An interview with Alessandro Sax on the Founders Fund

NCBCMKY has been operating in the Cayman Islands for almost 30 years and its team offers a full suite of investment services. Through its partnership with parent company Portland Holdings Inc, and affiliate Clarien Investments Limited in Bermuda,  NCBCMKY is launching a unique, new fund in the Cayman market. Emma Parker chatted to Alessandro Sax about the newly launched Founders Fund.

EP: Can you describe the offering NCBCMKY is bringing to market in Cayman – what are its features and benefits?

AS: The Founders Fund really offers something unique in the Cayman market, the fund delivers a concentrated portfolio built according to proven criteria, which are centred around the belief that founder lead companies offer superior attributes. We utilize our robust investment framework and experienced management team to deliver best of bread companies all within a single fund to investors. 

The fund holds a concentrated portfolio of high-quality, global businesses that are leaders within strong, long term industries and demonstrate what our Chairman, Michael Lee Chin, describes as a strong ‘founders mentality’.

A key point to make is that this is not an index fund. This product has been designed to beat the benchmarks – rather than hug the index. With a management fee of only 1% we have positioned ourselves to be leaders in the wealth management industry .

The fund is actively managed by our portfolio managers who are making the decisions and each company in the portfolio has to meet exacting criteria – not every founder meets the standards required to be part of this fund’s portfolio. A deep fundamental analysis is conducted to assess each candidate company before it can be part of the fund. The successful prospects are those with the potential to deliver the best long-term value to shareholders. The subsequent actively managed portfolio is provided to investors at a compelling 1% management fee.

NCBCMKY and Clarien Investments Limited’s parent company are active owners in the fund’s portfolio companies. We walk the walk, and we view the management teams of our portfolio companies as partners, sharing the same objectives for progress and long-term success. Our ownership stakes in these businesses are much more than mere pieces of paper.

Another important point to note for many potential investors is that the fund has a commitment to responsible investing and all portfolio companies have to align with Clarien Investments Limited’s ESG philosophy, exhibiting good practices in environmental approach, social approach and governance or standards for running their company.

EP: What do you mean by ‘founders mentality’?

AS: The Founders Fund invests systematically in companies where stakeholder and

shareholder interests are aligned. These companies are founder-led, managed or advised, preserving an owner-operator mindset. Companies whose owner-operators have “skin in the game” are proven to outperform competitors. Many expert investors, including our Portland Holdings Inc chairman, Michael Lee Chin, believe that these companies tend to be more innovative and customer-focused, and are better generators of shareholder value over the long term.

EP: Which companies are in the fund portfolio?

AS: The fund is sector agnostic, the companies that make it up are selected for their founders mentality and their growth potential. They include blue chip businesses such as Alphabet, Amazon, Brookfield, Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone, Comcast, Facebook, Fresenius, Microsoft, United Health Group, and Visa.

EP: What is the investment strategy?

AS: The fund is aiming for positive, long term returns. It will achieve this by curating a selection of high-quality businesses, thoroughly understanding the businesses, ensuring they are in strong long-term growth industries, buying and holding these businesses for the long run. This approach is absolutely in line with our own Founder’s investment approach and mentality. Michael Lee Chin has taken this investment approach personally for the last 40 years with huge success and we invite clients of NCB Capital Markets (Cayman) Limited to take advantage of the opportunity to invest alongside Michael and to benefit from this experience.

EP: What sort of investors does the Founders Fund suit?

AS: The Founders Fund is aimed at investors seeking a portfolio that targets alpha returns, who share Clarien Investments Limited’s values regarding socially and environmentally responsible business practices, who appreciate the benefits of an expertly curated portfolio of companies with visionary founders and who want access to an efficient and transparent investment process with minimal fees.

EP: What would you say is unique about the Founders Fund philosophy and your own investment philosophy?

We treat your money the same way we treat our own – with respect. And in every case, we strive to be consistent and conservative in our approach.

We also have the advantage of access – via our parent company Portland Holdings Inc in North America. We are proud to be part of Portland Holdings Inc, a multibillion-dollar international conglomerate with a strong presence in North America and the Caribbean. This partnership allows us to develop world-class equity solutions for high-net-worth individuals and family offices and bring them to the Cayman market.

The Founders Fund is supported by the entire investment team – including Michael Lee Chin and the Portland Holdings Inc partners. Our investment professionals are all CFAs, they have deep, global experience in equity analysis and management and we all share an absolute return philosophy. In other words, we focus on a positive return over time – regardless of which way the markets are going.

EP: What is the liquidity of the fund?

AS: The fund offers weekly liquidity and trading each Wednesday for subscriptions and redemptions.

EP: What about fees – are they transparent?

AS: The total management fee for the fund is 1%. With no hidden fees or lockups as we pride ourselves on offering total transparency.

EP: What should interested investors do next?

AS: Speak to your usual NCB Capital Markets (Cayman) Limited contact or reach out to me directly at saxa@jncb.com

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