About James from Joseph F Monahan

“...James is a seasoned investor, consistently basing investment decisions on thorough research and market insights not emotions...Read More Here


Joseph F. Monahan, Former Senior Vice President & CFO at McHugh Associates, Radnor, PA


Mr. James N Nelson III is a CFA charterholder and has earned a MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has more than a decade of investment experience in portfolio management, stock selection, and relationship management.

His key expertise and experience is in co-managing a $1.5 billion equity portfolio for a nationally recognized investment advisory firm and in identifying stocks that generate superior risk-adjusted returns over a business cycle.In addition, he has also acted as the lead Portfolio Manager for high net-worth and institutional clients with combined assets over $100 million.

Mr. Nelson’s reputation is as a thoughtful investor and talented stock picker with a thorough understanding and quantifiable record of success in portfolio management and stock selection across various market caps and sectors.

James is a former Partner, Portfolio Manager and Senior Equity Analyst for McHugh Associates, Inc.He has also held analytical roles at Cooke & Bieler, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and Towers Perrin.



Earned outsized influence on Investment Committee consisting of 7 Portfolio Manager/Analyst with over 20 years average experience.  Lead analyst on securities representing 20% of firm's assets under management.

Built unanimous support for investment transactions totaling more than $300 million.

Proven investment judgement.  More than half of purchase and sell recommendations were successful versus market benchmark.

Acted as lead portfolio manager for high net worth and institutional clients with combined assets over $100 million.

Led due diligence and analysis on additional investment strategy that would increase the firm’s value by 50% in 3 years.

Developed and implemented new strategy for IT department that reduced involvement of senior partners in non-core IT duties by >50%.

Work History

Work History
2008 - Present

Part-Time Lecturer in Marketing

The Wharton Global Consulting Practicum

Mentored a team of MBA student consultants from The Wharton School of Business working on internationally focused consulting project.  At times, the team also included MBA students at leading international universities.

Provided guidance and advice on the specifics of managing an International marketing project, including work plan development, setting client expectations, using frameworks to assist in the research process, and devising actionable strategies for success.

1998 - Present

INTERN: Investment Department


Analyzed securities with respect to industry characteristics and company specific factors.

Participated in Investment Committee meetings and meetings with external money managers to observe investment strategies and diversification methods used in a $1.6 billion portfolio.

Researched and wrote summary on Brazilian financial, political and social systems utilizing qualitative and quantitative analysis.

1999 - 2009

PARTNER: Portfolio Manager & Senior Equity Analyst

McHugh Associates, Inc

Portfolio Management

Co-managed a $1.5 billion large cap growth equity strategy with a team of 7 portfolio manager/analyst.  Results: Earned lead analyst role on stocks representing 20% of firm's assets under management.

Built unanimous approval for investment recommendations.  Results: During tenure, approximately 20% of new purchases and sales resulted from my recommendations.

Facilitated the maximization of risk adjusted returns for all managed portfolios.  Results: Developed models to assess the risk return trade-off of each stock.

Increased efficiency of team process, by focusing comments regarding co-worker presentations on issues that would impact my ultimate investment decision.

Research & Analysis

Developed and refined a comprehensive, highly disciplined, bottoms up research process that consistently identified reasonably priced, high-quality growth companies from a universe of over 1,000 stocks.  Results: Cut time to identify thoroughly researched investments by 50%.

Maintained a working investment thesis on 40 – 60 high quality growth businesses across multiple sectors and market capitalizations.  Results: Stocks recommended were split evenly between mid and large capitalizations and spanned the Consumer, Health Care, IT, and Financial sectors.

Developed unbiased investment judgement.  Results: Stocks purchased, per my recommendation, outperformed the benchmark by an average of over 500bps annually.Stocks sold, per my recommendation, underperformed the benchmark by an average of over 700bps annually.

Marketing and Client Service

Developed marketing pieces to be used by marketers, consultants, potential and existing clients.  Results: Authored purchase and sale write-ups and articles for the firm’s quarterly newsletter.

Represented the firm through various external platforms.  Results: Since 2003, have participated on conference panels, led client, broker and consultant presentations, conducted periodic client portfolio reviews, and handled specific client issues as they arose.

1998 - 1999


Cooke & Bieler Investment Counsel

Researched financial and economic environments for research to be used in speeches and business articles.

Developed valuation models for current and potential equity holdings.

Assisted Partner in international and domestic market research.

1997 - 1998

INTERN: Asset/Liability Forecasting Unit


Took initiative to independently identify value added areas for a key resource - performing analysis; developing potential solutions; and presenting results to a Principle and several Consultants in the Asset Liability Forecasting Unit.

Developed dynamically derived asset classes consistent with the framework of Global Cap:LinkTM, a capital markets scenario generator.


2006 - 2008

Masters of Business Administration


Consultant, Global Consulting Practicum

Recommended an actionable, comprehensive corporate and marketing strategy for an Israeli-based, industrial technology company facing a declining global market. The 6 month project was carried out with a 10 member Wharton/Tel Aviv team. Team won the “Best Project” award.

Team Member, Independent Study

Developed the framework for the Information for the Young Program with two other MBA students. The program’s mission is to attract and enlist Lauder Institute students interested in addressing global educational inequalities.

2000 - 2004

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation

CFA Institute

The Economist ranked the CFA Program as the gold standard among investment analysis designations.

1995 - 1999

Bachelors of Arts

University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts and Sciences

ASPIRE Investment Club

Founded club focused on educating members on investment principles through research and hands-on investment experience. Club members directed investments valued at over $100,000.