A Company Culture is the Advantage

On May 8th our Advisory team flew to Calgary to interview the investment team at Mawer Investment Management Ltd., which has been a core investment manager utilized by our firm for many years. It is no secret that their returns have been phenomenal for well over 4o years so this visit was about learning Mawer’s process and their company culture.

The advisory team was treated to a sit down with Mawer’s president Michael Mezei, Director and Portfolio Manager Greg Peterson, and Director of Client Management Olivia Woo. Over the course of the afternoon of listening to each of them speak, it became crystal clear that Mawer’s competitive advantage is not their ability to pick good companies (although they are one of the best at this), rather it is their culture.

Growth is not the Goal that Drives Them

For the team at Mawer, growth is an outcome of doing the right things, therefore growth is not the goal that drives them. This philosophy bleeds through their whole organization where they use a team approach that is both inclusive and humble. Greg Peterson summed it up when he said, his team deserves all the credit for Mawer’s great track record, and that he deserves very little of the acclaim. This is the kind of humbleness that is absent in many companies today. Their offices have open plans where portfolio managers sit with the analysts, encouraging open dialogue, collaboration and sharing of ideas. They have a wall set up in their lunchroom with client letters and emails thanking their team and reminding the Mawer team of why they do their job and who they are doing it for.

Mawer’s biggest concerns as money managers are downside risk and capital preservation. As their slogan says, Be boring. Make money. This is exactly what they have done for over 40 years, and that success starts with their company culture and the way they treat their employees. These are the same values that we hold so dearly at Precision Wealth. This visit only confirmed our view that this is where our core holdings will continue to go.