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Mark Egan Embraces Volatility

Fixed-income manager welcomes opportunities to pounce on good deals.

Kate Stalter, 11/28/2012

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2013 issue of MorningstarAdvisor magazine. To subscribe, please call 1-800-384-4000. 

Throughout his career, Mark Egan has done things differently.

To begin with, Egan--the manager of Scout Core Plus Bond SCPYX and three other Scout fixed-income funds--has sought opportunities in the investment industry while remaining in the Midwest.

In the early 1980s, after he graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, the industry was more heavily concentrated in New York than it is today. Egan heard about an investment course at the University of Wisconsin’s business school. Its graduates had good success breaking into the industry.

“At the time, that was kind of hard to do if you were from the Midwest,” he recalls. “Most people who thought about the investment industry had to go to an elite business school at Harvard or Yale or maybe Northwestern. Then you would try to get into Goldman Sachs or Credit Suisse, one of those firms.”

After getting his MBA from Wisconsin, Egan did a stint with registered investment advisor National Investment Services in Milwaukee. Before that, he was an accountant with Arthur Young & Co. (now Ernst & Young). He received his CPA in 1982 and his CFA charter in 1989.

Then, in 1990, a headhunter contacted him about a position with Reams Asset Management--a small, unique fixed-income shop south of Indianapolis.

Egan recalls his first impression of Reams as “a strange and unusual little firm in Columbus, Ind., that had a good track record and did some unusual things in fixed income.” He was leery about a move to southern Indiana, but was intrigued by Reams’ approach to fixed income. The firm, headed by Robert Crider, was an early arrival to the high-yield market. Reams was also investing in currencies and long-duration bonds at a time when few others were.

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