Kristi Rowsell - December 31, 2017
Global equity markets were very good to investors in 2017, and the Oakmark Funds also benefited, posting strong positive returns. We take great pride in the returns that our long-term investors have enjoyed, and we appreciate the confidence our shareholders have placed in us. We realize that you have selected the Oakmark Funds out of an ever-growing number of competitors. Know that you distinguished your selection by investing with a deeply experienced team that’s committed to growing your capital. For more than 40 years, Harris Associates has practiced consistent investment principles: as value investors, we seek out significantly underpriced companies that have strong business fundamentals and proven, shareholder-oriented management teams. Both the Oakmark and Oakmark International Funds have executed this process with discipline for more than 25 years.
We know that expenses are important to investors; therefore, in 2016, Harris Associates expanded the Oakmark Funds’ share class structures. As I write this letter, over 25% of our Funds’ assets are in these new share classes, which provide lower expense ratios to qualified investors. Many intermediaries are offering the new share classes, expanding access to purchase shares with transaction fees or incorporating the Funds into programs at institutional rates. As you plan your investments for the coming year, make sure to determine whether you qualify to access our Advisor or Institutional share classes and their lower expense ratios.
We believe it is important for an investment manager’s employees to invest their own money in the funds they offer. This shows an alignment between management and shareholder interests. Regulations require that all mutual funds disclose how much money the portfolio managers have invested in their funds, but we voluntarily supplement this disclosure each year by sharing the overall level that Harris personnel have invested in the Oakmark Funds. We believe this indicates our level of commitment and our shared sense of stewardship of Fund assets. We are pleased to announce that as of December 31, 2017, the employees of Harris Associates, the Funds’ officers, trustees and their families have more than $480 million invested in the Oakmark Funds.
We wish you a prosperous and happy new year!
President of 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 12/31/2017 unless otherwise specified.