Thyra E. Zerhusen
CEO and Chief Investment Officer

Ms. Zerhusen is the principal founder of Fairpointe Capital LLC, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of the firm. She is part of the Investment Team, serving as lead portfolio manager for the Mid-Cap Equity and ESG Equity Strategies, including the AMG Managers Fairpointe Mid Cap Fund and institutional separate accounts.

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Prior to founding Fairpointe Capital, Ms. Zerhusen was the Chief Investment Officer for Mid-Cap Equities at a predecessor firm, beginning in October of 2003. Ms. Zerhusen also spent four years at Talon Asset Management, as Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager, where she began managing the Aston (now AMG) Fairpointe Mid Cap Fund. She has managed the fund without interruption for over fifteen years, thus preserving the long-term track record. Previously, she was employed by The Burridge Group as principal and portfolio manager for a tax-sensitive mid-cap product, and spent eleven years as Senior Investment Analyst at Sears Investment Management Company. Ms. Zerhusen started her career as an Investment Research Officer at Harris Trust & Savings Bank in Chicago and was responsible for in-depth financial analysis of company fundamentals and industry trends. She has been a guest on Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser, CNNfn’s Mutual Fundamentals, Bloomberg, and CNBC. Ms. Zerhusen received am M.S. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology with concentrations in life sciences, biotechnology, and economics. She has an M.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois. She is also a member of the Financial Analysts Federation. Primarily educated in Switzerland, Ms. Zerhusen is fluent in English, French, and German.

Elizabeth (Liz) Kirscher

Ms. Kirscher serves as President of Fairpointe Capital and is a member of the firm’s Executive Team.  Her responsibilities include leading the firm’s operations. Ms. Kirscher spent more than 20 years at Morningstar and was a member of the executive team for 12 years.

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Liz served as President of Morningstar’s Data division from 2000 to 2012 and played an important role in preparing Morningstar for its IPO in 2005.  During her tenure, Liz’s team grew and globalized Morningstar’s data licensing business making it Morningstar’s largest product.  Today, the data is still one of Morningstar’s largest contributors to revenue. More recently Kirscher ran key parts or Morningstar’s talent and culture team and was proud to be part of the company as it crossed the $1B in revenue in 2018. Liz joined Morningstar Inc. in 1995 as a member of the company’s institutional sales team.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors in History from Vassar College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Columbia Business School.  She’s held a variety of board positions including serving as a director on Morningstar’s behalf on the board of Morningstar Japan KK and PitchBook, a business Morningstar has since acquired. She’s currently an advisor to Mission Measurement a company that measures social impact.

Tony M. Smith
Head Trader / Director of Operations

Mr. Smith joined Fairpointe Capital LLC in May of 2011 and is responsible for all trading activity and back office operations.

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Prior to joining Fairpointe, Mr. Smith was employed at a predecessor firm where his main responsibilities included trading for two equity strategies and back office operations support. Mr. Smith also worked at GFI Group in New York in their Operations and Finance Departments. He received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University.

Robert J. Lukaszewicz
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Lukaszewicz serves as CFO and COO of Fairpointe Capital LLC, and is a member of the firm’s Executive Team. His responsibilities include finance and firm-wide administration.

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Mr. Lukaszewicz spent fifteen years leading the finance and operations area for Institutional Capital (ICAP), a Large Cap Value Manager in Chicago. During his tenure with the firm, ICAP grew from $2.5 billion in assets under management to $16 billion. Part of the growth at ICAP was due to the start-up and growth of the ICAP Funds family from $200,000 in 1994 to over $2.0 billion. Previously Mr. Lukaszewicz was the Assistant Controller with The Yarmouth Group, a real estate investment adviser located in Chicago. He started his career at CNA Insurance. Mr. Lukaszewicz earned a B.S. from Northern Illinois University and an M.B.A. from DePaul University and is a C.P.A.

Jeanine M. Meola
Compliance and Institutional Sales

Ms. Meola serves as Director of Institutional Sales at Fairpointe LLC. Her responsibilities include, marketing equity strategies to consultants, plan sponsors, foundations and endowments as well as supporting the client servicing efforts of the firm.

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Prior to joining Fairpointe Capital, Ms. Meola was Director of Institutional Sales at Optimum Investment Advisors where she led the company’s first effort to market to institutional clients. Her previous experience includes two years as Manager of Marketing and Client Relations at RMB Capital Management. She also spent nineteen years at Harris Associates L.P., where she was responsible for institutional sales for both domestic and international strategies, after beginning her Harris Associates’ career in the Mutual Fund Operations Department. Ms. Meola is a member of the Professional Advisory Counsel for the Chicago Foundation for Women. Ms. Meola has 26 years of industry experience and received a B.A. from DePaul University.

Jean W. Orr, CFA
Director of Research

Ms. Orr serves as a member of the Mid-Cap Investment Team. She is responsible for fundamental research of current portfolio companies and potential new investments.

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Before joining Fairpointe Capital LLC in 2012, Ms. Orr was a senior research analyst with Nutmeg Securities, LLC. Ms. Orr spent thirty years with major Wall Street firms including Smith Barney, Drexel Burnham and A. G. Edwards and with boutique firms Labé, Simpson & Company and Bluestone Capital. Prior to that, Ms. Orr managed equity investments as an analyst and portfolio manager with Penmark Investments. Ms. Orr has a B. A. in Economics from the University of Illinois, an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago and is a CFA charterholder.

Frances E. Tuite, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Ms. Tuite is part of the Investment Team, serving as co-portfolio Manager for the Mid-Cap and ESG Equity Strategies and is responsible for investment research for both the ESG Equity and Mid-Cap Equity Strategies.  In addition, she manages the 1837 LP long/short equity fund, which she founded in 2000.

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Prior to joining Fairpointe Capital LLC, Ms. Tuite managed the 1837 Fund at RMB Capital and at Talon Asset Management (under the name Talon Opportunity Partners).  Previously, she worked at Sirius Partners and Harris Associates as an analyst and portfolio manager, as a sell-side research analyst at William Blair & Company, and as analyst and Director of Research at Johnson Investment Counsel.  Earlier, she was employed at Procter & Gamble in their financial management training program.  Ms. Tuite received a B.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in Finance and Accounting and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accountancy from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  She holds the CFA designation, is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago, and has passed the Certified Public Accountant examination. She is a member of the Chicago Finance Exchange, an invitation only organization for senior women leaders in finance, and a member of International Women Associates, which pursues global understanding and universal human rights.  She serves as Chairman of the Steppenwolf’s Directors Circle, and Board Chair for Recovery on Water, a non-profit focused on breast cancer survivors.

Brian Washkowiak, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Washkowiak is part of the Mid-Cap Investment Team, serving as co-portfolio manager for the Mid-Cap and ESG strategies, including the AMG Managers Fairpointe Mid Cap Fund, and institutional and private client accounts. His responsibilities include investment research and portfolio management.

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Prior to joining Fairpointe Capital LLC in 2015, Mr. Washkowiak managed a fund at BW Opportunity Partners, LP, focusing on small and mid-cap investments. He also spent thirteen years as a research analyst and portfolio manager at Talon Asset Management, Inc. and was a member of the investment committee. At Talon, Mr. Washkowiak worked with Ms. Zerhusen as an analyst and assistant portfolio manager on the mid-cap strategy. He started his career at Duff & Phelps, LLC as an analyst in its consulting group. Brian received a B.A. in Finance from Illinois State University and is a CFA charterholder.