In the post-Enron environment, many will wonder if SEI Investments is wise to boast so openly and so often of its fantastic financial performance. The leadership of the Pennsylvnia-based fund management and fund administration technology outsourcing firm never loses an opportunity to draw attention to its astonishing growth rate, so when the The Wall Street Journal named SEI as number one in its 5-year total shareholder return among a “diversified financial” industry group of 24 companies the usual press release was rushed out. SEI’s 5-year average return of 65.5 percent also qualified the company as an overall “Best Performer” in The Wall Street Journal’s annual “Shareholder Scoreboard” ranking of 1,000 U.S. companies based on total shareholder return.
“Return on shareholder investment is the fundamental measure of our financial success,” says Alfred P. West, Jr., SEI’s founder, chairman and CEO. “Our long-term shareholder return confirms the soundness of our business approach: a focus on clients, providing clients with business solutions, leveraging technology across all our operations, and a diversified portfolio of businesses.” Clients, as well as investors, will be hoping this is not a case of hubris.