Scott Link, CFA
Lead Portfolio Manager
Lead Portfolio Manager
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
BS in Biology
University of Texas
MBA in Finance and Accounting
Scott joined DGI in 1997 a few months after its founding as an equity analyst. He was elevated to portfolio manager in 1999.
Before coming to DGI, Scott worked as an equity analyst and portfolio manager for Advantus Capital Management. Prior to that, he worked for JC Penney for four years in the treasury department and in the corporate finance and benefits investments area.
He specializes in small and mid-cap stocks. He also manages client portfolios. “About 10 to 15 percent of my job is marketing,” he says, “giving presentations to prospective clients, and meeting with clients to keep them up-to-date and share our current investment outlook with them.”
“Scott probably has the best personal relationship skills of anyone in the company—which you don’t expect from an analytical type,” says Rick Martin, DGI CFO.
As a portfolio manager, Scott looks for companies that he believes have a sustainable competitive advantage. Once he has identified a company that he believes may be a viable candidate for inclusion in the portfolio, he drills down into their financials and operations. “First I find them,” he explains, “and then I stalk them.”
“Scott wants to understand everything about the companies he’s analyzing from A to Z,” says DGI Director of Client Relationships Sheri Lietzke. “He is very passionate about everything he does.”
“He has a mind like a steel trap – just an amazing grasp of numbers and details,” adds DGI Operations Team Leader Cindy Lee.
“He can still talk in detail about a stock that he researched in the 1990s,” says DGI analyst Nicholas Hansen. “He has very good intuition for retail stocks and a sense of crowds—how they think. He’s very diligent at picking away at a stock and keeping all the relevant details of the company in his head.”
Once he is satisfied that a company has the potential for outstanding long-term growth, Scott takes a close look at the stock price. “If it doesn’t meet our price criteria, we watch the stock and wait for the market to hit a speed bump that gives us the chance to buy it at a lower price.”
After nearly two decades of analyzing stocks, Scott realizes not every pick will meet the expectations of the investment team—that’s the reality of the business—but finding a few big winners can more than make up for the disappointments. “I’m very competitive,” he says. “I’m driven to find great stocks. That’s what we want to do here.”
“Scott is such a competitor, you have to kill him to beat him,” says DGI President Fred Martin. “He’s great at identifying great stocks. He loves to beat Wall Street.”
“Scott is the most overtly competitive guy I’ve ever met in this industry,” explains Robert Buss, DGI Director of Marketing. “He loves the thrill of the hunt and he loves to outsmart Wall Street. He truly loves being in a position of confidence when he’s right and everyone else is wrong.”
“Scott is like a tiger—fiercely competitive,” adds DGI Portfolio Manager Rob Nicoski. “He has a fire in the belly for this business that’s contagious. He’s a brilliant stock picker.”
Back-hands and rock bands
That competitive fire has been with Scott for most of his life. He played on the college tennis team at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and has continued to play competitively ever since. He took first place in his age bracket at the 2012 Northern Section Adult Clay Court Tennis Championships.
The father of three boys and a girl, Scott has engendered that same competitive spirit in his children. They all play tennis and basketball, and join him on his ski trips out West.
Scott also plays rhythm guitar in a rock and roll band. His band, the Milfoil Blues, plays primarily in venues near Lake Minnetonka, including Maynard’s, Bayside and Haskell’s in Excelsior and Floyd’s in Victoria. He has been playing the guitar for 20 years with no plans to give it up anytime soon. “I love it,” he says. “It’s a great diversion for me.”
Scott is also a diehard Cheesehead and maintains a shrine to the Green Bay Packers in his office. He went to the last two Packer Super Bowls, in New Orleans in 1999 and Dallas in 2011.