Bellingham, Wash., (March 20, 2013) — Nicholas Kaiser, co-founder, chairman, and chief investment officer of Saturna Capital Corporation, was honored with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual Whatcom Business Person of the Year event, sponsored by the Whatcom Business Alliance. The award recognizes Kaiser's leadership and business success in the investment industry and his legacy of philanthropy and civic involvement in the Pacific Northwest city of Bellingham, Washington, where he was born and raised.
"I am truly honored to join the ranks of fellow Lifetime Achievement Award recipients whose businesses drive the Whatcom County economy and are among its largest private employers," said Kaiser. "I value this recognition from my local colleagues, many of whom are longtime friends, and whose dedication to our community's education, arts, politics, and charitable organizations I admire."
As chief investment officer of Saturna Capital, and portfolio manager of the Amana Funds and the Sextant International Fund, Kaiser built an exceptional reputation in asset management. Investment research and mutual fund rating firm Morningstar nominated Kaiser as Domestic-Stock Manager of the year in 2006 and again in 2008. Barron's financial magazine included Kaiser on its Top 100 Portfolio Managers list in 2001 and 2002.
"Most people in Bellingham aren't aware how well known Nick is both nationally and internationally," said Brett Bonner, regional sales manager at Saturna Capital, and former Bellingham radio personality and mayoral candidate. "For the past three years Nick has been on Morningstar's exclusive 25 Ultimate Stock-Pickers list. Warren Buffett is also on that list."
Nick Kaiser, Chairman
Saturna Capital, the investment management firm that Kaiser started in 1989 with his late wife Markell Kaiser, manages more than $4 billion in assets. Saturna's 72 employees operate three wholly-owned subsidiaries, including Saturna Sdn. Bhd., an investment management and research firm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Locally, Kaiser is recognized as a long-standing supporter of education and the arts. The recent success of the St. Paul's Academy $11 million capital campaign to construct an upper school largely hinged on his seed money pledge, which allowed the school to secure bank loans and stimulated additional community contributions. Kaiser's philanthropy is often channeled through Saturna, helping the firm earn the Mutual Fund Education Alliance's prestigious Community Investment Award in 2011.
In 2003, Kaiser established an endowment creating the Kaiser Professorship in International Business at the College of Business and Economics of Western Washington University. The professorship focuses on teaching and research in international business and economics.
Kaiser donates his personal time as well, serving on the voluntary boards of St. Paul's Academy, the Mt. Baker Scout Foundation, and Shawnigan Lake School.
Kaiser's past industry leadership roles include governor of the Investment Company Institute, chapter president of the CFA Institute, chapter president of the Financial Planning Association, and national president of the No-Load Mutual Fund Association.
Many attribute Kaiser's success to his independent thinking and unwavering conviction. The Amana Mutual Funds are a case in point. His willingness to entertain the idea of a mutual fund managed according to Islamic principles was a rarity over 25 years ago when he helped establish the Amana Income Fund. As the funds gained favor outside the Muslim community, the Amana Income and Amana Growth Funds grew to become the world's largest Islamic equity funds open to the public. With the addition of Amana Developing World Fund in 2009, these funds total over $3.6 billion in assets as of March 2013.
Prior to Saturna, Kaiser was a principal of Unified Management Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana, which he purchased and subsequently sold after growing it into a mid-sized investment management firm. A Yale College alumnus, Kaiser earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).