Dr Martens

Our Fund was launched in 1963 and there aren’t many companies who are “Senior” to us. Dr Martens is. The company launched its first boot in 1960 and remains an iconic brand even today.

Dr Martens is a British company that designs, develops, and sells footwear. The Company operates in America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific with product categories that include Originals, Fusion, kids, casual, and accessories. Though it operates in over 60 countries globally, its new “digital first” strategy is gaining traction while it takes back operations from franchisees.

The company’s IPO in January 2021 was a massive success with the backing of a who’s who in the banking world: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, BofA Securities, HSBC, and RBC Capital Markets. It was a well-marketed IPO and demand at 370p per share was not a huge surprise. However, the “IPO” was exactly that – It (was) Probably Overpriced. On listing the shares even crossed £5/- and frankly, that was not the time to pull the trigger.

We kept track* of developments from a distance. Fortunately, the market gave us an opportunity to buy those very shares at half the price and we did.

With Kenny Wilson as the CEO and Jon Mortimore as CFO, we believe this is one of the best CEO-CFO combinations in the London market today. We have no doubt this 62-year-old company is very much young at heart and has a long way to go.

*PS: There can be periods, sometimes months, when we do not buy (or sell) a single company. That does not mean we are asleep at the wheel. Rather, we are continuously reading, analysing, and meeting management teams, building our knowledge base on “target” companies.

We are “active” investors but that does not mean we frenetically trade in-and-out of companies. As Charlie Munger says, “It’s waiting that helps you as an investor, and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait”. Our advantage is our long attention span in a world suffering from overstimulation and the wish for instant gratification. Constant trading only provides the illusion of hard work rather than real returns.  We are patient asset allocators, carefully scouting the field, waiting for opportunities that deliver results, not chasing illusions.

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