B. Clark Stamper
B. Clark Stamper, our Chief Investment Officer and President, has a very broad base of experience in the fixed-income markets. He has been an institutional portfolio manager of several different fixed-income asset classes since 1984 including being the Portfolio Manager of four Fixed Income Funds concurrently*. He learned the business while restructuring distressed portfolios that he helped bring back to life. It is because he has seen “what can go wrong” that he has a profound respect for downside protection. His reputation is for managing fixed-income portfolios that have achieved the highest levels of risk-adjusted performance (see our Disclaimer Page for information about risks and returns.).
He has been an institutional portfolio manager in several fixed-income categories: U.S. Treasuries, mortgaged-backed securities, high yield taxable corporate bonds, and high yield and high grade tax-free municipal bonds.
For just over twenty years (June 14th, 1990 to July 11, 2010), Mr. Stamper was the Portfolio Manager of the $1 Billion Plus Evergreen (now Wells Fargo) Strategic Municipal Bond fund**, where he pioneered the “Managed” or “Strategic” “At Large” “Go Anywhere” Municipal Bond Mutual Fund concept, seeking to achieve the highest levels of risk-adjusted performance. During his tenure the Fund (in his tenure previously named Evergreen Strategic Municipal Bond Fund, Evergreen High Yield Muni, Davis High Income Muni, Venture Muni Plus (+), etc.) had the highest risk-adjusted performance ratings from Morningstar, the well known independent mutual fund rater – see our article, “Clark Stamper Completes a Superior 20-Year Run Managing the Former Evergreen Strategic Municipal Bond Fund” for more details.
Mr. Stamper is now concentrating his efforts specifically as the Portfolio Manager of private client accounts that he has also been managing since 1995.
Mr. Stamper has a profound respect for downside protection and a distaste for overheated financial markets.
He began his portfolio management career in 1985 as the Portfolio Manager of the liquidity portfolio (U.S. Treasuries of five years and less) and mortgaged-backed securities portfolio of Far West Savings & Loan in Newport Beach, California. It was in this capacity that he was first exposed to “what can go wrong.” He saw “risk-controlled arbitrage” (mortgage-backed securities hedged with futures) blow up and bankrupt many other savings and loans in early 1987. He recalls when the most knowledgeable and well known “rocket scientists” from the major investment banks explained that their “hedge ratios” did not work as planned because mortgage prepayments came in faster than anytime in history and than anyone on Wall Street had expected. Note that Far West did not invest in those risk-controlled arbitrage products.
In early 1987 he became a high yield junk bond credit analyst. He helped restructure the Far West’s junk bond portfolio that had been built during the early days of the junk bond market. Following through on that experience, he helped restructure a similar junk bond portfolio owned by ABQ Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In mid-1989, at the start of the junk market meltdown, he was hired to restructure one of the worst performing junk bond mutual funds of the 1980’s, the National Bond Fund in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Next, in mid-1990, he moved to Santa Fe, NM to restructure Venture Income (+) Plus), which had problems typical of junk bond funds at that time. Reviewing the wide variety of problem corporate credits in these portfolios gave Mr. Stamper additional insight into the importance of downside protection especially in highly leveraged situations. Mr. Stamper was the Portfolio Manager of that high yield junk taxable bond fund for over eight years through mid-1998.
Also in mid-1990 at the same Mutual Fund Family, he also became Portfolio Manager of Venture Muni (+) Plus (which has since been renamed several times and was named Evergreen Strategic Municipal Fund and then Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund), and also Portfolio Manager of a third mutual fund – a U.S. Treasury/Mortgaged-Backed Securities Fund, which he managed for over five years. In the mortgage-backed area he was again able to view swift downside loss, this time it was mortgage derivative securities that dropped precipitously in price from 1993 to 1994 as their durations extended when prepayments slowed down far more than most had expected.
Mr. Stamper founded Stamper Capital & Investments in October 1995 to maximize the risk-adjusted performance of fixed-income accounts for mutual funds, institutions, and high net worth individuals.
