Sterling Investments is an independent fund management boutique based in London.
Our purpose is to provide capital growth to investors, whatever their life stage and possibly even be part of their journey towards financial freedom.
We intend to provide the capital growth by investing in first-rate businesses run by first-rate people.
We own the firm and control our day. This ensures that we are not distracted or pressured to continuously “asset gather.” Instead, our central focus is investment excellence. We believe in what we do and invest in the Fund ourselves.
A firm is only as good as its people. For us it starts with culture and loving what we do.
Each of us has a different skill set and style but as a team we are among the best. We are all different and sometimes disagree but our culture of camaraderie binds us together. Direct talk, mutual trust and respect cuts out bureaucracy and politicking.
Our ethos is marked by
We limit our dealings to people we trust. Whether it is life, business or investing, trust underpins everything we do.
Our core ethos is dictum meum pactum (my word is my bond).
Investors entrust us with their money and we are ever mindful of our fiduciary duty. We invest with thought, and with care.
Put simply, we treat investors the way we would like to be treated.
We are here to deliver sustainable long-term value – not short-term trading profits.
We act only when the right opportunity emerges and “do nothing” when nothing is required to be done.
As shareholders, we see ourselves as co-owners of the company and co-partners with the management.
Very much like a partner, we are open and straightforward in our communications. Management teams know where we stand and admire our analytical rigour and candidness. Sometimes conversations get tough but those are strictly “within the family.”
Business is all about people.
We believe the right talent in the right place can make a dramatic difference to the long-term value of any company. We will undertake site visits to identify first-class operators and conduct reference checks.
We want to invest alongside superior management teams who understand the importance of culture, people, capital allocation and shareholder value. Hence, we take the time and effort to understand the management’s ethos and motivation. We really want to invest in people that we like, trust and admire.
Honestly, and for everybody.
We expect the management to run their businesses ethically, not make up numbers to satisfy short term market expectations. They must run their businesses with a long-term mindset and for the benefit of all stakeholders.
We are investors, not operators.
As investors, we see ourselves as allocators of capital – we do not wish to be involved in the day-to-day running of the business. However, as companies evolve, their needs change and they often reach a particular juncture in their development where we may be able to add value. Having invested in hundreds of companies, we have been there before and can offer advice and support.
We often know what has worked for other companies and can offer ideas to address the situation. Leadership have found our experience to be useful, especially when times are tough and others have abandoned them.
Partner and network.
Our CEOs know their businesses backwards and need none of our interference in the day-to-day operations. However, while we do not claim that our network is better than theirs, we do think our network is likely to be different. We are able to introduce non-executive directors, advisers or key recruits who will join because they trust us and get the job done.
On numerous occasions, we have led and become cornerstone investors in fundraisings, significantly accelerating the fundraising's momentum.
There is no hiding – we want our companies to succeed and we will do what we can including using our networks.
Put simply, we want our management teams to win. If they win, we win.
Investing In Smaller Companies
In general, larger companies have structured investor relations programmes and their websites contain exhaustive investor information. Hence, hundreds of analysts and large fund houses find it very easy to research them - from the comfort of their desks. Unfortunately, this also makes larger company investing a very crowded endeavour and where it is incredibly hard to develop any sort of edge.
In contrast, investing in smaller companies is more labour-intensive and involves a lot more “shoe leather.” But for those willing to make the effort, it is possible to develop deep insights into these businesses (and managements) that have the potential to translate into superior investment returns.
In addition, in the post MiFID world, many brokers have reduced their research coverage of smaller companies. This relative lack of information on smaller companies means that they are more likely to be overlooked, and potentially underpriced
Often, smaller companies are under-researched and overlooked.
This provides greater potential for undervaluation.
Generally, smaller companies are easier to understand and grow faster than larger companies.
They are speedboats, not super tankers.
Larger companies often acquire smaller companies – especially if the market is failing to value them correctly.
Several of our companies have been acquired in the past.
Culture and people
We get to know the senior management team and seek to evaluate the culture of the company and the commitment of the team. This is easier done in smaller companies.
Often, managements of smaller companies have meaningful ownership stakes and are aligned with shareholder interests. As owners, they think and act judiciously – just like we do.
Discounted share placings
We are able to invest in IPOs and discounted share placings. Our broad network of brokers and company executives gives us good access to such deals.
Undoubtedly, investing in smaller companies is labour-intensive and involves shoe-leather but we desire to deliver excess returns, so we must go beyond where others stop.
We love what we do and this gives us the required energy to do that extra research or take that one more meeting.
Current Opening in Marketing & Sales
First and foremost, our culture is authentic and open. We insist on covering all angles - each of us covers for the other and always got each others back.
We are a boutique and will succeed only if we really add value for our clients. Hence, it is important to have people from different backgrounds in the team. We not only encourage divergent viewpoints, they are, in fact, a company policy!
The firm is entrepreneurial so success is shared and everyone has a sense of ownership. In a world where rule books are getting thicker but honesty quotient is getting thinner, we believe integrity is at a premium. We are proud of our work and it is a privilege (and fun) to work with fantastic colleagues. We love Mondays.
Over the past decade, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) have had a tremendous ride. In our view, the asset management industry is now re-entering the age where the nimble boutiques will have an edge. Clients are wary of large firms and are increasingly asking relevant questions such as:
* Is value being delivered?
* Is the manager aligned with the investor?
* Are decisions being taken for the long-term?
* Does the organisation allow each person to operate with client interests in mind?
Our answers to such questions are a resounding “Yes.”
We are currently looking for a like-minded person to focus on marketing and sales. Now is an exciting time for an investment management job. We are flexible on time and location.
Our #1 criterion? We want you to love what you do.
If you do love your craft, give us a try. We are a great bunch. Reference check us and you will hear amazing things.