ELEVATION CAPITAL IS A GLOBAL INVESTOR
We are a value oriented global investor who seeks to invest in undervalued companies. We are unconstrained by geography, industry or market capitalisation, allowing us to focus on long-term returns while seeking to minimise the risks of permanent capital loss.
Elevation Capital was established with a firm belief that the value investing philosophy is proven to outperform most other investment methodologies over the long term and that investors in general need to think global in their asset allocation.
Our investments are premised on the concept of “Margin of Safety” which we believe reduces risk.
What this means is we seek to acquire investments that are sufficiently cheap so that there is a margin of safety, which minimises the risk of incurring permanent capital loss. Therefore, it is unlikely you will see us investing in the “fashionable” areas of the market. The concept of “Margin of Safety” was first brought to investors by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd in the book “Security Analysis” the core principles of which hold true today. In determining our “Margin of Safety”, Elevation Capital typically focuses on the company’s balance sheet and cashflow generation. This coupled with research into peer companies, corporate mergers, acquisitions and liquidations allows us to assess the “Margin of Safety” on offer. A review of Elevation Capital’s portfolios will detail investments which exhibit one or all of the following characteristics: low price in relation to net asset value / "intrinsic value* (corporate net worth), low debt levels**, history of paying dividends and/or returning capital to shareholders and have some form of economic moat e.g. brands, franchises or other.
*Net Asset Value / Intrinsic Value – is also referred to as “Private Market Value”. Collectively we define them as the value an informed buyer would pay to purchase assets with similar characteristics. We measure Net Asset Value / Intrinsic Value or Private Market Value by scrutinising on and off balance sheet assets, liabilities and free cash flow. We also examine valuations and transactions in the public domain to formulate our view of possible future value.
**Low Debt Levels – can be assessed relative to tangible and/or intangible assets, free cash flow, the industry in which an entity operates, or versus peers within an industry.
By maintaining a more global focus there is a greater opportunity set to invest in truly world-class companies with attractive long-term fundamentals while at the same time (in our opinion) reducing investment risk for our clients. We believe that when you are several thousand miles away from Wall Street in a different nation, it’s easier to be independent and buy the things other people are selling, and sell the things that other people are buying.
Additionally, as New Zealand domiciled investors we recognise that we and the majority of our investors, whether individuals or institutions, already hold significant exposures to the New Zealand economy. We focus on the fact that New Zealand is a small, geographically isolated economy, that has a history of natural geological events and is heavily reliant on the agricultural sector. These factors all lead us to the conclusion that New Zealand is more prone to the risk of one-off shocks and by living, earning and having assets here, we already have a good natural exposure to its prospects. As a result, we feel it is prudent to direct the majority of our investment funds offshore. While we do not ignore New Zealand (or Australia) our investment focus in these markets is characterised by investments in what is best described as special situations.
We also understand our role as fiduciaries and have made our remuneration as investment managers transparent for all investors. Today, we have approximately NZ$ 227 Million of funds under management (as at 31 March 2017) which includes firm-wide assets under management and advice.
Most Importantly, all executives and directors are investors in the Value Fund on the same terms as all other investors. Executives can only invest in the Value Fund and accordingly all invest at least 10% of after tax salaries into the fund on a monthly basis.
We hope this website provides you with a useful insight into Elevation Capital. Additionally, our fund documents all provide a transparent view of the firm’s philosophies, people, portfolios and communications.
DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVES
Christopher Swasbrook is the Managing Director and Founding Shareholder of the Manager.
He was previously a Partner of Goldman Sachs JBWere Pty Limited, Co-Head of Institutional Equities at Goldman Sachs JBWere (NZ) Limited and a Foundation Broker of the New Zealand Exchange Limited (“NZX”) and prior to that an Individual Full Member of the NZ Stock Exchange (“NZSE”). He is currently a member of the NZX Listing Sub-Committee (since 2008) and a member of the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal (since 2013). He is also Chairman of NZX listed - Bethunes Investments Limited [BIL.NZX]. Mr. Swasbrook is independently recognised as a global value investor. He was most recently referenced in a book published on a number of global value investors - “The Manual of Ideas" by John Mihaljevic. You can read the preface to The Manual of Ideas here.
