The attraction of these stewards, who have in some cases been able to preserve multi-generational legacies, is the time horizons that they bring with them. These multi-generational family owners build business cultures that place weight on institutional memories, patience, and the ability to take decisions that might bring short-term pain but bear fruit over decades.
To us, these are some of the best run companies in the world.
‘In a world where cheap capital is able to fund such aggressive competition, we believe having a patient steward at the helm, with a century-long history and an eye on running the business for the next generation, is a tangible advantage.’
The marriage between long-term thinking and focus on constant operational excellence is exemplified in the culture at Raia Drogasil, the largest pharmacy chain in Brazil. The company was created through the merger of two family-owned pharmacy chains – Droga Raia and Drogasil – with the founding families continuing to control approximately 35% of the business today. Now, with the fourth generation involved in the business, the two families together have more than 200 years of institutional memory preserved and passed down from generation to generation.
The long-termism that this ownership structure produces has helped Raia Drogasil outlast the aggressive tactics of shorter-term competitors, who may come with the advantages of deep pockets over the span of a few quarters but are unable to match Raia Drogasil’s execution over years. Many of these competitors were focused on speed and quantity of growth, trying to gain market share quickly. Raia’s long history of sound execution, as well as the deep scars they bear in their institutional memory around carrying a leveraged balance sheet, ensured that they approached these short-term pressures with conservatism. Rather than falling into the trap of competing on price, the managers at Raia remained focused on quality of growth – they remained true to the recipe that had served them well for a century, rather than sacrificing their conservatism to match the risk appetites of others. While this approach meant that the company faced some pain in the form of slower market share gains over the course of a few quarters, it ensured that when competition remained unprofitable or put their balance sheets in jeopardy over the ensuing years, Raia Drogasil remained at the ready to reap the fruits and take back their market share.
Today, Raia Drogasil remains the clear market leader in Brazil, steadily gaining in strength at the expense of their competition.
In a world where cheap capital is able to fund such aggressive competition, we believe having a patient steward at the helm, with a century-long history and an eye on running the business for the next generation, is a tangible advantage. In our experience, it allows the business to withstand these short-term competitive pressures over the span of a few quarters, only to emerge stronger at the other end.
We see these traits of long-termism and focus manifesting themselves in additional positive ways at some other family-owned companies. Marico, an Indian consumer goods company founded and controlled by the Mariwala family, has its foundations in consistently investing behind adjacent legs of growth in new segments and new geographies.
Growing out of his family’s oil trading business, Harsh Mariwala sought to build a higher-margin, direct-to-consumer company. Through the 1970s he spent time laying the groundwork of the business, investing in distribution, the brand and – perhaps most importantly – the culture of the company. Starting completely from scratch, these investments paid off in creating rapid growth for Marico’s hair oil products through the 1990s. Marico, however, was still a small fish operating in a big pond, with larger, competent competitors around them. It was at this point in their journey when their largest competitor, Hindustan Unilever, tried to acquire the business. However, Mariwala’s unwavering focus and commitment to building something for the long term led him to reject the offer and continue consistently investing behind Marico. It was this steady reinvestment that finally culminated in Marico becoming the dominant player in hair oils in the country by the mid-2000s and, as fate would have it, Hindustan Unilever choosing to sell their hair oils business to the once fledgling challenger.
Another reiteration of this same patience and perseverance is the manner in which Marico has expanded beyond their home market. Entering Bangladesh in 1999, the company was a complete newcomer in a market dominated by local brands. They chose to make losses in their first five years, investing in brand promotion and creating a resilient distribution network. Focusing on growing volumes and creating brand loyalty in those early years now leaves them in the position of being the market leader in Bangladesh with profitability even higher than in their Indian business.
Not every founding family is made equal of course, and for every one steward we like, there are many others we may think of less favourably.
However, the actions of the family stewards behind Raia Drogasil and Marico are, to us, evidence that their ownership, and the long-term mindset and behaviour it engenders, are competitive advantages in building businesses across geographies. These companies have prospered despite regime changes or economic booms and busts, and have built a robust runway for growth ahead. We remain excited about these stewards and the advantages they can bring across emerging markets.
Certain statements, estimates, and projections in this document may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Stewart Investors’ current assumptions and beliefs, in light of currently available information, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual actions or results may differ materially from those discussed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. There is no certainty that current conditions will last, and Stewart Investors undertakes no obligation to correct, revise or update information herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For illustrative purposes only. Reference to the names of each company mentioned in this communication is merely for explaining the investment strategy and should not be construed as investment advice or investment recommendation of those companies. Companies mentioned herein may or may not form part of the holdings of Stewart Investors.
