Back in 2000, Mark Allen Lee launched Forest Hill Capital, a hedge fund advisor that provides its services to pooled investment vehicles. The firm is based in Little Rock, Arizona and manages clients worldwide. Besides being the founder of the firm, Mark Allen Lee is its current President and Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Lee has extensive experience in securities brokerage, investment analysis, private equity, and commercial real estate investments. He graduated Cum Laude with a B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi, after which he joined Morgan Keegan & Company. In the beginning, Mark A. Lee served as the Managing Director and the Chief Executive of the Arkansas Division of the firm. Later, his abilities and investment acumen took him to occupy the position of President at Morgan Keegan's Private Client Group, at the same time he served as Advisor to private and institutional investors. He has also served as Vice President at ERHC Energy Inc., Principal and a Partner at Talisman Capital. Currently, he is a Director at Innoflex, Inc., and qServe Communications.
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Forest Hill Capital employs a long/short strategy to make its investments in the public equity markets across the globe. It pursues value stocks in companies in diverse sectors, investing in a broad array of securities and financial instruments, applying fundamental analysis. The fund tailors its advisory services to the needs of its clients, therefore, manages separate client-focused equity portfolios. As stated in its latest Form ADV, Forest Hill Capital held $425.22 million in assets under management on a discretionary basis as of March 29th, 2019.
This strategy must be a successful one as its Forest Hill Select fund has been able to keep a positive track record. In 2013, it achieved an impressive return of 28.03%, followed by 6.97% in 2014 and 1.86% in 2015. It was in 2016 when the fund attained its highest return, delivering 31.99%. In 2017, it brought back 10.54%, and from January through October 2018, it delivered 4.72%. Forest Hill Select fund's total return amounted to 207.54%, with a compound annual return of 6.44%, while its worst drawdown was 57.05.
At the end of the fourth quarter, Forest Hill Capital disclosed a 13F equity portfolio with 57 positions in it. After adding nine and dumping five equity securities, the fund's 13F portfolio was valued at $316.41 million. Even though none of the securities in the fund's equity portfolio are among the most popular stocks among hedge funds, there were some interesting changes made during this fourth quarter of 2018. For instance, the fund shrank its holdings in Bmc Stock Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BMCH) by 74% to 49,008 shares valued at $759,000 and by 66% in First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN) to 300,229 shares worth $3.95 million.
Among the positions that Forest Hill Capital decided to sell in Q4 of 2018 was Umpqua Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:UMPQ) whose 301,368 shares worth $6.27 million, the fund dumped; and, Cobiz Financial Inc (perviously NASDAQ:COBZ), which actually merged with BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF) in the fourth quarter. The third biggest position Forest Hill Capital dropped in the last quarter of 2018 was in First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYFW), as the fund held a position that counted 215,000 shares outstanding, with a value of $3.76 million.
Click here to read the rest of the article where we present Forest Hill Capital's top holdings at the end of 2018.
Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.