As the coronavirus pandemic puts traditional business models to the test, Fidelity Founders™ Class portfolio manager Dan Kelley shares his perspectives on how entrepreneurs and founder-led companies in tech and other sectors are adapting. He notes that founder-led companies are often incredibly innovative, flexible in adapting to different environments and typically “digital first.” A digital-first approach has helped as online business has accelerated, and founder-led companies also tend to be newer, so they don’t typically have a legacy bureaucracy and are able to pivot easily. There are about 300 companies in the S&P 500 Index that meet the criteria for being founder-led. Dan is less worried about growth vs. value, or about particular sectors, and is focusing instead on where the best options are to establish the direction of the Fund. Dan notes that Fidelity’s strength in research has allowed him to find opportunities all around the world, and being colleagues with portfolio managers Will Danoff and Joel Tillinghast has helped him get in on many founder-led companies early in their life cycle.
Recorded on July 29, 2020.