Mr. Cook is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of SouthernSun. In his over 30 years of experience as a research analyst and portfolio manager, Mr. Cook has developed a unique investment philosophy and process which serves as the core of the Firm’s U.S. and Global Equity strategies. Throughout his career, he has been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and Bloomberg Markets Magazine and has been a speaker on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Cook attended Covenant College and the OCCA Business Programme, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, and is a member of the CFA Institute.
Mr. Cook joined SouthernSun in 2006. He is responsible for coordination of research and communication within the Investment Team and is responsible for the research and analysis of existing portfolio companies as well as new ideas. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Cook served as the Analyst to the Chairman and CEO of Trivest Partners, a Miami-based private equity firm focused on middle-market LBOs. He received his B.S. in International Business, summa cum laude, from Auburn University. Mr. Cook also serves on the Board of Su Casa Family Ministries.
Mr. Cross joined SouthernSun in 2008. He is responsible for company research and analysis of current and potential portfolio holdings. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Cross was an officer of Cummins, Inc. and responsible for leading one of Cummins’ business units. He has global experience in Sales, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Logistics, Operations and General Management. Mr. Cross received his B.S. from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt’s Owen School with concentrations in Finance, Accounting and Management Information Systems. He has also passed the CPA exam. Mr. Cross serves on the Board of the Neighborhood Christian Center.
Mr. Cunningham joined SouthernSun in 2008. His responsibilities include the research and analysis of investment opportunities and monitoring of existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Cunningham served as an Analyst for RMK Funds at Morgan Asset Management. He received his B.S. in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Auburn University.
Mr. Dorman joined SouthernSun in 2010. His responsibilities include the research and analysis of investment opportunities and monitoring of existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Dorman was the Managing Director of Finance at Mercury Investment Management and was a financial advisor in the Corporate Reporting department at FedEx Corporation. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he focused on financial audits for both public and private companies in the financial services sector. Mr. Dorman received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Auburn University and his M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.
Mr. Willson joined SouthernSun in 2013. His responsibilities include the research and analysis of investment opportunities and monitoring of existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Willson was an analyst and principal at an investment firm, Wellspring Management, LP. While at Wellspring, Mr. Willson directed research and investments in a broad array of industries and markets in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining Wellspring in 2004, he served as a fixed income analyst at Morgan Keegan covering the financial sector. Mr. Willson received a B.A. in History from Auburn University and an M.B.A from Vanderbilt’s Owen School with a concentration in Finance.
Mr. Thompson joined SouthernSun in 2014. His responsibilities include the research and analysis of investment opportunities and monitoring of existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Thompson was an analyst at Mercer Capital, where he determined valuations for businesses in a wide variety of industries and conducted related industry research. Mr. Thompson graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in History and subsequently received his M.S. in Accounting from Rhodes College. He is also a licensed CPA.
Mr. McNamara serves as a Senior Trader for SouthernSun. His primary responsibilities include trading, portfolio administration, and assisting with various operational procedures. Prior to joining SouthernSun, he served as a Sales Trader and Managing Director of Equity Capital Markets with Imperial Capital, LLP. Prior to joining Imperial in 2012 , Mr. McNamara served as a Sales Trader and Senior Vice President of Equity Capital Markets with Jefferies & Co., Inc. Mr. McNamara holds a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Albany.
Mr. Pruett joined SouthernSun in 2016. He is a member of the Analytics and Support Team and is responsible for a variety of analytical projects that support the Global Investment Group. Mr. Pruett graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and subsequently received his M.B.A. from the University of Memphis. He has passed level II of the CFA exam.
Mr. Kim joined SouthernSun in 2017. His responsibilities include supporting the trading desk and assisting with activities that support the Global Investment Group. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Kim was an associate at Raymond James, where he was involved in the security pricing and performance analysis functions. Mr. Kim holds a B.A. in Accounting from University of Oregon and has passed level III of the CFA exam.
Ms. Baker serves as Executive Assistant to SouthernSun’s Founder/CEO/CIO, Michael Cook. Victoria studied English & Law before starting her career in the financial industry and subsequently went on to develop her executive and personal administration skills with a variety of entrepreneurs and businesses.
Mrs. Jones joined SouthernSun in 2015. Her primary responsibilities include assisting Senior Analyst and Principal, Phillip Cook, and the Global Investment Group. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mrs. Jones worked as Marketing Director for a restaurant franchise in Dothan, Alabama. She received a B.S. in International Trade & Finance from Louisiana State University and an M.B.A. from Troy University – Dothan Campus.
