Walter Scott was established in 1983 to offer global equity portfolio management to institutional investors around the world. The firm's well-defined investment philosophy and process has been consistently applied since that date. Just as importantly, the collegiate culture that underpins that approach has been carefully protected and retained.
The firm’s core conviction is that, over the long term, return to shareholders can only ever be as great as the wealth generated by the underlying businesses in which they are invested. The primary task is therefore identifying those companies capable of sustaining the highest rates of wealth generation. This is achieved using original, fundamental research carried out by the firm’s Investment team across an investment universe that is unrestricted by region, sector or benchmark.
That research task calls for diligence, scrutiny and hard work. Work begins with scrutiny of public reports and accounts, restating those accounts line-by-line into a format that allows comparison between companies. With defined and transparent numbers to hand, judgments can then be made about the strategic and operational strengths of a business - from governance to the sustainability of market leadership, to balance sheet strength to management talent. Careful analysis is not restricted to desk-based efforts. It is rare that an investment will be made without meeting senior management. Every day, companies from around the world visit the team in Charlotte Square, and every week, at least one member of the team will be travelling somewhere in the world. Those trips are not simply to meet existing holdings or possible investments but also competitors and suppliers as well as policy makers and commentators. Extended research trips and attendance at industry fairs and exhibitions are very much part of the investment team’s calendar.
Through that process, 40-60 companies around the world are chosen. Stocks are not bought with any expectation of sale; such is the belief in a long-term “buy and hold” approach. As a sale is thereby a rare event, extensive efforts must lie in checking, testing and assessing existing holdings to ensure that they meet the investment objective set over time.
With a constant hand of investment stretching back over thirty years, the team at Walter Scott believes that its stock selection-based approach is as appropriate now as ever.
The firm’s collegiate ethos, and more formally the collective decision-making process, is integral to Walter Scott’s success. The investment experience of all members of the team, the varying perspectives and backgrounds, is brought to bear on every investment decision, regardless of the particular mandate. Discussion and debate amongst all members of the team is constant, and crucial to the investment process.
Walter Scott & Partners Limited is registered in the U.S. as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Authorized and regulated in the U.K. by the Financial Conduct Authority. The registered address for Walter Scott & Partners Limited is One Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DR, Scotland.