 2017 through the period ending December. 2021, 630 basis points ahead of MSCI ACWI index. The ARI Global investment strategy seeks to produce long-term growth of capital through investment primarily in equity securities of companies in Europe, the Far East, the Pacific Basin, and the Americas.

Since its inception in April 2017, ARI Asia Pacific GIPS compliant composite generated a return of 14.2% gross of fees on an annualized basis through December. 2021, 580 basis points ahead of MSCI ACWI index. The ARI Asia Pacific investment Strategy seeks to produce long- term growth of capital through investment primarily in equity securities of companies in Asia, the Pacific Rim, Australasia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

There is no guarantee that the investment objective will be realized or that the strategy will generate positive or excess return.

Account returns Composites are calculated daily. Monthly account returns are calculated by geometrically linking the daily returns. The return of the Composites is calculated monthly by weighting monthly account returns by the beginning market values. Returns include the reinvestment of interest, dividends and any capital gains. Returns are calculated net of withholding taxes. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Applied Research basic management fee schedules are available upon request.

MSCI has not approved, reviewed or produced this report, makes no express or implied warranties or representations and is not liable whatsoever for any data in the report. You may not redistribute the MSCI data or use it as a basis for other indices or investment products.
MSCI Index detailed information can be found on

Data Source: Applied Research

About Risk

Investing involves risk including loss of capital. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. International markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume.
Diversification does not prevent all investment losses.

About Applied Research

Applied Research is 100% independent, and solely focuses on global equities. The team seeks to deliver consistent long-term absolute positive return while preserving capital through, a focused strategy of investing in global/regional leaders with growing business models in concentrated, yet well diversified long-only strategies. ARI’s process is designed to outperform the benchmark over 5 years and preserve capital. Knowledge is regional, yet perspective is global.

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Daniel Delson

Scott Krady

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