Ragen Stienke, founder of Ballast Asset Management, joined the Behind the Ticker podcast to discuss his 30+ years of experience in small and mid-cap investing. Ragen got his start in the 1990s at Arthur Anderson's business valuation group before working at UBS and later founding a SMID strategy at Westwood. In 2015, he started Ballast focused on small and mid-caps, offering both SMAs and their Small/Mid Cap ETF called MGMT. Ragen aims to turn alpha generation into a process focused on quantifying downside risk rather than relying on conviction. He sees opportunity in the small and mid-cap space as coverage by analysts has declined, believing this segment will outperform large caps in the coming years.
Ragen evaluates management teams for alignment, capital deployment history, and strategic fit. Ragen positions MGMT as a replacement for passive ETFs or to balance large cap growth tilts in models, focusing distribution on RIAs and advisors rather than consultants. He summarizes Ballast's approach as “looking both ways when crossing a one-way street.”
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