JPMorgan Large Cap Growth’s team has handled a tricky momentum-centric approach well.
Lead manager Giri Devulapally’s experience and expertise give this strategy an edge. He joined the firm in 2003 and has delivered exceptional results here since July 2005. Devulapally’s background as a technology and communications analyst fits the composition of this tech-heavy portfolio well, and an impressive supporting cast backs him. He leans on a team of five experienced sector analysts, four of whom were promoted to comanager between 2020 and 2022 as a recognition of their contributions to the strategy and to bolster eventual succession prospects. Comanagers Larry Lee, Holly Fleiss, Joseph Wilson, and Robert Maloney average more than 20 years of experience, including 12 at J.P. Morgan, and know their holdings well. The team has been relatively stable, and when departures occur, it successfully brings on experienced hires like consumer analyst Janet King in late 2022.
The team operates a sound approach that is backed by strong fundamental research; however, an emphasis on price momentum introduces some uncertainty. The team searches for competitively positioned companies with long-term growth and margin expansion opportunities. But rather than sizing positions purely based on its fundamental conviction, the team often follows the market’s lead when it comes to building or trimming a position. The team has done a decent job executing this approach, but its reactive nature can stumble in choppier markets. In addition, balancing the influence of price momentum with its fundamental analysis can be difficult to apply consistently.
Still, the team has delivered stellar results as stock selection has stood out and its momentum-based approach has acted as a tailwind. Under Devulapally’s lead from July 2005 through January 2024, the A shares’ 12.4% annualized return topped the challenging Russell 1000 Growth Index’s 11.8% and handily beat the typical large-growth Morningstar Category peer’s 9.5%.