At a Glance
"Great retirement program"
More female-related initiatives needed
Hard to initially get in the firm
"Solid research and portfolio management, good large value funds"
"Always in top quartile with respect to performance"
About American Century Investments
American Century Investments is an asset management firm that offers retail mutual funds and money management to large institutions. Its basic product offerings include institutional class mutual funds, commingled trusts, separate accounts, college savings plans and sub-advisory arrangements.
Although still a relatively small shop in terms of its presenceâ€”American Century only has three office locations, in Kansas City, New York and Mountain View, Calif.â€”the firm has grown from offering just two mutual funds into a global asset manager. Today, American Century manages about $100 billion in assets and employs 1,300 people. A private company, American Century's primary owners are the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and the publicly traded JPMorgan Chase, which has a 45 percent equity stake in the firm. Voting control remains with the Stowers family, and the firm is the fifth-largest direct-marketed fund family in the country.
Formerly called Twentieth Century Investments, American Century Investments was founded in 1958 by Jim Stowers Jr., who first operated the business out of a small Kansas City apartment. In 1973, Stowers was among the few investors utilizing computer technology to aid in portfolio management. In the mid-1980s, the firm broadened its mutual fund distribution beyond its traditional retail direct-marketed business. American Century built a third-party sales force to serve financial intermediaries such as banks, insurance firms, investment advisors and broker-dealers. The move was prompted by the realization that investorsâ€”confused by the proliferation of new investment choicesâ€”needed the type of "hand-holding" normally not associated with the services provided by no-load companies.
The 1990s were a decade of growth for American Century. In 1991, the firm launched its first international portfolio. Following the rollout of additional value-oriented offerings in the early 1990s, the company added to its bond sector and quantitative equity fund lineup through the acquisition of The Benham Group, a fixed income investment management firm based in Mountain View, Calif.
After the turn of the new millennium, American Century made a push into the institutional marketplace, the part of its business that sells and services customized investment strategies directly to institutional investors, which include corporate and government retirement plans, endowments and foundations. American Century continued growing its assets in 2007 when it acquired the retail mutual fund assets of Kopp Investment Advisors, a Minnesota-based firm that manages approximately $1.5 billion. The acquisition brought American Century $225 million in mutual fund assets.
4500 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: (816) 531-5575
Employer Type: Private
Chairman and Founder: James E. Stowers Jr.
2007 Employees (All Locations): 1,600
San Francisco, CA
Kansas City, MO