Mrs. Willard joined SouthernSun in 2014. Her current responsibilities include serving as the Executive Assistant to the Global Investment Group. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mrs. Willard served as the Executive Assistant to the CEO & Executive Lead Team at Evergreen Packaging. Prior to joining Evergreen Packaging, Kaci was a Business Analyst/Project Manager within the Information Technology department at Morgan Keegan. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Memphis with a BS in Biology.
Ms. Smith is responsible for managing the Sales, Client Service, and Consultant Relations effort at SouthernSun. Prior to joining SouthernSun in 2009, she spent eleven years at Goldman Sachs primarily within the Asset Management division (GSAM). Most recently at GSAM, she served as a Vice President on the manager research and due diligence team and was responsible for selecting U.S. Equity managers for the private client and institutional external manager platforms. Ms. Smith received her B.A. in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Series 7 license with FINRA and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.
Mr. Friary serves as a Portfolio Specialist for SouthernSun. His responsibilities include the communication of SouthernSun’s investment philosophy and process, performance, and outlook to SouthernSun’s client and consultant base. Previously, he spent four years managing portfolios for foundations, endowments and defined benefit plans at SunTrust Banks, Inc. At SunTrust, his duties included portfolio management, client investment reviews, business development and manager due diligence. He spent more than a decade as a securities analyst, notably with Delphi Management, a value-oriented, institutional investment boutique. At Delphi, Mr. Friary was a generalist, and he led coverage of energy and financial stocks. Mr. Friary received an A.B. in American History from Brown University. He holds Series 7 and 63 licenses with FINRA.
Mr. Davis serves as an Institutional Relationship Manager for SouthernSun. His responsibilities include client service, business development, and marketing for SouthernSun. Prior to joining the firm, he worked for a non-profit in various roles including business development, fundraising, and project management. Mr. Davis also spent several years as an associate with LRK Architects within its Commercial Architecture and Planning Studios. He received his B.S. in Environmental Design from Auburn University and his Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of Memphis. He holds Series 7 and 63 licenses with FINRA.
Mr. Martin serves as an Institutional Relationship Manager for SouthernSun. His responsibilities include client service, business development, and marketing for SouthernSun. Mr. Martin joined SouthernSun in 2011 to support the institutional client reporting, database management, and performance analytics effort. Prior to joining SouthernSun, he served as a Cash Management Specialist with a Regional Commercial Bank in Savannah, GA. Mr. Martin graduated from The University of Mississippi – School of Business Administration with a B.B.A. in Managerial Finance. He holds Series 7 and 63 licenses with FINRA.
Ms. Gould serves as a Marketing & Data Senior Associate for SouthernSun. Her responsibilities include client reporting, RFP completion, marketing materials production, and database management. Prior to joining the firm, she worked at Baron Capital in various roles including research assistant, sales associate and business development. Ms. Gould also previously worked at Metro Logics, Inc. and Morgan Keegan & Co. She received her B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Mississippi. She holds Series 7 and 63 licenses with FINRA.
Ms. Green serves as a Marketing & Data Associate for SouthernSun. Her responsibilities include client reporting, RFP completion, marketing materials production, and database management. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as an intern at Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. She received her B.B.A. in Marketing Management from the University of Memphis.
Mrs. Jones joined SouthernSun in 2016. Her current responsibilities include serving as the Executive Assistant to Rebecca Smith and the Client Relations Team. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mrs. Jones served as the Executive Assistant to the Managing Partner & Executive Leadership Team at Northwestern Mutual. Jenell was also an Executive Assistant at ServiceMaster for 14 years and at Federal Express Corporation.
Mr. Roach joined SouthernSun in 2014. He serves as Director of Operations and is responsible for all middle and back office operational functions including Data Management, Performance, Portfolio Accounting, and Settlements. Prior to joining SouthernSun, John was the Manager of Operations at STW Fixed Income where he was responsible for the Portfolio Accounting & Performance and Analytics, Mutual Fund Operations, Operational Risk, and Trading Operations functions. John also spent 10 years at Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn, LLC where he was Assistant Vice President of Back Office Operations which included Hedge Fund and Fund of Funds accounting. John holds a BS degree in Accounting from Pace University.
Mrs. Harper has been with SouthernSun since 1999. Her primary responsibilities include the facilitation and oversight of all operational issues including daily account activity and reconciliation, as well as execution and settlement of trades. Mrs. Harper began her financial career in 1977 at Merrill Lynch and worked for various brokerage firms prior to joining SouthernSun.
