Mairs & Power is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm and is Minnesota's oldest investment firm under private ownership and management.
George A. Mairs, Jr., a Saint Paul native, founded the firm in 1931. At the age of 28, he determined that the field of investment management was underrepresented in the Twin Cities and set about to build a career. Already holding an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania's Lafayette College, he went on to earn a Master's degree in corporate finance from the University of Minnesota. Just 15 months after the stock market crash of 1929, George Mairs became Minnesota's first independent professional investment counselor.
The Great Depression was a challenging period and the business grew slowly. Railroads, however, were the bedrock of the Saint Paul economy, and Mairs' keen interest in rail securities translated into success, establishing his reputation as a prudent investor. By 1940, many of his clients' investments, led by rail securities, had shown substantial appreciation.
In 1944, George C. Power, Jr. joined the firm, which later became known as Mairs & Power, Inc. A graduate of Carleton College, Power began his investment career in 1934 with the research affiliate of First Bank Stock Corporation (now U.S. Bancorp).
In 1952, Mairs' son, George A. Mairs III, entered the firm holding academic credentials from Yale University and Macalester College.
The 1950s were a period of solid growth for the firm as well as the nation's economy. The stock market awakened to the realities of postwar prosperity, and a 10-year bull market ensued. Since the firm's inception, most of its clients were individual and family investors with some accumulated wealth. However, in the 1950s retirement funds and institutions became part of the client base. As the firm grew, it became necessary to establish a minimum asset level for new accounts. To remain accessible to the small investor, the firm entered the mutual fund field, first with the Mairs & Power Growth Fund in 1958, then by adding the Mairs & Power Balanced Fund in 1961. Both were established as no-load funds, bearing neither sales nor redemption charges. At that time there were fewer than 100 such funds in the nation.
In 1992, William B. Frels, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, joined the firm after 30 years in investment management, the last 20 of which included senior investment positions in two major Saint Paul trust departments.
Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, the firm's business continued to grow rapidly under the strong leadership of George A. Mairs III and William B. Frels. Mairs retired from active management in 2009 and Frels at the end of 2015. Mairs and Power was further strengthened during this period as additional, established investment professionals joined the firm: Peter G. Robb in 1994, Ronald L. Kaliebe in 2001, Jon A. Theobald in 2002, Mark L. Henneman in 2004 and Andrew R. Adams in 2006.
Glenn E. Johnson and Peter J. Johnson joined the firm as investment professionals in 2010. In 2011, Mairs and Power added to its family of mutual funds by launching the Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund, managed by Andrew R. Adams. Similar to the Growth and Balanced Funds, the Small Cap Fund is a no-load fund focusing on long-term appreciation. In 2013, Kevin V. Earley and Allen D. Steinkopf joined the firm, followed by Justin M. Miller and Robert W. Mairs in 2015, Robert W. Thompson and Michelle A. Warren in 2016, Christopher D. Strom in 2017, and Patrick J. Farley in 2018 as investment professionals.
Jon A. Theobald took over as CEO of the firm in 2012, Mark L. Henneman and Ronald L. Kaliebe took over respectively as Lead Managers of the Mairs & Power Growth Fund and Mairs & Power Balanced Fund in 2013 and in 2014 Henneman was named Mairs & Power's President and Chief Investment Officer.
Theobald retired from the firm at the end of 2017. He was succeeded as Chairman and CEO by Mark L. Henneman while Robert W. Mairs became President. Other leadership changes effective on January 1, 2018 included the naming of Andrew R. Adams as Chief Investment Officer and Andrea C. Stimmel's elevation to Chief Operating Officer.
We operate today as we have throughout our history with the continuation of our unique approach: invest in companies, not markets, seek companies with consistent, above-average growth and durable competitive advantages, while favoring those headquartered in the Upper Midwest. We believe that it is that foundation that will successfully carry us, our clients and shareholders into the future.