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Weitz Investment Management Appoints Drew Weitz Co-Portfolio Manager on two Weitz Funds and Promotes Barton Hooper to Director of Equity Research

Weitz Investment Management, Inc., adviser to the Weitz Funds, has appointed Drew Weitz as co-portfolio manager of the Weitz Partners III Opportunity Fund and the Weitz Partners Value Fund. Drew will remain co-portfolio manager of the Weitz Hickory Fund but will turn over the firm's director of equity research role to veteran equity analyst Barton Hooper, CFA. These changes aim to bring a fresh perspective to the firm's investment strategies, enhance its research process, and position the company for continued long-term success.

Drew began his career as a research analyst at Ariel Investments before joining the research team at Weitz in 2008. In 2011, he became co-portfolio manager of the Weitz Hickory Fund — a concentrated mid-cap portfolio. And in 2017, he was appointed director of equity research.

Drew will serve as co-portfolio manager of Weitz Partners III Opportunity Fund — a multi-cap, long/short portfolio, alongside Wally Weitz, CFA, founder, co-chief investment officer, and manager of the Fund since its inception in 1983. Drew will also serve as co-portfolio manager of Weitz Partners Value Fund — a multi-cap equity portfolio, with Wally and Brad Hinton, CFA, co-chief investment officer. Drew's addition ensures a deep bench and adds his equity investing insights to both funds, particularly in the mid-cap universe.

"While Drew has already made significant contributions to these funds as part of our research team, I'm excited to add his expertise to the management of Partners III and Partners Value," said Wally. "In his 15 years in the industry, he's proven himself to be an excellent analyst, portfolio manager, and a team player. And I think it is fair to say Drew and I have been talking about analyzing companies for most of his life. In fact, Drew might say it's all we talk about."

As co-portfolio manager of the funds, Drew will be working alongside two industry veterans. Wally has been managing money for more than 40 years and has no plans to retire. Brad has nearly three decades of industry experience — the past 18 years at Weitz, including three years as co-chief investment officer.

"Wally and I have been working together for close to two decades," says Brad. "We know the ins and outs of how one another makes decisions. I think bringing Drew's fresh perspective into the mix will add mid-cap expertise to the portfolios, complement our skill sets, and positively disrupt our thought processes."

With Drew's expanding portfolio management role, Barton Hooper will become Weitz's director of equity research. Barton has more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry. He joined the Weitz research team in 2007, and for the past year, he has been working side-by-side with Drew to enhance the team's research capabilities. His promotion serves as a testament to the firm's commitment to placing research at the forefront of all security selections.

"We're continually working to enhance our research methodologies," says Drew. "That includes improving our research operations, adopting new portfolio management technology, and putting the right analysts in the right positions. By appointing a veteran like Barton, who is entirely focused on our research process, I'm beyond confident that we'll be able to build on our successes and continue to raise standards."

"Ultimately, we employ a fundamental, research-driven process," says Barton. "I'm looking forward to continuing to modernize our structure so we can keep doing what we've done for nearly 40 years — identify quality businesses that can be bought at a discount."

With Barton and Drew's appointments, the company reaffirms its dedication to proactively looking toward the future. "Our firm is built to grow," says Weitz Investment Management president Jim Boyne. "With Drew and Barton taking on these roles, together with investments in our portfolio management and research systems, we're ensuring there's no 'blind spot' on our roadmap. We're ready to continue evolving and thriving — and I believe our best days are ahead."
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