View our list of investment terms to help you understand the terminology within this document.
This document has been prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to give advice. The views expressed are the views of the writer at the time of issue and may change over time. This is not an offer document, and does not constitute an offer, invitation, investment recommendation or inducement to distribute or purchase securities, shares, units or other interests or to enter into an investment agreement. No person should rely on the content and/or act on the basis of any matter contained in this document.
This document is confidential and must not be copied, reproduced, circulated or transmitted, in whole or in part, and in any form or by any means without our prior written consent. The information contained within this document has been obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable and accurate at the time of issue but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy or completeness of the information. We do not accept any liability for any loss arising whether directly or indirectly from any use of this document.
References to “we” or “us” are references to Stewart Investors. Stewart Investors is a trading name of First Sentier Investors (UK) Funds Limited, First Sentier Investors International IM Limited and First Sentier Investors (Ireland) Limited. First Sentier Investors entities referred to in this document are part of First Sentier Investors, a member of MUFG, a global financial group. First Sentier Investors includes a number of entities in different jurisdictions. MUFG and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of any investment or entity referred to in this document or the repayment of capital. Any investments referred to are not deposits or other liabilities of MUFG or its subsidiaries, and are subject to investment risk including loss of income and capital invested.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
Reference to specific securities (if any) is included for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell. Reference to the names of any company is merely to explain the investment strategy and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to invest in any of those companies.
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In Hong Kong, this document is issued by First Sentier Investors (Hong Kong) Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong. In Singapore, this document is issued by First Sentier Investors (Singapore) whose company registration number is 196900420D. This advertisement or publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Stewart Investors is a business name of First Sentier Investors (Hong Kong) Limited. Stewart Investors (registration number 53310114W) is a business division of First Sentier Investors (Singapore).
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This document is not a financial promotion. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by First Sentier Investors (UK) Funds Limited which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 143359). Registered office: Finsbury Circus House, 15 Finsbury Circus, London, EC2M 7EB, number 2294743.
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In the United States, this document is issued by First Sentier Investors International IM Limited, as SEC registered investment adviser. Stewart Investors is the trading name of First Sentier Investors International IM Limited. This material is solely for the attention of institutional, professional, qualified or sophisticated investors and distributors who qualify as qualified purchasers under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (hereafter the “1940 Act”), as accredited investors under Rule 501 of SEC Regulation D under the US Securities Act of 1933 (“1933 Act), and as qualified eligible persons as defined under CFTC Regulation 4.7. It is not to be distributed to the general public, private customers or retail investors.
In other jurisdictions where this document may lawfully be issued, this document is issued by First Sentier Investors International IM Limited which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 122512). Registered office 23 St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 1BB number SC079063.
Due to restrictions under applicable securities laws, access to the following pages is not permitted unless you are a UK resident or a professional investor in Ireland.
Before finding out more about Pacific Assets Trust plc ("the Company”), it is important that you first read and understand the information set out below. The Company is an investment company within the meaning of section 833 of the Companies Act 2006 and incorporated in Scotland with registered number SC091052. The Company's shares have been admitted to the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and admitted to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange plc. The Company is an alternative investment fund for the purposes of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive ("AIFMD") and has appointed Frostrow Capital LLP (“Frostrow”) as alternative investment fund manager ("AIFM"). Frostrow has delegated certain portfolio management responsibilities to First Sentier Investors (UK) IM Limited (registered company number SC079063) (“FSI UKIM”) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 119367 and whose registered office is at 23 St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 1BB. FSI UKIM has further delegated certain portfolio management activities to First Sentier Investors (Australia) IM Limited ("FSI AIM"). FSI UKIM and FSI AIM are both part of First Sentier Investors, part of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ("MUFG"), a global financial group.
The materials contained herein have been prepared for use solely by individuals who are resident in the United Kingdom for tax and investment purposes or are professional investors in Ireland.
The materials contained herein are not for release, publication, or distribution, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, to US, Australian, Canadian, Japanese or South African persons or into or within the United States (including its territories and possessions, any state of the United States and the District of Columbia), Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of South Africa or any other jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the relevant laws or regulations of such jurisdiction.
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The information on the pages that follow may contain forward looking statements. Any statement other than a statement of historical fact is a forward looking statement. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward looking statement. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. You should not place undue reliance on any forward looking statement, which speaks only as of the date of its issuance.
