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By Greg Carlson | 06-24-2010 12:55 PM

Yockey on European Banks: The Strong Will Get Stronger

Banks on a long-term basis represent wonderful franchises, the Artisan manager said. Plus, Yockey on Japan: 'They have twice as many problems as the Greeks do.'

Greg Carlson: I am Greg Carlson, fund analyst with Morningstar. I am joined today by Mark Yockey. He is the manager of Artisan International Fund, Artisan International Small Cap Fund, also the co-Manager of Artisan Global Fund. Mark, thanks for being here today.

Mark Yockey: Greg, thanks for having me.

Carlson: Mark, I would like to focus on your older funds, so to speak, International and International Small Cap; both have solid long-term records.

You've had a tough time this year, particularly within their growth-oriented categories, and not – they've lagged the EAFE, the blend index, core index, but the growth category seem to be really taking off this year compared to the EAFE. Can you talk a little bit about maybe what some of the sources of that performance is, relative performance is?

Yockey: Well, ironically, a part of the underperformance is – in the first quarter was because we didn't have very much money in Japan. Even though there is not much growth there, actually it's been a reasonably good market to invest in relative to a lot of other places because you haven't had the decline in the currency. And then some of our bank exposures hurt us. Last year, the exposure to financials helped us have a really good year. And in the first quarter, we gave some of it back.

Carlson: I want to expand a little bit on your exposure to European financials. Obviously, they've been hit by the issues with government debt over there. Can you talk a little bit about your vision for the prospects there going forward?

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