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HighMark® Capital Management

A comprehensive and deliberate approach
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Vision. Discipline. Results.

Our philosophy

HighMark Capital Management, Inc., Union Bank’s investment advisory subsidiary, delivers a comprehensive and disciplined approach to active investment management with prudent risk management, highly interactive client dialogue, and objective-based investing. It’s a commitment to these core values that has sustained our clients’ success for nearly 100 years.

Our investment strategies


HighMark's equity strategies seek to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns over an investment cycle by outperforming their benchmark index in absolute returns while assuming less risk. By combing quantitative and qualitative analysis, we are able to identify quality companies with durable competitive advantages at reasonable prices which drive long-term outperformance and the ability to compound shareholder wealth at superior rates over long periods of time.

Investment Philosophy

Patient Approach – We anchor our strategies to superior long-term fundamentals and attractive valuations that may take as much as three years to meet our expectations.

Contrarian Viewpoint – We employ an approach that carries somewhat of a variant view that is often at odds with the market consensus. It's not that the consensus is always wrong, but it's most likely discounted in today’s markets.

Long-Term Perspective – We deliberately think like the owners of a business and take a long-term perspective - investing over a multi-year horizon. This enables us to arbitrage time horizons versus some of the more myopic, short-term market participants, enabling mean reversion to play its critical role in normalizing market conditions over time.

Fixed Income

Core Fixed Income
The Core Fixed Income strategy seeks to capture market inefficiencies predominantly through sector allocation and security selection decisions in the context of robust risk management controls. We seek to minimize volatility through strict limits on relative sector exposures and duration decisions and manage idiosyncratic risk through individual issuer limits. Through our consistently applied philosophy and process, we seek to generate above market returns over market cycles with volatility of performance at or below our primary index.

Short-Term Fixed Income
The Short Term Fixed Income strategy seeks to benefit from opportunities arising from changes in interest rates, volatility, credit and sector spreads, and the shape of the yield curve in constructing a portfolio that seeks to outperform the Barclays U.S. 1-3 Year Government/Credit Index over time.
Our process is based on the belief that fixed income markets are inefficient and active management which emphasizes sector and security selection can generate superior long-term results.

Tax-Free Fixed Income
HighMark's Intermediate Tax-Free Fixed Income strategy seeks to deliver a high-quality, well-diversified portfolio that provides a high level of current income that is exempt from Federal and California state income taxes. The process is based on our conviction that an intermediate term portfolio captures a substantial amount of the available yield in the tax-exempt market while providing a lower exposure to interest rate and price volatility than longer-term portfolios. The strategy is available in both National and state specific tax-exempt implementations. Portfolio duration is controlled via HighMark’s analysis of macroeconomic projections, relative sector value versus Treasury yields, and federal and state-specific political considerations that may impact fiscal policy.


Investment Philosophy

Income Advantage – Seek to maintain a durable income advantage as compounding interest is an essential component of value-added fixed income investment returns.

Fundamental Research and Mean Reversion – Independent, in-depth fundamental research helps us capture an income advantage and have confidence in our investment decisions during periods of volatility. Mean reversion is a critical component in developing investment ideas and maintaining a sell discipline.

Asymmetric Risk Avoidance – Given that fixed income instruments may provide limited upside and maximum downside return potential, careful attention to issue- and issuer-level analysis is critical to portfolio construction.

Risk Management Emphasis – Control risk by using a consistent, disciplined investment process as well as maintaining strict limits on individual issuer exposure, sector allocation, and duration positioning.

Liquidity Management

HighMark's liquidity management strategies seek to provide safety and yield while attempting to maximize income, preserve principal, and maintain liquidity. The strategy is available in both cash management and limited maturity implementations.


Investment Philosophy

Fundamental Economic Analysis – Liquidity Management portfolios are positioned based on expected changes in global economic fundamentals. Global economic indicators provide insights into the pattern of business cycles and potential changes in the Federal Reserve policy. Liquidity Management portfolios are structured to capitalize on expected changes in policy while maintaining credit risk characteristics consistent with each client’s investment guidelines.