First Sentier Investors believes that the information provided is accurate as at the date of its publication, but no representation or warranty of accuracy is given by First Sentier Investors, Frostrow or the Company and therefore no liability in respect of any error or omission by a third party is accepted by First Sentier Investors, Frostrow, the Company or their affiliates or any of their directors, employees, consultants or agents.
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Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and that you may not get back the amount you originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
Changes in exchange rates will affect the value of investments overseas. Gearing, where borrowing is used to fund further investment, can increase the returns in rising markets and decrease the returns in market downturns.
Investments in emerging markets may involve a higher risk than investments in more developed markets. Investors should consider whether or not an investment in funds or companies which invest in such markets is either suitable for or should constitute a substantial part of an investor’s portfolio.
Investments in the Company may be less liquid than the securities of a larger company, or an investment trust which invests in larger companies, or in more developed economic regions. Securities in smaller companies or an investment trust (such as the Company) which invests in emerging markets may possess greater potential for capital appreciation, but also involve risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial or managerial resources and trading in such securities may be subject to more abrupt price movements than trading in the securities of larger companies.
1.1. The terms and conditions set out below apply to your use of the Company’s website. Please read them.
1.2. The "Company" means Pacific Assets Trust plc and any of its subsidiaries and related companies (including, for these purposes, Frostrow Capital LLP (“Frostrow”), First Sentier Investors (UK) IM Limited, trading as Stewart Investors, to whom Pacific Assets Trust plc has delegated certain portfolio management responsibilities), and references to "the Company’s website" are to the website available at www.pacific-assets.co.uk and also include, but are not limited to, the text, documents, images, links, sounds, graphics, and video sequences displayed on the website (the "Materials").
1.3. By clicking and entering www.pacific-assets.co.uk you agree that you have read and accept these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, do not use www.pacific-assets.co.uk. The information in the Company’s website is only for the attention of residents of the United Kingdom and professional investors in Ireland. It is your responsibility to be aware of and to observe all applicable laws and regulations in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
1.4. No information contained in these pages should be taken as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold the shares of any entity. Nothing on the Company’s website or in the Materials constitutes or is intended to constitute financial or other advice and you should not act upon any information contained on the Company’s website or in the Materials without first consulting a financial or other professional adviser.
1.5. The Company’s website is not intended to offer or to promote the offer or sale of the shares in the Company (the "Shares") in the United States or to US Persons. Each acquirer of the Shares will be deemed to represent, amongst other things, that (i) it is not in the United States, (ii) it is not a US Person or acquiring the Shares for the account or benefit of a US Person, and (iii) it is acquiring the Shares in an "offshore transaction" meeting the requirements of Regulation S under the Securities Act.
1.6. The Shares may not be acquired or held by, or transferred to, (i) an "employee benefit plan" as defined in Section 3(3) of the US Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), that is subject to Title I of ERISA; (ii) a "plan" as defined in Section 4975 of the US Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "US Tax Code"), including an individual retirement account or other arrangement that is subject to Section 4975 of the US Tax Code; (iii) an entity which is deemed to hold the assets of any of the foregoing types of plans, accounts or arrangements that is subject to Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the US Tax Code; or (iv) a governmental, church, non-US or other employee benefit plan that is subject to any federal, state, local or non-US law that is substantially similar to the provisions of Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the US Tax Code, and whose purchase, holding, or disposition of the Shares would constitute or result in a non-exempt violation of any such substantially similar law.
1.7. The Company delivers (or will deliver) to its shareholders annual financial reports, interim management statements and such other shareholder notices as the Company deems appropriate. Unless a shareholder indicates otherwise by written notice to the Company, the shareholder hereby consents to receive the Company’s financial statements, shareholder newsletters, and other shareholder notices and materials via email to the shareholder’s email address in the Company’s records or via the Company’s website at www.pacific-assets.co.uk. Although the Company does not impose any additional charges for electronic delivery, the shareholder may, of course, incur costs associated with the shareholder’s electronic access, such as usage charges from the shareholder’s Internet access providers. The shareholder may revoke its election to receive such documents via electronic delivery at any time by written notice to the Company requesting that the Company send such documents via facsimile or in hard copy via the postal service to the address notified to the Company by the shareholder from time to time.
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3. Limitation of liability
3.1. Use of the Company’s website and the Materials are at your sole risk. The Company will not be liable to any person for any direct, indirect, special or consequential, losses, damages, or awards of any kind, howsoever caused, as a result of the use of or inability to use, or reliance on, the Company’s website or any of the Materials. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Company excludes all warranties, conditions, terms, undertakings, and representations (excepting fraudulent misrepresentation) of any kind, express or implied, statutory or otherwise in connection with the Company’s website and the Materials. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall be taken to limit or exclude any liability which may not otherwise be limited or excluded under applicable law.
