Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. » Approach
Approach

Quality-Value Investing

We employ a quality-value investment approach to preserve and grow our clients’ capital over the long term. Quality-value investing is based on investing in great companies when we can buy them for less than they are worth and holding them for the long term.

Our investment philosophy guides us to:

  • Focus on research - Intensive research into individual companies and their management is the critical process that supports our investment decisions
  • Remain patient - We take a long-term view because it takes time for the quality and value of our companies to be realized by the market
  • Invest globally - We invest in quality companies across the capitalization spectrum, wherever they may be found in the world

Research & Patience

The value of an investment opportunity comes from the quality of a company’s business and the price we are willing to pay for it.

We start by narrowing the vast global investment universe to a subset of companies that have characteristics of quality, and those that fit within our “circle of competence” – the companies and industries that we have the ability to understand thoroughly.

We combine quantitative and qualitative research, along with experience and human judgment, to assess each company’s business characteristics, financial position and management team. This, together with rigorous valuation analysis, results in an estimate of what we believe the company is worth, also known as the intrinsic value.

1. Quality Investment Universe

2. Research Methodology

Qualitative Research

  • Interview management teams
  • Conduct site visits and other on-the-ground research
  • Interview customers and industry experts

Quantitative Research

  • Analyze financial statements
  • Screen for quality and value characteristics
  • Perform discounted cash flow analysis and other valuation techniques
  • Identify and forecast key operating metrics
  • Test balance sheet strength

3. QUALITY CRITERIA – WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Business Characteristics

  • Barriers to entry
  • Limited competition
  • Economic resilience
  • Industry leadership

Management

  • Capable, honest management
  • Excellent capital allocation record
  • Equity ownership
  • Good corporate governance

Financial Attributes

  • Growth in free cash flow
  • Low capital requirements
  • Good return on invested capital
  • Strong balance sheet

4. VALUATION ASSESSMENT

Intrinsic value calculation: our estimate of a company’s true value

5. CONCENTRATED INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS

Approximately 25-40 holdings per regional geography

We compare our assessment of a company’s intrinsic value to the price at which it is available in the market. We remain patient, investing in a company when its market price is significantly lower than its intrinsic value.

The greater the difference between a company’s market price and its intrinsic value, the greater the margin of safety. Investing with a margin of safety helps to protect and grow capital over time. Ultimately, over the long term, we expect a company’s market price to align with our estimate of its intrinsic value.

The types of companies we seek have a history of increasing their intrinsic values as they continuously improve and grow their business. We look to invest in companies that never close that gap between price and value. Investing in these types of businesses will drive most of the value creation for shareholders over time.

One Approach, Applied Globally

Our Chief Investment Officer, Richard Rooney, oversees seven equity teams with specialized investment expertise in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia and Emerging Markets.

The structure of our teams empowers the people with the deepest experience to make decisions. Each equity team is led by a single Portfolio Manager who has full accountability and autonomy over the team’s mandate, within the limits of Burgundy’s investment philosophy and the guidelines set by our Chief Investment Officer.

Portfolio managers, together with the dedicated and experienced analysts who support them, spend their time building a deep understanding of the investment opportunities within their geographic mandates. The combination of senior established investment managers with like-minded analysts encourages collaboration, stability and succession within each equity team.

Working from our hub in Toronto, Canada, our investment team’s research includes frequent travel to gain first-hand knowledge of companies and their management teams. We choose to dedicate resources to travel because we believe it leads to deeper insights about the companies we invest in. This combination of on-the ground experience and a localized team allows us to create a truly global perspective.

Our Fixed Income Approach

Our Chief Investment Officer, Richard Rooney, oversees a fixed income team led by a single Portfolio Manager who has full accountability and autonomy over the team’s mandate, within the limits of Burgundy’s investment philosophy and the guidelines set by our Chief Investment Officer.

Similar to equities, our approach to fixed income investing is based on rigorous fundamental analysis. We thoroughly analyze financial and business risks, management quality and capital structure to assess a corporation’s ability to meet its debt obligations. Combined with our assessment of relative value, based on incremental yield, we invest in fixed income securities that offer the most attractive risk-reward proposition.

Capital preservation is paramount in our approach to fixed income investing. We invest in corporate bonds when our fundamental analysis combined with our relative value assessment demonstrate that our clients will be compensated for the inherent risks.