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What is it about companies that are still run by the person that originally founded the business? Does it make for a better investment? Well, there are fund managers out there that certainly think so, and are willing to invest for the very long term.
Who's it for? All investors
Can you name a company that was founded over 25 years ago by a guy called Jeffrey in his garage, has since grown to become the fourth largest company in the world1, and yet is still run by him? Jeff originally thought about calling the company ‘Relentless’, but his friends convinced him that Amazon sounded better (although if you visit relentless.com today, it navigates you to Amazon).
This makes you ask the question, “do founder-led companies make good investments?”
Many investment fund managers like founder-led companies in the belief that their leaders are motivated to think long term, rather than just focusing on the next quarterly earnings report. It has been suggested that these executives often see the company as their life’s work and not only understand it better than anybody else, but also have a long-term vision as to where they see it going. Examples of other founders running such companies include Elon Musk at Tesla, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, and Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway.
The Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders Fund invests in the shares of about 35 companies. But it is looking to invest in those companies for the very long term. This means looking for businesses where they can see a long way forward. Where they can picture the company growing not just this year and next year, but for the next 10 years, 20 years, and beyond. And the founder-led companies is one area that they favour.
“We like management with a very long-term approach – 10 years plus,” says Aziz Hamzaogullari, Lead Fund Manager, “It’s one of the reasons we favour businesses where founders are still present as they tend to be in it for the long haul. We decipher if there’s an alignment of interest with management owning stakes in their companies. We also like to discover if the business has a strong line of strategic thinkers – not just the top executives, but throughout.”
Some of the companies in the fund have been there for well over a decade. This has led to significantly lower trading – the swapping in and out of shares – when compared to other investment funds. Amazon, for example, has been in the fund since the fund was launched in 2006.
When looking at the fund today, Amazon is the largest holding2, which tells us that Aziz has more conviction in the company today than any other. And the fact that the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is still at the helm, only goes to reinforce Aziz’s conviction.
Like Jeff at the helm of Amazon, the team behind the Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders Fund has itself been stable, with nobody having left the team in over 10 years. And the fund has been investing along the same approach since the day it was launched in 2006, which has meant navigating the tough years of 2008/09 and the strong market rallies since. A stable team, combined with a repeatedly successful investment approach, are just some of the reasons why the fund has made it onto the Barclays Funds List.
If you are looking for a long-term investment in a fund that looks for long-term investments into US companies, the Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders Fund could be worth considering.
In addition to the Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders Fund, there are two more funds on the Barclays Funds List which invest in the US market. Find out more information on these funds.
Correct at time of publishing.
To diversify your investment, you may like to consider our own Barclays Ready-Made Investments (RMI). The RMI are just one example of a range of diversified funds which allow you to select the level of risk you are most comfortable with. These multi-asset funds invest in passive funds across a range of asset classes and regions, offering a globally diversified one-stop solution for investors. Ready-Made Investments are not the only funds that we offer and they won’t be appropriate for everyone.
Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.
We don’t offer personal investment advice so if you’re unsure you should seek that independently.
Funds are designed for the long term so you should only consider them if you can stay invested for at least five years.
These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ.
Read the Assessment of Value report [PDF, 683KB] for funds run by Barclays.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invest. Tax rules can change and their effects on you will depend on your individual circumstances.
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