3.2. Nothing in this website should be construed as investment, tax, legal, or other advice, nor is it to be relied upon in making an investment decision. Those accessing the website should consult their financial advisers regarding the suitability of any of the products referred to on this website. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and an investor may receive back significantly less than the original investment. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
3.3. Trading in securities in smaller companies or an investment trust (such as the Company) which invest in emerging markets may involve greater risks and be subject to more abrupt price movements than trading in securities of larger companies.
4.1. The Materials and the Company’s website are provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis and do not purport to be full or complete. The Company gives no warranties (express, implied, or statutory) as to satisfactory quality or fitness for purpose of the Materials, including, without limitation, as to the accuracy, validity, timeliness, merchantability, or completeness of any information or data contained therein (whether prepared by the Company or by any third party), or that any of the Materials or the Company’s website will be provided uninterrupted or free from errors or that any identified defect will be corrected. The Company has the right to suspend or withdraw the provision of all or any of the Company’s website or the Materials without prior notice at any time. You are entirely responsible for your use of the website and for the consequences of relying on any content. Further, no warranty of any kind is given that the Company’s website and the Materials are free from any virus or other malicious, destructive, or corrupting code, program, or macro. The Company does not warrant that the Company’s website or the server(s) that make(s) them available are free of any virus or other harmful elements.
4.2. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Company disclaims all liability to you arising out of your use of the website. In particular, the Company shall not be liable for any direct or indirect loss or damage to you, any loss of profits, loss of business, revenue, data, goodwill, or anticipated or consequential loss or damage.
4.3. Reference in the Company’s website and/or the Materials to any hypertext link, product, process, or service does not imply the Company’s support for, or endorsement or recommendation of the provider thereof or the product, process, or service to which reference is made. The Company’s website may contain hypertext links to other websites, resources, or other third parties. The Company is not responsible for the availability of, and accepts no liability in relation to, these external websites or their contents. The Company is not a sponsor, partner, promoter, or publisher of any such website.
4.4. First Sentier Investors (UK) IM Limited and First Sentier Investors (Australia) IM Limited are part of First Sentier Investors (“FSI”) a part of Mitsubishi UFJ Group ("MUFG"), a global financial group. FSI includes a number of entities in different jurisdictions, operating under the First Sentier Investors brand. MUFG and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of any investment or entity referred to in this document or the repayment of capital. Any investments referred to are not deposits or other liabilities of MUFG or its subsidiaries, and are subject to investment risk including loss of income and capital invested.
5. Copyright and trademarks
5.1. The Materials are the copyright of the Company and its third-party licensors and may not be copied, distributed, uploaded, posted, republished, decompiled, disassembled, reverse-engineered or transmitted in any way without the prior written consent of the Company. You may, however, download one copy of the Materials for your personal use or use within the organisation in which you work on condition that you do not delete or change any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notice contained in the Materials or alter the way in which they are presented. Modification or use other than as permitted above violates the Company’s intellectual property rights in the Materials.
5.2. The trademarks, service marks, and logo used and displayed on the Company’s website are registered and unregistered trademarks of the Company and others. The intellectual property rights in the “Pacific Assets Trust” name and logo are owned by the Company. Nothing in these terms and conditions or on the Company’s website should be construed as granting any licence or right to use any trademark displayed on the Company’s website. The Company enforces infringements of its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent permitted by the law.
6. Stock exchange prices and exchange rates — Any prices/values shown on this website in relation to different underlying securities are based on the prices notified to the investment manager of the Company as the last sale price of the relevant securities on the stock exchange on which they are traded (delayed up to 20 minutes) as at the time and date shown. The Company has not verified any of the stock exchange or other information contained on this website and it should be verified separately before relying on it. Prices and values shown on this website may vary throughout the course of, and between, stock exchange trading days, market trading times and business days in general.
7. Governing law — The agreement between you and the Company relating to your use and browsing of the Company’s website is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you agree that the Courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any disputes arising in relation to such use and browsing. These terms and conditions may not be modified unless the Company agrees in writing.
9. The Materials that you are seeking to access are not directed at and may not be viewed by or distributed to persons who are resident outside the United Kingdom (except for professional investors in Ireland), including but not limited to:
• who are in the United States or who are, or are acting for the account or benefit of, US Persons; or
• who are in a jurisdiction where it is not lawful to access the Materials.
The information contained on the following pages does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to acquire or subscribe for, any securities of Pacific Assets Trust plc in any jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom, such offer or solicitation is unlawful.