Mr Swasbrook graduated from the University of Auckland with a BCom (Economics) in 1995.
+64 21 928 262,
+1 347 686 5427
Craig Stobo is the Chairman and a Shareholder of the Manager.
He was educated at Waitaki Boys High School (Milner Prize), Otago University (BA Hons First Class in Economics) and Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvannia (Advanced Management Programme).
He has worked as a diplomat for the NZ and Australian Governments, economist, investment banker and also as CEO and Executive Vice President for BT Funds Management NZ Ltd.
He has chaired the Government review of the taxation of investment income in 2004 which lead to the PIE tax regime; chaired the Government review of financial services exports in 2010; and chaired the Establishment Board of the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) prior to its incorporation in December 2011.
Currently he has private equity interests in businesses including Elevation Capital Management Ltd; and is an independent director and chair of the Local Government Funding Agency, AIG Insurance New Zealand Ltd, and the NZX –listed companies Precinct Properties New Zealand Ltd, and Fliway Group Ltd. He has also been appointed by Local Government NZ to the establishment board of the Local Government Risk Agency.
+64 21 733 751
Andrew Harmos is a Non-Executive Director and Shareholder of the Manager.
He is a founding partner of Harmos Horton Lusk Limited, a specialist corporate legal advisory firm, established in 2002.
Prior to the formation of Harmos Horton Lusk, Mr Harmos was a partner of Russell McVeagh from 1986 to 2002. Mr Harmos is a Director of ASX Listed SCentre Group Limited which owns and operates major shopping centres throughout Australia and New Zealand, AMP Life Limited & National Mutual Life Association of Australasia (providers of life insurance and investment services in Australia and New Zealand) and Pascaro Investments Limited, a dairy farming investment company. Mr Harmos graduated from The University of Auckland with a BCom LLB (Hons) in 1981.
John Tsai is an Analyst and Shareholder of the Manager.
He holds a MSc (Computer Science) from The University of Auckland and a MMgt (Finance) from Massey University. John was born in Taipei, Taiwan and is multi-lingual speaking Mandarin, Taiwanese and English.
Prior to joining Elevation Capital in 2010, John first worked as a senior software programmer at Ulead Systems Inc. in Taiwan for two years. He was next, employed by a Gevin Enterprises Co., Limited in Taiwan, where one of his key responsibilities was to develop new products and prototypes by working closely with clients and manufacturers. In this role he co-developed and is the co-owner of U.S. Patent # 7,182,901 – for the manufacturing of a gaming chip, including a recess.
+64 21 035 9341
Richard Milsom leads our Sales, Marketing and Investor Communications. He is also a Shareholder of the Manager..
He holds a BCom in Finance and Economics from The University of Canterbury. Following this Mr Milsom developed and sold an adventure tourism business in Queenstown called Wake Tours. This involved acquiring resource consents, extensive marketing and liaising with other major tourism operators. He has also built a successful retail business in Christchurch, New Zealand – Infinite Definite (http://infinitedefinite.com). Here he developed a bricks & mortar operation, an online store with extensive involvement in strategy, IT infrastructure, accounting and the e-commerce platform.
Mr Milsom is currently the Chairman of the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand - Young Finance Professional’s and was recently recognised within the industry by being awarded the INFINZ – Emerging Leader Award 2017.
+64 21 274 2476
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ELEVATION CAPITAL AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Growing Global Recognition for our research
Industry Recognition for our results
Elevation Capital's "sharp stockpicking talents really came to the fore in 2016. Founder and Portfolio Manager Christopher Swasbrook's approach of judiciously selecting companies that have built ‘brand moats' around their businesses and trade at discounts to intrinsic value enabled the firm to deliver a banner year, all the more impressive given the relatively high cash hoard." "Also noteworthy are the firm's commitment to transparency and to future fee reductions as assets grow. These characteristics all make Elevation Capital a worthy option for Kiwis looking to diversify their investments overseas." - Christopher Douglas, Morningstar's Head of Research