Management & Investment Process


The investment team leverages high degrees of experience and knowledge within a disciplined investment process. Learn more about the Team.
  • Bryan C. Krug, CFA
  • Portfolio Manager
  • 20Years Investment

Investment Process

The investment team seeks to generate appealing risk-adjusted returns, investing along the corporate capital structure in bonds, loans and other securities of leveraged corporate issuers. The team’s aim is to take advantage of the illiquidity premium and the asymmetric risk profile in credit investments.

Business Quality

  • Qualitative industry analysis
  • Evaluate business model resiliency using Porter’s 5 Forces
  • Examine management decision-making history

Financial Strength & Flexibility

  • Free cash flow analysis
  • Corporate structure review
  • Capital structure review

Downside Analysis

  • Conservative financial projections
  • Competitive dynamics
  • Capital structure position
  • Enterprise value support

Value Identification

  • Credit improvement opportunities
  • Relative value within the capital structure
  • Credit cycle awareness
  • Catalysts with optionality
  • Dislocation exploitation

In-depth Investment Process


    Other Strategies Managed

    Investment Results (% USD)

    As of 30 September 2020 QTD YTD 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 10 Yr Inception
    Composite — Gross 5.90 2.81 6.14 5.88 8.23 7.10
    Composite — Net 5.72 2.28 5.41 5.15 7.48 6.35
    ICE BofA US High Yield Master II Index 4.71 -0.30 2.30 3.83 6.60 4.55
    As of 30 September 2020 QTD YTD 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 10 Yr Inception
    Composite — Gross 5.90 2.81 6.14 5.88 8.23 7.10
    Composite — Net 5.72 2.28 5.41 5.15 7.48 6.35
    ICE BofA US High Yield Master II Index 4.71 -0.30 2.30 3.83 6.60 4.55

    Annual Returns (% USD)

    12 Months Ended 30 September 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
    Composite — Gross 12.63 11.12 5.69 5.83 6.14

    Calendar Year Returns (% USD)

    2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
    Composite — Gross 2.02 15.74 9.90 -0.72 15.09
    Composite — Net 1.28 14.92 9.14 -1.41 14.30
    ICE BofA US High Yield Master II Index -4.64 17.49 7.48 -2.26 14.41
    Returns for periods less than one year are not annualized. 

    Past performance does not guarantee and is not a reliable indicator of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance shown. Composite performance has been presented in both gross and net of investment management fees.  Unlike the Index, Artisan High Income Strategy may hold loans and other security types. At times, this causes material differences in relative performance. 

    Investment Risk: Investments will rise and fall with market fluctuations and investor capital is at risk. Investors investing in investment vehicles denominated in non-local currency should be aware of the risk of currency exchange fluctuations that may cause a loss of principal. These risks, among others, are further described in the Important Disclosures section which should be read in conjunction with this material. 
    Top 10 Holdings
    (% of total portfolio as of 30 September 2020)
    General Electric Co 5.9
    Carnival Corp 3.4
    NFP Corp 3.3
    Acrisure LLC 2.9
    Surgery Center Holdings Inc 2.9
    TKC Holdings Inc 2.8
    Realogy Group LLC 2.8
    VistaJet Ltd 2.6
    Comstock Resources Inc 2.6
    Nordstrom Inc 2.2
    Total 31.4%
    Portfolio Statistics
    (as of 30 September 2020)
    Number of Securities 179
    Number of Issuers 108
    Portfolio Composition
    (% of total portfolio as of 30 September 2020)
    Corporate Bonds 77.6
    Bank Loans 21.4
    Equities 0.0
    Cash and Cash Equivalents 1.0
    Total 100.0%
    Ratings Distribution
    (% as of 30 September 2020)
    BBB 17.8
    BB 14.9
    B 39.3
    CCC 23.5
    CC 1.2
    D 0.5
    Unrated 2.8
    Total 100.0%
    Maturity Distribution
    (% of total portfolio as of 30 September 2020)
    < 1 year 1.7
    1 - <3 years 8.8
    3 - <5 years 28.4
    5 - <7 years 34.3
    7 - <10 years 16.9
    10+ years 9.9
    TOTAL 100.0%
    • Volatility Creates High Yield Opportunity
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    • Actionable Insights From Alternative Data
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    Fixed income securities carry interest rate risk and credit risk for both the issuer and counterparty and investors may lose principal value. In general, when interest rates rise, fixed income values fall. High income securities (junk bonds) are speculative, experience greater price volatility and have a higher degree of credit and liquidity risk than bonds with a higher credit rating. The portfolio typically invests a significant portion of its assets in lower-rated high income securities (e.g., CCC). Loans carry risks including insolvency of the borrower, lending bank or other intermediary. Loans may be secured, unsecured, or not fully collateralized, trade infrequently, experience delayed settlement, and be subject to resale restrictions. Private placement and restricted securities may not be easily sold due to resale restrictions and are more difficult to value.  The portfolio’s use of derivative instruments may create additional leverage and involve risks different from, or greater than, the risks associated with investing in more traditional investments.  International investments involve special risks, including currency fluctuation, lower liquidity, different accounting methods and economic and political systems, and higher transaction costs. These risks typically are greater in emerging markets.  These risks, among others, are further described in Artisan Partners Form ADV, which is available upon request. 

