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CCI Healthcare Marks 15 Years

Identifying inefficiencies in equities

The Hedge Fund Journal visited CCI Healthcare in Stamford, Connecticut (just next to the train station on the New Haven line), and met four of the seven investment professionals, as well as two people on the investor relations side. Senior managing director and portfolio manager, Oliver Marti, started his career at Morgan Stanley doing investment banking and equity research, covering healthcare, providers and hospitals. In 1997, he joined Pequot Capital as a senior analyst covering healthcare, where a formative influence was Marti’s boss, Teena Lerner (a PhD in molecular biology), who taught him about investing in therapeutic companies. In 2001, Columbus Circle Investors launched the healthcare long/short strategy, under Marti’s leadership, with roughly $5 million of partners’ capital.

(L-R): David Castricone, Senior Healthcare Analyst; Andrew Oberwager, Co-Portfolio Manager; Oliver Marti, Portfolio Manager; Gerald Hendricks, Senior Analyst – Macro & Technical Analytics

Stable organisation and broad team

Columbus Circle Investors (CCI), an institutional money manager, began in 1975 and has over 40 years grown to 61 staff, with (as of 30 September 2015) approximately $15 billion invested across seven strategies, including about $1 billion in the CCI Healthcare strategy. CCI provides institutional infrastructure and resources that are invaluable for the CCI Healthcare team: including legal, compliance, risk analytics, data analytics, and strong access to sell-side research and corporate management. CCI Healthcare uses ‘best of breed’ service providers, with leading auditors and administrators, as well as prime brokers Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), and Goldman Sachs.

CCI provides a supportive environment where the CCI Healthcare team has full investment autonomy. Marti’s team only runs long/short healthcare strategies, while the rest of CCI mainly runs longonly money, where the analysts are generalists covering multiple sectors; CCI has no dedicated long-only healthcare strategy. CCI also has two smaller long/short strategies focused on technology and international investments. Though all CCI analysts follow the same investment discipline, in the same office, all of the teams are unique and each strategy has its own portfolio manager and analysts. Hence, though analysts are encouraged to work collaboratively across the firm, each team is responsible for its own investment decisions (with no overlap of investment staff) as opposed to executing on decisions made by an over-arching chief investment officer. Decisions are made within the parameters of portfolio construction limits and with the oversight of compliance.

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