Boutiques Connect | SVM Asset Management

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  • 05 mins 03 secs
Colin McLean, Managing Director & CEO, SVM Asset Management & Margaret Lawson, UK Investment Director, SVM Asset Management explain why culture is at the heart of SVM & what shapes their investment strategy and more.

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Boutiques Connect


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I find it s p M. After I'd spent time running Templeton's business in Europe and I could see from that the opportunity that if you could create the rate, the culture, the right environment to attract in professionals, you could get the best out of them and generate a lot of good returns for clients. So I wanted to follow up on do that, eh? Within this this business SPM the time I spent in the cf a board and as deputy chair let me play something of a role in shaping the A industry globally, particularly professionalism, which is very dear to my heart. On dhe, I could see the way in which the industry is developing internationally the opportunity to write some of the material that's used in the course and to see some of the aspirations to change this industry to make it a very professional one. Independent thinking is about the way we work together. We share ideas, but we're but we're able to pursue our own independent strategy and there will be a poacher analysis on Berry. There were six companies. I joined the business because of the freedom we had to serve. Pursue pursue our own thoughts, but that's within risk framework. It's a It's a very flat structure within S P m. On. But I think our outlook is aligned with clients. We really cared passionately about investors. You were concerned about risk, but really, what we want to do is deliver good performance on a consistent basis for clients. I think I bring to teach the team other than this fundamental analysis and accounting and other things is, I think my strength is is really getting inside the strategy of a business. I'm really trying to work out count instructed to be sustained on improved because obviously that's what delivers returns at the end of it. E. We're really looking for management. Teams are having ability to deploy capital on a consistent basis, that feeling what makes a good company on what makes a good investment? I think I'll try and get the team toe what, together effectively. So a try and recognize that the strengths of individual members and try and balance the team Oh, turn away and hey, that gets the best out of each of them. And I think setting the culture is very important organization. So have you myself is is the key champion off culture in terms of the people. I hired her. I trained them, setting the professionalism standard. So a it is not just being a bandleader is really about trying to get the right tool for the organization. Then medicine for philosophy really returns back to independent thinking. You know, we take the same researchers, other institutions, but we meet companies on a daily basis on I think, our years of experience in Rick in recognizing the previous treats that goes to make a good investment on a on an investment that's sustainable. We're really quite collegiate. We spend lots of times in discussing, but really a t end of the day in the responsibility lies with the individual investment manager, but that, you know, we talk. We have very good discussions on political discussions, economic discussions. But there's lots of aspects of investment that we're not in control of. B. That economic political, but the company risk, you know, companies that company fundamentals way. Do you have enough not to contribute? That's really were skill lies and assessing assessing the risks off the business morning. It was quite interesting, I think sometimes when we get different perspectives and accompany the e f g perspective might highlight governance, maybe governance ties and perhaps with what we see in a cones that maybe on environmental risk and then particularly, I think your company meetings, I think, sometimes bring in strategy disconnects as well. We're always looking for new business models because obviously unique business models usually have greater strength on even with the Sistine the sustainability, that ability to t to generate high returns and sustain those turns. A very important, I think if you have always got to stop challenge investments because obviously particularly companies can lose these strains either through because it disrupted or because of changes and tastes and fashion. So I think we're always which always try to be one step ahead, because I'm always asking what I ask myself when company's coming to see is I see No, where is this company going to be in five years time? Are we going to sell value? The products of the service is this company you know it's producing. Do we want to be aligned with this company five years time on. Obviously, today we're seeing greater changes in E s G and social responsibility on That's a good thing. But the point about it being a good thing is that's what we provide the opportunities for forward thinking investment groups like herself on Really, really, I really feel this is all ready for ESPN because we understand that on, you know, and we have the ability to identify what the companies are going to be. The company's of tomorrow, I think, is interesting. A red Rubies works, and we're quite often asked whether we, eh see companies in the same way is in London. As it happens, most of the company's results bring companies to end right and all this because there are fewer managers say they're lets us get much more 1 to 1 access. So the excess we actually see an end tends to be 1 to 1 meetings because companies need toe to fill the day and there's a smaller number of institutions to see. What's important about that is because the way the the stuff on ESPN will be here for a long period of time, we were able to assess the strategy of business is much better because I'm not seeing a different investment manager every time. So we're able to question where we were from before what the challenges are going forward. I really dealt with problems in the past on. The thing is that it's that consistency. It's important. But also companies like to come in to see ESPN because they feel we chat. Meeting with Charlie Challenges Strategies way. We're very interested in where their business models going, so there's a really great dialogue. And often companies say, You know, we really enjoyed those meetings because we, you know, we showed insight into the businesses that before. Yes, she is very much No d N E. It's been something we've been doing since 2006 when we started on S R. I fund on. We've stepped up our working GSG not just because we see the environmental and social issues as being important and often presenting long term risk to companies that don't align themselves. But governance, in particular, very often outlines in the short term with performance. So governance is something that pays off in terms of risk management, things that we spotted company accounts. I think investment batiks particularly are under scrutiny now to demonstrate the risk management and What we have done in a SVM is to set up an independent liquidity and fair value monitoring off that. So we use independent directors on O sage and Poots to a properly scrutinize what we're doing and to support their systems we've got. We'll risk encompasses. You know you have fund the fundamental risk of the business and that we are in control off because you know, we have lots of experience so we can look at the economic warts, will look at the financial risk, but look at the government interest. But I think what's important in view of what Colin was seeing a few moments ago, you know, the companies are are more challenge than they've ever been in my whole career on I think that's a good thing because I think you know, there's there's, there's lots of concerns political since ends and on economic concerns that really investment managers should be part off improving the situation. So I'm very pleased about all the improvements that the focus that we've seen on social responsibility in environmental responsibility because we're all in this together we stand for independent thinking. We have re expertise. We have a long record of experience on our values are lined with clients. I think what has really helped with their culture is being able to maintain a consistent, a long lasting team. So there's a continuity that I think in our team. But it's also enable just attract the next generation, the succession that we're going to have in the business. And I think we've been able to attract some a very good professionals in based on the culture that we have on all the risk. Cream work has obviously strengthened over the years. You know, it's a great place to work, were able to think independently, were able to introduce new ideas to the team on We just We just have a passion for what you do. It's such a privilege to have a job as an investment manager because you see what's the businesses you see lots of business model on, you know, to be able to be to do, to be able to make returns for clients and consistent basis. That's a good job done


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