William Blair & Company Hosts 38th Annual Growth Stock Conference

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

William Blair & Company, a premier global boutique investment banking and asset management firm, today commenced its 38th Annual Growth Stock Conference, a three-day event featuring roughly 240 companies and attracting almost 1,000 clients from around the globe.

William Blair kicks off its 38th year hosting this signature event with strong momentum after producing record results in the Greenwich Associates survey of small- and midcap portfolio managers in 2017.

William Blair was ranked No. 1 in eight categories in the survey, including "lead provider of research/advisory services," "most knowledge of companies and industries," "provide alpha-generating ideas and insights," and "most intense sales and research coverage." William Blair was also cited as the No. 1 provider of research for three distinct industry segments and tied for the lead in overall industry segments cited as No. 1.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized like this by the institutional investor community," William Blair President and CEO John Ettelson said. "Our mission is to provide research-driven insight and unparalleled service for our clients, and the results of this survey are proof that we are doing an outstanding job delivering on that promise."

The 38th Annual Growth Stock Conference will feature companies spanning the market-cap spectrum in six sectors—consumer; global industrial infrastructure; global services; financial services and technology; healthcare; and technology, media, and communications.

In addition to the formal presentations by the management teams of presenting companies—nearly 75% of which will be represented by the highest ranks of management (chairman, chief executive officer, president, or chief operating officer)—William Blair has scheduled almost 5,000 one-on-one meetings between clients and management teams.

Among the prominent industry leaders scheduled to present this week are David W. Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services; Rob Douglas, president and COO of ResMed Inc.; Corey E. Thomas, president and CEO of salesforce.com, inc.; Mary N. Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty, Inc.; Scott G. Stephenson, chairman, president, and CEO of Verisk Analytics, Inc.; and D.G. Macpherson, chairman and CEO of W.W. Grainger, Inc.

"Our Annual Growth Stock Conference gives us the opportunity to highlight our long tradition of researching and investing in quality growth stock companies that can stand the test of time," said John O'Toole, director of the Equity Research Group. "We focus on durable franchises with superior business models and management teams that can generate strong, consistent growth over the long term."

John C. Moore, head of Institutional Equities, Sales, Trading and Research, said that the number of companies and clients eager to attend the Growth Stock Conference is a testament to our investment philosophy since the firm's founding. "We hear time and again that William Blair truly differentiates itself through the excellence of its research."

William Blair is a premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We provide advisory services, strategies, and solutions to meet our clients' evolving needs. As an independent and employee-owned firm, together with our strategic partners, we operate in more than 20 offices worldwide.* 

*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.

William Blair or an affiliate does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. This report is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The opinions and recommendations herein do not take into account individual client circumstances, objectives, or needs and are not intended as recommendations of particular securities, financial instruments, or strategies to particular clients. The recipient of this report must make its own independent decisions regarding any securities or financial instruments mentioned herein.

Please contact us at +1 800 621 0687 or view disclosures on our coverage list.

Additional information is available upon request.

Current Ratings Distribution (as of 6/12/18)

Coverage Universe
Outperform (Buy): 66%
Market Perform (Hold): 32%
Underperform (Sell): 1%

Inv. Banking Relationships*
Outperform (Buy): 22%
Market Perform (Hold): 10%
Underperform (Sell): 0%

* Percentage of companies in each rating category that are investment banking clients, defined as companies for which William Blair has received compensation for investment banking services within the past 12 months.

The compensation of the research analyst is based on a variety of factors, including the quality and accuracy of research, client feedback, contributions to other firm departments, competitive factors, and firm profitability.


Stock ratings and valuation methodologies: William Blair & Company, L.L.C. uses a three-point system to rate stocks. Individual ratings reflect the expected performance of the stock relative to the broader market (generally the S&P 500, unless otherwise indicated) over the next 12 months. The assessment of expected performance is a function of near-, intermediate-, and long-term company fundamentals, industry outlook, confidence in earnings estimates, valuation (and our valuation methodology), and other factors. Outperform (O) – stock expected to outperform the broader market over the next 12 months; Market Perform (M) – stock expected to perform approximately in line with the broader market over the next 12 months; Underperform (U) – stock expected to underperform the broader market over the next 12 months; not rated (NR) – the stock is not currently rated. The valuation methodologies include (but are not limited to) price-to-earnings multiple (P/E), relative P/E (compared with the relevant market), P/E-to-growth-rate (PEG) ratio, market capitalization/revenue multiple, enterprise value/EBITDA ratio, discounted cash flow, and others. Stock ratings and valuation methodologies should not be used or relied upon as investment advice. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

The ratings and valuation methodologies reflect the opinion of the individual analyst and are subject to change at any time.

Our salespeople, traders, and other professionals may provide oral or written market commentary, short-term trade ideas, or trading strategies—to our clients, prospective clients, and our trading desks—that are contrary to opinions expressed in this research report. Certain outstanding research reports may contain discussions or investment opinions relating to securities, financial instruments and/or issuers that are no longer current. Always refer to the most recent report on a company or issuer. Our asset management and trading desks may make investment decisions that are inconsistent with recommendations or views expressed in this report. We will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell the securities referred to in this report. Our research is disseminated primarily electronically, and in some instances in printed form. Research is simultaneously available to all clients. This research report is for our clients only. No part of this material may be copied or duplicated in any form by any means or redistributed without the prior written consent of William Blair & Company, L.L.C.

This is not in any sense an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security or financial instrument. The factual statements herein have been take from sources we believe to be reliable, but such statements are made without any representation as to accuracy or completeness or otherwise, except with respect to any disclosures relative to William Blair or its research analysts. Opinions expressed are our own unless otherwise stated and are subject to change without notice. Prices shown are approximate.

This material is distributed in the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA) by William Blair International, Ltd., authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). William Blair International, Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with company number 03619027. This material is only directed and issued to persons regarded as Professional investors or equivalent in their home jurisdiction, or persons falling within articles 19 (5), 38, 47, and 49 of the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (all such persons being referred to as “relevant persons”). This document must not be acted on or relied on by persons who are not "relevant persons."

"William Blair" and "R*Docs" are registered trademarks of William Blair & Company, L.L.C. Copyright 2018, William Blair & Company, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

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