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By Bridget B. Hughes, CFA | 06-10-2010 02:25 PM

First Eagle's McLennan: We've Been Putting Money to Work

The First Eagle Global Value team head on the firm's recent activity and investment in Pargesa, Groupe Bruxelles, and Total.

Bridget Hughes: Hi. I am Bridget Hughes. I am one of the analysts with Morningstar. I am here at First Eagle Funds with Matt McLennan, who is the Head of the Global Value team, and a Manager on First Eagle Global, First Eagle U.S. Value and First Eagle Overseas. Thanks Matt for joining us.

Matthew McLennan: Hi. How are you Bridget?

Hughes: Good. Thanks. So, it's been about 18 months or so since you've been heading the team here and now you are on your own now that Jean-Marie is officially retired. I wonder if you can just comment on where you are in terms of the team and the analysts, and how you think things are going?

McLennan: Well, we feel very good about the team. I think rather like we were buying stocks at the depths of the crisis, we had an opportunity to invest in the human capital of the team. And today we have the most experienced team we've ever fielded. If you look at the resumes of the people on the team, many of these people have followed our funds for many years.

And I think the thing that's most important beneath the surface is that we've got the best temperament we've ever had on the team in terms of the variables that really matter to us, the humility, the willingness to expect that future's uncertain, the patience, the flexibility to look across the world, be open minded to disconfirming evidence, all of those sorts of variables. We feel very good about the DNA of the team, if you will, along with the experience.

We also took the opportunity to invest in our trading floor, and we have seen the benefits of that over the past year with the dramatic reduction in our trading commission costs and very good execution. And so we feel good about the team.

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