Ms. Rouse joined SouthernSun in 2005. Her responsibilities focus primarily on the maintenance, trading, and reconciliation of our wrap account relationships. She also assists in all other operational aspects of the firm. Ms. Rouse was previously a senior consultant with NYLIM in New York. She holds a B.A. in Music/Education, cum laude, from Virginia Union University.
Mr. Gafford joined SouthernSun in 2013. He is primarily responsible for maintenance, trading, and reconciliation of wrap account relationships and other operational aspects of the firm. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Gafford worked at Morgan Keegan/Raymond James as a reconciliation and performance analyst. Mr. Gafford graduated with a degree in computer engineering from Christian Brothers University. He also holds an executive certificate in financial planning.
Mrs. Fears joined SouthernSun in 2014. Her primary responsibilities include maintenance, trading and reconciliation of wrap account relationships and other operational aspects of the firm. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mrs. Fears worked for 13 years at Morgan Keegan/Raymond James as a Reporting Analyst where she specialized in reconciliation, pricing, and performance. Prior to joining Morgan Keegan/Raymond James, she worked in the banking industry as a Branch Operations Manager.
Mr. Halliday rejoined SouthernSun in 2006 having previously been with the firm from 1991 to 1999. His current responsibilities include the management and oversight of all facets of firm operations. In addition, he serves as the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to SouthernSun, Mr. Halliday served as Partner/President of Breakaway Athletics LLC. He received his B.S. in Finance from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1986, and a Graduate Certificate in Theology from Covenant Theological Seminary in 1999. Mr. Halliday serves on the Robert M. Metcalf Symposium Board, is a Trustee of Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal School and is an Elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Memphis.
As Director of Information Technology, Alex aligns the firm’s technology vision with its business strategy by integrating company processes with the appropriate technologies. Alex also is responsible for developing and implementing technology initiatives and building infrastructure to support those initiatives. Alex brings to SouthernSun Asset Management more than 25 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies in the management, development, and implementation of leading edge technology, applications and support infrastructures.
Mr. Harris joined SouthernSun in 2010 and his primary responsibilities include handling marketing efforts for the firm as well as facilitating the firm’s involvement in the broader community. Prior to joining SouthernSun, Mr. Harris was the Director of Operations for Mercury Investment Management and was a Marketing Specialist with CB Richard Ellis, focusing on research, financial analysis, and marketing strategies related to commercial real estate leasing and investment sales. He also served as the Director of Communications for SCB Computer Technology, a publicly-traded information technology firm acquired by Ciber, Inc. in 2004. There, Mr. Harris oversaw firm-wide shareholder communications and PR functions. Mr. Harris received his B.S in Business Administration from Samford University.
Mrs. McNeely joined SouthernSun in 2017 as Controller. Her primary responsibilities include management and oversight of the firm’s Accounting functions, financial statement preparation and analysis, maintenance of accounting controls and security of financial records. Prior to SouthernSun, Ashley worked in the audit practice of Ernst & Young, was a Finance Director at Verizon Wireless (formerly Alltel Communications) and a Sr. Finance Manager at Medtronic Spinal & Biologics. Ashley holds a BSBA degree in Accounting from the University of Arkansas and is an inactive CPA.
Mrs. Martin joined SouthernSun in 2010. Her current responsibilities include working with our Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining SouthernSun, she was an Executive Assistant for Looney Ricks Kiss Architects in Memphis, TN. Mrs. Martin received her B.S. in Business Administration from Arkansas State University.
Mrs. Wilson joined SouthernSun in 2006. Her current responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day functions of the firm’s office. Prior to joining SouthernSun, she was a Senior Production Planning Associate with ACH Food Companies in Memphis, TN. Mrs. Wilson received her B.B.A. from Belhaven College in Jackson, MS.
Mr. Clayton joined SouthernSun in 2010. His key responsibilities are focused on managing many of the day-to-day tasks within the firm’s compliance program, including regulatory filings, Code of Ethics items, and portfolio compliance processes, among others. In addition, Mr. Clayton provides support to the Compliance & Legal team’s training, testing, and risk assessment initiatives. He graduated summa cum laude from The University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Business Administration and a major in Economics. He also received his J.D. and M.B.A., also from The University of Tennessee. Mr. Clayton is admitted to practice law in Tennessee and is a member of the American, Tennessee, and Memphis Bar Associations. He has also attained the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) designation.