Focused portfolios with returns defined by stock-picking, not style
Active ownership and integrated ESG
Honesty and integrity
Without these there can be no trust.
Mistakes are forgivable. Not learning from them is not. We self-criticize so others don't have to.
Humility and curiosity
Acknowledging what one doesn't know is the first step to learning. There are no stupid questions.
Different inputs broaden our perspective and enhance our judgement.
Help others reach their potential
Collaborative teamwork leads to collective achievement.
We believe that over the long-term, investing in great companies at attractive valuations generates value for shareholders that significantly exceeds the return on the average company or the market.
Great businesses create contingent assets based on extra-financial forms of capital. These are often subtle, qualitative characteristics that can take time to be reflected in company financials -- characteristics such as sustainable business practices, engaged employees as well as great relationships with suppliers, customers, and the community. Because these do not immediately accrue to the bottom line and are not reflected in typical financial reporting, the market often underappreciates their impact. However, healthy extra-financial capital mitigates risk and creates long-term economic value. We believe that by evaluating the health of extra-financial factors, including environmental, social and governance (ESG), we are not only able to reduce risk and uncover alternative sources of alpha, but also achieve a responsible allocation of capital.
Winning business modelEach business in the portfolio has a unique, hard-to-replicate element that gives it a sustainable edge over its competitors. That element varies from industry to industry, which is why we are structured as a team of industry experts.
End-market growthWe believe that a company with a winning business model able to take market share will amplify the amount of value creation if it is exposed to growing end markets.
Market share opportunityWe pay close attention to the industry structure and nature of competition and expect a company with a true edge over competitors to expand or at least maintain its market share.
Management and ESG practicesWe believe investing is not simply renting a share for a period, but taking an ownership stake in a business and accepting the responsibility that ownership entails. We want to partner with responsible management teams who can both operate the business effectively on a day-to-day basis and position it strategically over the long term.
Even great businesses can be over-valued, putting investors' capital at risk. We consider valuation after assessing the business because we believe that it is only possible to appropriately value a business if it is understood. We use discounted cash flow analysis as our fundamental valuation tool because its long-term perspective is consistent with our investment horizon and because it allows us to incorporate our ESG insights into the valuation.
Our fundamental research enables us to identify the best companies with the most attractive valuations. These are our best ideas and we seek to have as much exposure to these as possible, leading to a focused portfolio.
But risk is also important. We want the active risk in the portfolio to reflect our investment philosophy of owning great companies at attractive valuations. These are our intended stock-specific sources of risk, the selection and timing of which provides us with a positive expected return. Other sources of risk, such as market or style, fall outside of our philosophy and have no expected return. They are unintended sources.
We use our proprietary risk application in order to analyze the portfolio's risk exposures, enabling us to build-in sufficient diversification for us to capture the stock-specific intended risk sources whilst maintaining a focused portfolio of best ideas. By ensuring the individuality of those best ideas, we maximize diversification of unintended risk exposures and avoid bias-creating concentrations.
The result is a portfolio where excess returns are dominated by the investment philosophy and stock-specific risk.
We consider ESG factors as non-traditional sources of risk and opportunity which we believe should form part of every company assessment. We believe strong ESG practices should be considered as ‘contingent assets' in that they have the potential to deliver more from a given set of resources and enhance a business's prospects. Conversely, a company that chooses to compromise the future in order to flatter short term results is creating a ‘contingent liability' that could undermine the sustainability of that business.
The relevance of particular ESG issues varies from industry to industry, which is why we believe it is important to integrate ESG into the company assessment by our industry experts rather than using ESG as a pre-screen or overlay. This leads us to favor companies with more sustainable and responsible business models that have the potential to deliver superior long term financial performance. Our belief is that this should translate into more accurate valuation and attractive absolute and relative returns for investors over the long term.
Investors increasingly care not just what their investment return is but also how it is generated. Consistent with our purpose of making a 'positive difference', we feel we have a responsibility not just to our investors but also to the companies in the portfolio owned on their behalf. Consequently, whenever we meet with companies, we encourage ideas of responsible and sustainable business. We know that being an owner of a better business is good for investors, but because better businesses employ people with families who are part of communities, the positive difference we can make is more widely spread.
Real Impact Certification by Real Impact Tracker is given to firms that demonstrate a deep commitment to create real social and environmental impact by measuring how well a firm works to achieve its stated impact goals through investment management. Data from publicly available sources was collected to score firms on shareholder engagement, ESG strategy depth and execution, and public sphere advocacy ; firms are certified if they pass the threshold score for these three categories. Currently , 7.15% of a total $1.894 trillion in assets under management evaluated and scored by Real Impact Tracker have met the threshold. RBC Global Asset Management paid a fee to Real Impact Tracker for their time spent applying their methodology and evaluating the firm.
To be reliable stewards
We value the trust placed in us by our clients and will do all we can to be worthy of it and to enhance it.
To remain true to our investment philosophy
We invest in great companies at attractive valuations. Such companies combine ideas, human capital, social capital, corporate culture and physical capital to create value greater than the constituent parts. We commit to providing clients portfolios with risk exposures consistent with this investment philosophy. We will not expose clients to unnecessary risks.
To act responsibly and to speak up for a better future
We understand that the quality of an investment return is determined not just by its size but also by how it is generated. Returns generated at the expense of others are not truly wealth creating, are ultimately unsustainable and expose the investor to the opprobrium of society. We believe in and will make the case for sustainable value creation that comes from a balanced division of proceeds across all stakeholders.
To engage with investee companies on behalf of our clients
We acknowledge our duty as active stewards to engage with investee companies. Responsible owners support companies' adoption of sustainable business practices through active engagement, and in so doing contribute to the delivery of better long-term outcomes for society, the environment and clients.
To put our clients' interests first
Only if we are successful at making a positive difference for our clients, for investee companies and for the communities in which we operate will we make a positive difference for ourselves. We commit to transparency and to avoiding conflicts of interest by aligning ourselves with investors' outcomes. We commit to treating the capital entrusted to us as if it was our own.
We have been managing client money the same way since our foundation in 2006. Our team comprises seven industry specialists, three risk and portfolio construction experts, an investment analyst, a product specialist and the team head and founder, Habib Subjally.
The investment team enjoys a very strong, collaborative culture based upon teamwork, transparency, alignment and continuous improvement. We refer to each other as partners. We are aligned with investors' outcomes through our compensation based upon overall team performance and our personal investment in the portfolio.