We describe our investment process as ‘intelligent investing’, meaning that investment decisions are made by people, not systems. Instead of creating systems that deskill the job of the fund manager, our culture enables and motivates the investment team to deliver something extra that systematic processes can’t. Led by Chief Investment Officer Julian Lewis, the investment decisions our team make are based on the whole picture, the numbers, the story and their judgment.
Our core investment approach is about getting to grips with the fundamentals of businesses and this means we place a high priority on getting out to the markets in which we invest and speaking directly to management teams. As a group, our strength of running and understanding businesses enhances our ability to select investments.
As active managers we aim to add value by finding and validating undervalued stocks. In order to do this, we look at the fundamentals of a business - the management, the business model, the products - and a multitude of other factors. We look at their competitors and identify opportunities from mergers, acquisitions and competitive advantage.
We are benchmark aware, but not benchmark tracking. We look to outperform the respective benchmarks by forming our own views and sector weightings and by investing with conviction.
Our investment team has many years’ experience looking at the core of businesses, assessing their financial statements and identifying the value of a potential investment. Only if a stock passes our rigorous fundamental analysis do we look at investing.
Our investment team works closely together, and the cross-pollination of ideas and views is a key feature of our investment culture. The investment team, meets frequently both formally and informally to discuss and share investment ideas, and to take asset allocation decisions.
Our intelligent investment process ensures that stocks are only considered for investment if we have built high conviction for them. We look for a portfolio of holdings viewed as longer term investments, aiming typically to hold for 12 to 36 months subject to prevailing market conditions.
Although we are serious about investing, we are not sentimental about our holdings. In order to protect and best serve our investors we are prepared to take difficult decisions.
Our investment ideas come from a broad range of directions. Our collegiate and open culture encourages the exchange of views and welcomes ideas from any source or team member. Ideas can be originated from company meetings, conferences, brokers, news and media, trade contacts, as well as from our own blue-sky thinking.
We are able to bring to bear the intellectual resources of our group, whose contacts and business insight provide an invaluable source of ideas, often in niche areas which are overlooked by the mainstream.