Market and Credit Analysis – In-depth yield curve and sector analysis, as well as historical spread volatility and excess return trends, are analyzed to help identify attractive securities among multiple asset classes and market sectors to enhance portfolio diversification and yield.

Customized Portfolio Construction – Portfolios are tailored to each client’s stated objectives and liquidity needs by diversifying across multiple industries and security types.

Prudent Risk Management – The strategies seek to ensure that risk is consistent with client investment guidelines and is managed and minimized through portfolio diversification, monitoring of holdings and interest rate sensitivity analysis.


Customized Investment Management

At HighMark, our clients benefit from direct access to a skilled and experienced Portfolio Manager who designs a customized investment solution for each client's unique circumstances and risk tolerance. Our Portfolio Managers are market experts that distill industry knowledge and company research into a disciplined investment process. We believe that by aligning the firm’s institutional perspective with our clients' unique circumstances, we provide a better opportunity to meet our client’s needs and objectives. We are committed to delivering competitive investment
solutions to all client portfolios. Our globally diversified approach to portfolio construction extends across all asset classes and alternative investment strategies, drawing on our own expertise and that of other leading managers.


Investment Philosophy and Core Beliefs

It is a foundational principle of HighMark that there is no “one size fits all" investment strategy. Rather, we believe meaningful value can be added through a customized approach that is designed to align investment goals and objectives with risk tolerance. We believe that the key to adding value to client portfolios within an acceptable risk tolerance lies in HighMark’s rigorous asset allocation and portfolio construction process. Our multidimensional approach to building a customized and robust investment strategy is grounded in the principles of modern portfolio theory and implemented with the highest degree of thoughtfulness and independence.

Our core beliefs serve as the foundation of all investment decision making:

  • All investment decisions begin with understanding various dimensions of risk.
  • Compensation for risk taken should be optimized to the greatest degree possible.
  • A team-oriented portfolio management structure leverages robust internal capabilities across multiple disciplines.
  • Customized asset allocation can be used to manage risk (strategic) as well as to enhance return (tactical) within client guidelines.
  • Rigorous investment manager due-diligence is essential for portfolio implementation.
  • Ongoing portfolio monitoring and client dialog ensures the portfolio remains aligned with objectives and risk tolerance.

HighMark is able to provide a unique level of service that combines our fully-vetted, open architecture investment manager universe with our internal competencies in fixed income and equity management. We identify, evaluate, and monitor outside manager strategies and combine them with our proprietary internal strategies in order to maximize risk adjusted returns and minimize fees.

Hoddy Fritz, HighMark Capital

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Hoddy Fritz
Director, Business Development
Southern California
Phone: 949-553-7141

Wiehn Michael

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Michael Wiehn
Director, Business Development
Northern California
Phone: 415-705-7181

Anti-Money Laundering Certification

HighMark Capital Management's Anti-Money Laundering Certification
HighMark Capital Management, Inc. has established and continues to maintain an Anti-Money Laundering Program reasonably designed to ensure that HighMark is in compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations related to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing initiatives.

Please click the following link to view and/or print a certification from HighMark Capital Management’s Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer.

HighMark Capital Management AML Certification

This Form ADV Part 2A ("the Brochure") provides information about the qualifications and business practices of HighMark Capital Management, Inc. If you have any questions about the contents of this brochure, please contact us at 1-800-582-4734. The information in this brochure has not been approved or verified by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or by any state securities authority.

HighMark Capital Management Form ADV Part 2A

HighMark Capital Management, Inc. (HighMark), an SEC-registered investment adviser, is a wholly owned subsidiary of MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (the Bank). HighMark manages institutional separate account portfolios for a wide variety of for-profit and nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and public and private retirement plans. The Bank, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp provides certain services to HighMark and is compensated for these services. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individual account management and construction will vary depending on each client's investment needs and objectives. Investments employing HighMark strategies are NOT insured by the FDIC or by any other federal government agency, are NOT deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, the Bank or any Bank affiliate, and MAY lose value, including possible loss of principal.