Kristi Rowsell - December 31, 2016
The second half of 2016 proved to be much more rewarding for our investors than the early half of the year. Fears around China’s slowdown and the consequences of the U.K.’s Brexit vote started to dissipate by late summer as stronger economic data began to emerge worldwide. Donald Trump’s unanticipated election victory heightened expectations for pro-growth economic policies and drove equity markets higher as the year came to a close. As we evaluate the performance of the Oakmark Funds over this period, we are reminded of the importance of staying true to our research discipline and the value of having a long-term investment focus.
Oakmark Family Offers Two New Share Classes
As many of you know, the Oakmark Funds restructured its lineup of share classes on November 30, adding an Advisor class and an Institutional class for eligible investors. We also renamed our existing classes. Our former Class I is now called Investor class, and our former Class II is now called Service class. We are excited that eligible shareholders registered directly with the Funds have been able to convert their shares to the new classes. We are working diligently with intermediaries to bring the new share classes to additional platforms and broaden their accessibility. Ask your financial advisor or account representative when and how you might find them available.
Harris Associates and Oakmark Invest Along with You
For many years, we have shared the level of investment that the portfolio managers, Harris Associates employees and Oakmark Trustees maintain in the Oakmark Funds. This is a measure of the conviction we hold in our value-driven investment philosophy. We expect the management of the companies in which we invest to have significant personal assets invested in their company stock, and believe this same standard should apply to managers of mutual funds.
We are happy to report that, as of December 31, 2016, the portfolio managers and employees of Harris Associates, as well as the Funds’ Trustees, have personal investments of over $400 million in the Oakmark Funds. Personal ownership aligns our interests with those of our shareholders and reflects our connection to your long-term financial goals. It also underscores the pervasive sense of stewardship we feel when investing your assets.
We would like to thank you for your continued investments in the Oakmark Funds. Happy New Year to all!
President of the Oakmark Funds
President of Harris Associates
The discussion of the Funds’ investments and investment strategy (including current investment themes, the portfolio managers' research and investment process, and portfolio characteristics) represents the Funds’ investments and the views of the portfolio managers and Harris Associates L.P., the Funds' investment adviser, at the time of this letter, and are subject to change without notice.
All information provided is as of 12/31/2016 unless otherwise specified.