Mr. Stamper earned his M.B.A. (1983) and B.S. in Finance (1979) at San Diego State University.
SDSU Friday Volleyball Club at San Diego State University 1981-1983: Founder & Initial President.
San Diego State Intramural Volleyball: Coed Six Man Champs, Three Times.
Hume Lake Volleyball Tournament: Champs – “149’ers Spike it Rich,” “Hume Lake Yacht Club;” setter, hitter.
U.C. Irvine Men’s Varsity Volleyball Team 1974-1975: Captain, Setter, Outside Hitter (Bruce Clark Stamper; Head Coach was Shar Bulig).
*The four mutual funds Mr. Stamper was Portfolio Manager of Concurrently were:
Wells Fargo (mostly named Davis and Evergreen during his tenure) Strategic Municipal Bond Fund (VMPYX, VMPAX, VMPIX, etc.) (under many names** and three Advisers (Davis, 9 years; Evergreen, 11 years; Wells Fargo 1 year as owner of Evergreen; and 60 days under Wells Fargo and the current Fund name), and the Fund’s Sub-Adviser Stamper Capital, 15 years) – 20 years total as Portfolio Manager of this Fund – from 1990 to 2010 (see above and below for more detail)
Davis High Income Fund, 1990 to 1998 – High Yield Corporate Bonds, Taxable Muni’s, Private Label MBS
Davis Government Bond Fund, 1990 to 1995 – Treasuries and Mortgaged Backed Bonds
Selected U.S. Government Fund 1993 to 1995 – Treasuries and Mortgaged Backed Bonds
**Portfolio Manager for Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund Sub-adviser Stamper Capital & Investments, Inc. under Wells Fargo (60 days under the Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund name & 20 years total June 1990 to mid-July 2010 under all its other previous names (see below) and all its Advisers: Davis, Evergreen, Wells Fargo and Fund Sub-Adviser Stamper Capital (see below).
For 20 years from June 1990 to July 2010 Mr. Stamper was Portfolio Manager of this Fund under various names and three Advisers (and the Fund’s Sub-Adviser Stamper Capital) but the same symbols (VMPYX, VMPAX, VMPIX, etc.) first as an employee of Davis Advisers to 1995 and then an employee of the Fund’s Sub-Adviser, Stamper Capital & Investments, Inc. from 1995 to 1999 under Davis Advisers, from 1999 to 2010 for the Fund’s Sub-Adviser Stamper Capital under Evergreen Funds, and the last 60 days under the Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund name for the Fund’s Sub-Adviser Stamper Capital under Wells Fargo. Stamper Capital was the Fund’s Sub-Adviser for 15 years, from 1995 through mid-July 2010, including when Mr. Stamper was Portfolio Manager of the Fund under Davis Advisers, Evergreen Funds and Wells Fargo (1 year Evergreen Legacy and 60 days under Wells Fargo, alone).
Fourteen Years into Mr. Stamper’s turn as Portfolio Manager, the Fund was renamed Evergreen STRATEGIC Municipal Bond Fund, to reflect Mr. Stamper’s management style which took advantage of the Fund’s wide-open prospectus – extending and shortening the Fund’s duration (a measure of interest rate risk), and raising and lowering the Fund’s credit quality, among other different strategies he employed.
Chronologically, under Mr. Stamper’s Portfolio Management the Fund was named Venture Muni (+) Plus, Davis High Income Muni, and Evergreen High Income Muni. Then the Fund was renamed Evergreen Strategic Municipal Bond Fund in October 2004, fourteen years into Mr. Stamper’s turn as Portfolio Manager of the Fund. Then, in May 2010, a Wells Fargo municipal bond fund was merged into Evergreen Strategic Municipal Bond Fund (“The Survivor”) and then, immediately after the merger, the name was changed to “Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund.” Importantly, the track record of the Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund is that under Mr. Stamper’s Portfolio Management for the twenty year period, from mid-June 1990 to mid-July 2010.