INVESTORS ARE PARTNERS
Partners have mutual obligations to each other.
Our obligation to investors is to do our very best on their behalf while doing business in an exceptional way, and consistently providing them with clear, timely communication on how their capital is being managed and how our investment process is being implemented. Ideal investors are those whose objectives are aligned with ours, who focus on evaluating process over short-term outcome and who, within reason, maintain a long-term time horizon.
Broad Fiduciary Duty
Our duty is first and foremost to our investors.
When we take on the responsibility of managing someone else’s money, we owe them our best efforts toward achieving the agreed upon goals. Any conflict arising between the long-term best interest of the investor and any other consideration, including our own financial interests, will be resolved in the interest of the investor. The standard to which we hold ourselves is not whether the investor would agree to something or not (which may be biased by the asymmetry of knowledge and expertise between us), but rather whether we, with the expertise that we have on a topic, would agree to something if we were in the investor’s shoes.
Alignment of Interests
Mutual, aligned interests at all levels defines our culture.
Alignment of our economic interests with those of investors is the best way to assure that our actions will always aim to advance the long-term interest of investors. Alignment must permeate all aspects of the investment operation, from the fee structure, to terms, to how success itself is defined.
Success is the safe compounding of investors’ capital at attractive long-term absolute rates that exceed their opportunity cost of comparable risk.
“Safe” means minimizing the risk of permanent capital loss. Our approach is designed to protect capital ahead of reaching for extra returns. “Attractive rates” refers to rates that are better than other generally available alternatives than can be obtained without sacrificing safety of principal. “Long-term” means over a full market cycle spanning 5-10 years that includes a recession, a recovery and a peak in both general economic and market conditions.
We focus on long-term results, rather than on trying to manage short-term volatility, and can add the most value when investors’ goals are aligned with that long-term time horizon.
Doing Business in an Exceptional Way
We set and follow the highest ethical standards in all we do.
Sometimes it is easy to discern the line between right and wrong. Other times there are shades of gray among the choices we face, where we can honestly say we are not sure if something is problematic or not. We believe the mere need to ask whether something is the right thing to do or not usually implies that it is not. Consequently, our practice is to stay far away from anything that is remotely questionable, even practices that are considered ‘industry standard’ or ‘widely accepted.’ A manager’s actions must pass his personal litmus test of ethical behavior, which may represent a higher standard than common industry practices.