Robert W. Gottesman
Executive Chairman, Senior Managing Director, Portfolio Manager
Years at First
Robert Gottesman is the Executive Chairman and a Portfolio Manager. He served as Chief Executive Officer from 2006 to 2019. Bob has more than 30 years of investment research and investment management experience.
Prior to joining First Manhattan Co. in 1987, Bob was an Analyst focused on the oil and gas industries and risk arbitrage. He holds an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a BA in Economics from Beloit.
Portfolio construction and management
At the core of being a Portfolio Manager are my multiple decades of experience as a securities analyst. My target companies come from my own research and from our analysts' recommendations. Prior to purchasing shares in a company, I emphasize the following in the research I conduct:
- Thorough analysis of the company, including its financial statements
- An assessment of the company's competitive advantages (or lack thereof)
- The company's future growth prospects, particularly organic revenue growth, which is the lifeblood of a business. What headwinds or tailwinds does the company face in growing its business?
- Understanding the company's history. What have been the key drivers for the company's success and management's track record in operating the business?
- Identifying key risks that could damage the company's business or the value of its assets.
- What are the characteristics of the industry? Who are the leaders and why did they become a leader?
- In looking ahead in 2020 and beyond, the digital age will become even more transformative and disruptive in many ways. We strive to identify and own the winners in the digital economy and, increasingly, have made technology companies a larger part of a portfolio.
- Importantly, we assess whether the current share price of the company offers a favorable risk/ reward and "value for money." Our timeframe for investment decisions is looking ahead over the next three to five years. Many investment managers have shorter horizons, and I believe that having a longer-term focus is one of our competitive advantages.
My objective in managing client accounts is to own a select number of profitable and growing businesses over long periods of time. A typical portfolio is comprised of approximately 20 stocks.
I believe that First Manhattan is the ideal place to be a Portfolio Manager. The firm is small enough to enable interaction between Portfolio Managers and Research Analysts, and large enough to give Portfolio Managers access to our colleagues' full breadth of research. First Manhattan's size commands the attention of our portfolio companies and prospective portfolio companies and ensures that we have access to their key executives.
I believe strongly in aligning my interests with my clients and view them as co-investors alongside the family accounts I manage. In addition, clients have the full support of my team, pictured below, whom I trust and am fortunate to work with every day.