Ina G. Fernandez founded Fern Capital Inc. in August 2015 to enable clients to benefit from her extensive investment and management experience. Her vision for Fern Capital is to provide clients direct access to their portfolio manager, unusual in an increasingly automated world. As a fiduciary, Ms. Fernandez is required to put client interests ahead of her own, resulting in greater transparency and often, lower cost. That personal approach is extended to creating custom portfolios of individual stocks and bonds that are designed to meet each client’s desire for growth, income and can also accommodate their social values.
Past Investment Experience: Ms. Fernandez began her career in investments in 1989 at Comerica Capital Management Inc., managing portfolios primarily for endowment and foundation accounts, including many prominent public charities in Southeast Michigan. Here she developed her investment philosophy of investing in high quality individual securities chosen after painstaking research, in contrast to the formulaic use of mutual funds.
Ms. Fernandez joined Woodbridge Capital Management in 1993 as the result of the merger of Comerica and Manufacturers Bank, which in turn merged with Munder Capital Management in 1995. This merger made Munder the biggest Michigan based investment firm. Through all these corporate changes, a loyal cadre of clients stayed with her and has joined her again at Fern Capital. At Munder, she developed a specialty in socially responsible investing, which expanded her client base nationally to include church organizations, foundations and endowment funds. At Munder, she managed over $200 million in client assets.
In 2010 Ms. Fernandez joined Liberty Capital Management Inc. as Managing Director where she honed the skills necessary to be successful in an entrepreneurial environment. As Director of Research, Ms. Fernandez continued to find and follow stocks that were consistent with her investment philosophy: high quality, high growth bought at the right time and price.
Other Business Experience: Prior to moving to investment management, Ms. Fernandez was Vice President at Comerica Inc. responsible for directing the audits of Corporate Banking, Trust and Finance. Other positions included, Senior Audit Manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Internal Audit staff at JPMorgan Chase, and management trainee at General Motors.
Credentials: Ms. Fernandez is registered as a CPA though not currently licensed to practice public accounting. She earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy and a BS in Physics & Mathematics from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai University.
Volunteer Leadership: Ms. Fernandez, an immigrant from India and one of Crain’s Detroit Business 2014 “American Dreamers” believes in giving back. She is currently Board Member and Investment Committee Chair of COTS and Finance Committee member of Motown Museum. Her past leadership positions include Chair of Inforum, Chair of COTS, Board Treasurer of the Michigan Women Forward, Board member of the Detroit Public Library Foundation, Michigan Non-Profit Housing Corporation and Founding Charter Member of The IndUS Entrepreneurs.
Ms. Fernandez was honored with the 2017 Lifetime Award for Business Leadership from the University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Business Administration.
Anne M. Nichols joined Fern Capital in October of 2016 to fully utilize her over 30 years of investment experience to create portfolios that are designed to fit each client’s unique needs. Anne enjoys the one on one relationship she has with her clients which allows her to develop an investment strategy that makes sense to them. She implements it through investment in individual securities carefully selected to meet their objectives. As Fern Capital is an independent, fee-only registered investment advisor, clients also benefit from their interests being placed ahead of her own.
Past Investment Experience
Ms. Nichols began her career in investments in 1983 at Manufactures National Bank as an equity research analyst. In 1988, she moved to portfolio management managing investments for institutions as well as non-profit organizations. Here she developed her investment philosophy of investing in high quality companies, with growing revenues and earnings, as well as stellar balance sheets.
Ms. Nichols joined Woodbridge Capital Management in 1993 as the result of the merger of Comerica and Manufacturers Bank, which in turn merged with Munder Capital Management in 1995. This merger made Munder the biggest Michigan based investment firm. Here she worked as a portfolio manager mainly for individuals and non-profit organizations. She also worked as an equity research analyst utilizing her philosophy of investing in high quality growth companies bought at a reasonable price.
In 2000, Ms. Nichols joined Fifth Third Bank as a senior portfolio manager, working again with individuals and non-profit organizations.
In 2005, Ms. Nichols joined NorthPointe Capital, a boutique institutional money manager as an equity research analyst further honing her stock picking skills.
In 2009, Ms. Nichols joined Comerica Bank as a senior portfolio manager working with individuals and non-profit organizations. In 2010, Ms. Nichols also began managing the U. S. Large Cap Growth Strategy for the Bank’s trust department.
Education and Credentials
Ms. Nichols has maintained her Charter Financial Analyst designation since 1986. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in finance from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1983. Ms. Nichols is a member of the CFA Institute as well as the CFA Society of Detroit.
Ms. Nichols currently serves on the Mercy High School Finance and Investment Committees. She also serves on the Michigan Women Forward Investment Committee. Past leadership positions have included: President and Board Member, CFA Society of Detroit, Mercy High School Board of Directors, Catholic Youth Organization Board Member and Secretary.