Elevation Capital is a global value investor.
Elevation Capital is founded on the philosophy of “Independent Thinking – Disciplined Investing”. We are a value oriented global investor who researches and seeks to invest in undervalued companies. We are unconstrained by geography, industry and market capitalisation, allowing us to focus on long-term returns while seeking to minimise the risks of permanent capital loss.
In today’s rapidly changing investment world where investment management firms abound, selecting the right firms to manage your capital is one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make. Selecting firms with strong governance, transparency, a clear common interest, and above everything else, intelligent investment decisions for its clients is of utmost importance. Elevation Capital Management Limited (“Elevation Capital”) is a New Zealand based global investment manager founded in 2006 by Christopher Swasbrook, Andrew Harmos and Craig Stobo. 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. This means we seek to buy 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 ever 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. 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 (corporate net worth), low debt levels, as well as a consistent history of paying dividends or returning capital to shareholders. We understand our role as fiduciaries and have made our remuneration as Investment Managers transparent for all investors. All our directors and executives are invested in one or more of our funds to ensure a common interest with our investors. Our firmwide funds under management have grown from NZ$ 8 Million at inception to approximately NZ$ 227 Million today, and we now manage investments on a global basis for both institutional and individual investors. 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.
What is Value Investing?
In the simplest terms, value investing is attempting to buy an asset for less than its estimated worth, (which may or may not in fact be the case). At Elevation Capital it is about finding a well-run company with sound long-term prospects and investing at a time when its shares are selling at a discount. And if the shares aren’t selling at a discount, it’s about having the discipline and patience to wait until the price comes our way. The term “Margin of Safety”, was coined by Benjamin Graham, regarded as the father of value investing. He considered it to be the guiding principle to investing. This margin is the difference between the company’s estimated intrinsic value and the current price of the shares. As value investors, we measure what an informed buyer might pay for a whole business, and determine if the share price reflects that appraisal. We seek to buy shares that are trading at an appreciable discount to our estimates of underlying value. Margin of Safety also leaves room for imprecision, error, bad luck or the vicissitudes of markets and economies.
As New Zealand domiciled investors we recognise that we and 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. Clearly 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.
Craig Stobo is Chairman and a shareholder of the Manager. He has worked as a diplomat, economist, investment banker, and was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of BT Funds Management Limited in New Zealand. He has authored reports for the NZ Government on “The Taxation of Investment Income” in 2004; for the Taupo Group on “Creating Wealth for New Zealanders” in 2008; and chaired the Government’s International Fund Services Development Group in 2010/11. Craig is currently an independent Chairman of Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited (NZX Listed), AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited, OCG Consulting Limited and the NZ Local Government Funding Agency. He also is a shareholder and director of a number of other private companies including Appello Services Limited and Saturn Portfolio Management Limited. Craig Stobo graduated from Otago University in 1981 with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Wharton Business School in 2004.
+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, Andrew was a partner of Russell McVeagh from 1986 to 2002. Andrew is Chairman of NZX Limited (the company which operates New Zealand’s listed debt and equity security markets), 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. Andrew graduated from the University of Auckland with a BCom LLB (Hons) in 1981.
Christopher Swasbrook is Managing Director and a shareholder of the Manager. He was previously a Partner of Goldman Sachs JBWere Pty Limited and Co-Head of Institutional Equities at Goldman Sachs JBWere (NZ) Limited. Christopher is a member of the NZX Listing Sub-Committee and a member of the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal. He is also a director of NZX listed - Mowbray Collectables Limited, a Director of Mowbray Bethunes Limited and Director of Peter Webb Galleries Limited (Webb’s). Christopher graduated from The University of Auckland with a BCom (Economics) in 1995.
+64 21 928 262
+1 347 686 5427
John Tsai is an Analyst and shareholder of the Manager. He joined the firm in 2010 after completing a MSc (Computer Science) at The University of Auckland and a MMgt (Finance) at Massey University. John hails from Taipei, Taiwan and is multi-lingual speaking Mandarin, Taiwanese and English.
+64 21 035 9341
Richard Milsom is an Analyst and Operations Manager at Elevation Capital. He joined the firm in 2013. Prior to this he studied at The University of Canterbury Majoring in Finance and Economics followed by an entrepreneurial tenure founding and operating businesses in the Retail (Infinite Definite and The Supply Room) and Adventure Tourism Sectors (Wake Tours).
+64 21 274 2476
Sam Weir is an Analyst having joined the Manager in August 2013 whilst completing his Masters in Financial Economics at Massey University. He has previously worked as a journalist, researcher and sub-editor for a number of newspapers including; World Tribune, In These Times, The Zimbabwe Independent and The Guardian. Sam was based in Afghanistan and Zimbabwe during his time as a journalist. Links to Sam's articles are: Blood Stains Zimbabwe Diamonds - October 2010 and The Struggle for Afghanistan's Youth - June 2011.
+64 21 179 5475
Thom is responsible for Distribution of Elevation Capital’s Funds. He has over 27 years experience in the investment industry specialising in sales and marketing He has held senior sales and marketing positions with some the the largest global investment managers, including Aviva Investors, AEGON Asset Management, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and Nomura Asset Management. Most recently Thom worked with Pie Funds Management and made a significant contribution to increasing funds under management.
+64 21 273 12669
Evolution of Assets Under Management
Elevation Capital offers two Global Value Funds and Separate Accounts for Qualified Investors