A Turning Point for US Small Caps in 2024

In Short

Brad McGill, Portfolio Manager for the Aperture Discover Equity strategy, explains why he believes that US small caps present a compelling opportunity in 2024 and how he and his team identify businesses poised for transformational change.
Anis Lahlou, CFA

Brad McGILL,

Portfolio Manager, US Small Cap Equity

Brad McGill is a Portfolio Manager at Aperture. For the past 25 years, Brad has analyzed and invested in public equities for institutional clients. Before joining Aperture, he was the Portfolio Manager of the Wayfinder Small Cap Equity Fund, a concentrated Small Cap Focused Long/Short Equity Strategy at Diker Management. Earlier, Brad held portfolio management and senior equity research analyst positions at firms including Lehman Brothers and Montgomery/Bank of America Securities. He began his career in equity research at Smith Barney. Brad received his B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University College of Business.

  • Lack of investor participation in US small caps due to mega cap dominance creates a tremendous opportunity for patient investors
  • The Aperture Discover Equity strategy manages a relatively limited number of positions to preserve the opportunity set for investors and prioritize alpha generation
  • The investment strategy aims to prioritize companies benefiting from evolutionary change as well as emerging or long-lasting secular tailwinds

Why do you expect US small caps to shine in 2024?


Over the past decade, small caps have meaningfully lagged large caps – largely due to the success of a handful of mega cap tech stocks. As most are aware, this dominance of a few mega cap names has led to a historically high level of market concentration not seen since the 1970s. As a result, investors have not needed to move down the market cap spectrum in search of returns like they have historically. This, in our view, has caused an overreliance on passive index mirroring strategies and as a result, participation in the asset class has declined. This has left a somewhat ignored market in our opinion, which we believe creates a tremendous opportunity for patient investors. As a starting point today, small cap valuations are around 20% less expensive on average for profitable companies compared to large caps, and they’re also at historic lows, representing what we believe is a strong buying opportunity.

The last couple of years has been especially challenging for small caps due to tightening monetary policies, as small cap indices tend to be more levered than large caps and are viewed as more economically sensitive. However, we’re now seeing signs of a shift where small cap performance is improving. The US economy is still healthy by most measures – as is the labor market – and while there are signs of deceleration, the expectation for Fed rate cuts has typically supported small cap performance.

Looking beyond market dynamics, we see accelerating earnings drivers across many areas of the small cap market. While many are focused on the large cap beneficiaries of AI – technology is traditionally empowering for smaller companies as well – new sources of revenue and operational efficiency will be furthered by advancements in technology.


Download the full interview to discover more:

US Small Cap_ 04 2024 FINAL.pdf

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