    Unless otherwise indicated, strategy characteristics relate to that of a representative account managed within the investment composite. It is intended to provide a general illustration of the investment strategy and considerations used by Artisan Partners in managing that strategy. Individual accounts managed to the strategy may differ, at times significantly, from the reference data shown due to varying account restrictions, fees and expenses, and longevity periods, among others. Where applicable, this information is supplemental to, and not to be construed with, a current or prospective client's investment account information.

    Performance Source: Artisan Partners/ICE BofA. Net-of-fees composite returns were calculated using the highest model investment advisory fees applicable to portfolios within the composite. Fees may be higher for certain pooled vehicles and the composite may include accounts with performance-based fees. All performance results are net of commissions and transaction costs, and have been presented gross and net of investment advisory fees. Dividend income is recorded net of foreign withholding taxes on ex-dividend date or as soon after the ex-dividend date as the information becomes available to Artisan Partners. Interest income is recorded on the accrual basis. Performance results for the Index include reinvested dividends and are presented net of foreign withholding taxes but, unlike the portfolio's returns, do not reflect the payment of sales commissions or other expenses incurred in the purchase or sale of the securities included in the indices. 

    Data & Statistics Sources: Artisan Partners/S&P/Moody’s/Bloomberg. Unless otherwise indicated, percentages shown are of total fixed income securities in the portfolio. Portfolio statistics are intended to provide a general view of the entire portfolio, or Index, at a certain point in time and are calculated using information obtained from various data sources. Portfolio statistics include accrued interest unless otherwise stated. Artisan Partners may exclude outliers when calculating portfolio statistics. If information is unavailable for a particular security Artisan may use data from a related security to calculate portfolio statistics. Unless otherwise noted, portfolio statistics represent the weighted average of the portfolio’s fixed-income securities and exclude cash and cash equivalents. Securities of the same issuer are aggregated to determine a holding’s weight in the portfolio. Totals may not sum due to rounding. 

    Credit Quality ratings are from S&P and/or Moody's. Ratings typically range from AAA (highest) to D (lowest) and are subject to change. The ratings apply to underlying holdings of the Portfolio and not the Portfolio itself. If securities are rated by both agencies, the higher rating was used. Securities not rated by S&P or Moody's are categorized as Unrated/Not Rated. Maturity Distribution represents the weighted average of the maturity dates of the securities held in the Portfolio. Free Cash Flow is a measure of financial performance calculated as operating cash flow minus capital expenditures. Porter's 5 Forces: Adapted with the permission of The Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, from Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance by Michael E. Porter. ©1985,1998 by Michael E. Porter. All rights reserved. Treasury futures represented net notional exposure of -6.18% of net assets. 

    ICE BofA US High Yield Master II Index measures the performance of below investment grade $US-denominated corporate bonds publicly issued in the US market. The index(es) are unmanaged; include net reinvested dividends; do not reflect fees or expenses; and are not available for direct investment. 

    Source ICE Data Indices, LLC, used with permission. ICE Data Indices, LLC permits use of the ICE BofA indices and related data on an "as is" basis, makes no warranties regarding same, does not guarantee the suitability, quality, accuracy, timeliness, and/or completeness of the ICE BofA indices or any data included in, related to, or derived therefrom, assumes no liability in connection with the use of the foregoing, and does not sponsor, endorse, or recommend Artisan Partners or any of its products or services.