Who We Are
Burgundy Asset Management is a global investment manager providing discretionary investment management for private clients, foundations, endowments, pensions and family offices.
The Responsibility of Wealth
Wealth doesn’t happen by chance. It represents years of disciplined labour and effort directed towards productive enterprise; the skillful ability to identify and seize opportunities that create value for the world.
When you know what it takes to acquire it, you feel the responsibility of wealth. You realize the need to go beyond the obvious to protect and build this wealth, in order to achieve the goals and freedoms that matter most to you, those around you and the organizations you serve.
At Burgundy, we understand the responsibility of wealth. That’s why we take a long-term approach focused on owning pieces of outstanding businesses. At times, this means that we will separate from the crowd if our comprehensive research shows it would be best for our clients.
We aren’t trying to be something for everyone. If our approach and values resonate with you and you are looking for a firm like ours, please contact us.
Message from Chairman and Co-Founder, Tony Arrell
When we started Burgundy, we had three main goals:
- We would protect and build our clients’ capital by focusing on earning strong long-term absolute returns without taking excessive risks
- We would put our clients first in everything we do
- We would look after our clients’ money the same way we look after our own
While these goals may seem simple, they are not easy to achieve. Many investment firms fall short of these goals because they focus on short-term relative results, which are detrimental to performance over the long term.
Burgundy’s approach is based on investing in good companies when we can buy them for less than they are worth and holding them for the long term. Intensive research into individual companies and their management is the critical process that supports our investment decisions. Our investment process requires outstanding portfolio managers and research analysts who have both a long-term orientation and a contrarian bias. We make all our investment decisions this way and will never change this approach in the future.
Our ownership structure has been an important influence on our success. We are committed to remaining a private firm, owned by our key people. A private ownership structure fosters stability, accountability and a long-term view that can be difficult to achieve in a larger corporate structure or in a public company.
Founded in 1990, Burgundy began investing for clients in 1991. The name “Burgundy” was inspired by the Burgundy region of France, a place deeply rooted in tradition and known for producing some of the highest-quality wines in the world.
Tony Arrell was involved in the founding of the firm. He officially joined Burgundy as Chairman and CEO in 1993 when he recognized the opportunity to build an investment firm that would be centered around value investing and long-term thinking.
Our firm’s history has been shaped by our key people – investment professionals of the highest calibre who joined in the early days and are still with the firm today.
Our core values – Always Act in our Clients’ Best Interests, Courage and Honesty – guide us to do the right thing. In our case, doing the right thing means doing right by our clients.
Always Act in our Clients’ Best Interests
- An independent ownership culture
- Investing alongside our clients
- Thinking like enterprising business people, not risk-taking speculators
- Closing investment strategies when the last investor in the door no longer has the same investment opportunity or potential as the first
- Saying “no” to clients when it is in their best interests
- Having the courage of one’s own judgment and the willingness to “stand apart from the crowd”
- Investing in quality companies when they are out of favour
- Challenging the operational status quo when innovation is in the clients’ best interests
- Thinking long term and resisting short-term pressures
- Intellectual honesty – a rigorous assessment of the qualitative and quantitative data in making investment decisions
- Admitting mistakes
- Full transparency with clients and ourselves in both good times and bad
- Self-awareness and objectivity
- Staying focused, within our circle of competence
Vision: Going Beyond
At Burgundy, our vision is to go beyond the obvious in everything we do.
Our rigorous research and investment approach goes beyond price to find value, wherever it may be uncovered around the world. We aim to identify opportunities that others miss so that our clients may benefit from long-term returns that go beyond the ordinary.
Our client counselling goes beyond service to build deep and enduring relationships. Rather than receive advice based on trends or short-term speculation, our clients receive professional thinking and judgment that is specifically applied to their unique investment needs.
Our people go beyond accepting the constraints of employees to exercising the judgment of owners. Over three-quarters of our people are owners of the firm, so we understand investing is about more than just money because it’s our money too.
Our community’s strength comes from the lasting relationships we have built with our clients. A significant number of clients who have ever partnered with us remain clients today. As we gather together at our annual Burgundy Forum, Burgundy Ball, Women of Burgundy educational events and Not-for-Profit events, we realize the mutually reinforcing benefits of being part of an enduring community.
Women of Burgundy
The Women of Burgundy’s mission is to build a community that inspires women to make investing a priority. Members of the community come together at keynote speaker events, investment seminars and book clubs, designed to foster curiosity and confidence in investing. Since our launch in April 2014, almost 1,000 members have been inspired to make investing a priority.
In 2019, we launched the Women of Burgundy magazine, MINERVA, to widen our reach to a broader community.
Burgundy has a long history of leadership in corporate governance. In 2004, Tony Arrell was a founder and initial member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and Richard Rooney was Chair of Accounting Policy. Together with a group of industry peers, they worked to align the interests of boards and management with those of the shareholder. The organization has worked tirelessly to achieve better corporate governance in Canada.
Our commitment to governance continues to inform our research process, writing and discussions with company management about their corporate governance practices.
Burgundy’s Approach to MiFID II
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) is a regulation that took effect January 2018 that aims to increase market transparency across the European Union (EU) through the standardization of the regulatory disclosures required for individual markets. It is one of the most significant regulatory changes to impact the global asset management industry. The MiFID II reforms cover a number of key topics including: best execution, conflicts of interest, bundled commissions and payments for research & trading.
At Burgundy, we follow a disciplined, bottom-up, value-driven approach to investment research, supported by intensive fundamental research. We believe that conducting our own research is the backbone of our success. From time to time we have used external research paid for using broker commissions to supplement our own research, but we do not rely on external research in our decision-making.
We always approach our decision-making with the guiding principles of fairness and transparency in mind such that all our clients are treated equally.
As of January 3, 2018, Burgundy has gone execution only on all trades and will absorb all external research costs related to our equity mandates for all clients, regardless of domicile. We will not pass these broker research commissions on to our clients, nor will our fees change as a result of this policy.