Founded in 2007, Chartwell Capital was established with a simple mission in mind: to stay wealthy. As the founder and CIO, my responsibility as a son, brother, husband and now father has evolved apace with our company’s transition from a family office into an asset management company. Members of the investment team that once served the family operation have become career-aspiring market participants, actively involved in the financial community.
In spite of our job titles changing during this transition, our responsibilities have not. We remain investment stewards: safeguarding our clients’ capital and seeking unbiased, intelligent, and profitable investment opportunities is our core focus.
To stay wealthy, our primary objective is to generate investment returns that are in excess of our clients’ cost of capital, aiming to generate 2.5 to 3 times the yield of the 10-year government bond in Asia. As a secondary objective, we strive to outperform the broader equity market.
Ancestral Photo of Chan Family circa 1920
A common belief held amongst some investors is that Asia is high-risk and therefore provides high returns. We beg to differ. Our observations suggest that an economy is not equivalent to its financial market just as a company is not equivalent to its stock. Each economy has its own unique pattern with only occasional overlap. From our viewpoint, risk relates to the quality of an investment, volatility relates to the characteristic of the investment, and return relates to the entry price of that investment.
Don’t get me wrong, Asia can be volatile, but many local businesses can be low risk. Whether we can profit from them comes down to our entry point, which is determined by their price versus their value. Our strategy focuses on unearthing overlooked or misjudged quality companies in the region, and investing in them at the right price. The exercise albeit simple, is not easy. Financial numbers alone are not enough; an ability to accurately judge character, and draw upon our local knowledge and strong business networks serves as our guide.
Chan on Investing
We are on the lookout for like-minded investors to grow with us. We are as careful in our client selection as you are because our client partnerships are symbiotic. As Chartwell’s founder, I am committed financially to all our investments; our team also has a stake in them. Without an alignment of interests and similar investment horizons, we are unable to move forward together. After all, this is about building partnerships. We are not just investing for you, but with you.
We are aware of what we know, but oblivious to what we don’t know. So although we generate investment ideas internally, we still encourage frequent interactions with our clients as a means of stimulating new ideas. It is through this constant dialogue that we cultivate even stronger business networks and increase our collective investment intelligence.
Our inspiration for our firm’s name comes from Sir Winston Churchill, who reminds us that “success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” As we move forward together, our vision is to become your trusted investment steward in Asia.
Ronald W. Chan
“Chartwell” by Edwina Sandys