Playing the plan: Mawer's equity philosophy in action | Christian Deckart | EP07

May 23, 2018 Print

Deputy CIO, Christian Deckart, takes listeners on a journey through Mawer’s equity investment philosophy by walking through the investment thesis of four of the firm’s global small cap strategy’s top ten holdings: Softcat, Tsuruha, XP Power, and VZ Holding.

Highlights include:

  • idea generation behind the stock purchase
  • investment theses
  • competitive advantages
  • risks


Your host

Website2017 160x240 RGB2 Cameron Webster, CFA
Institutional Portfolio Manager

Cam likes to think and act long-term. He has broad experience in the capital markets over his 20+ years as an analyst, portfolio manager, and client service professional. When not thinking about markets and investing, Cam trains and participates in other “boring” and disciplined activities such as ultra-endurance races—marathon, triathlon, one-day 300+km bike rides.


Start – 1:04

2:06 – Overview of Mawer’s equity investment philosophy:

  • Wealth-creating companies
  • Excellent management teams
  • Discount to intrinsic value

3:10 – Softcat: What the business does and our investment thesis

5:26 – The benefit of investing in a “capital light” company

6:24 – What it means when we say we look for companies that earn a return on capital greater than their cost of capital

7:04 – How the idea was generated within the Mawer team

10:02 – Softcat’s competitive advantage and what could go wrong

13:33 – What tool the team uses to evaluate management team answers: Scuttlebutt

15:08 – Island hopping to Japan: Tsuruha—what the business does and our investment thesis

16:27 – Is Tsuruha the “Shoppers Drug Mart” of Japan?

17:27 – How the idea was generated within the Mawer team

19:55 – Tsuruha main risks: regulation

20:56 – Tracking deeds—return on equity

22:08 – Back to the UK: XP Power—what the business does and our investment thesis

24:08 – Sustainable competitive advantages: keystone business model

26:41 – Over to Switzerland: VZ Holding—what the business does and our investment thesis

29:34 – Competitive advantages: culture, CEO as founder

30:55 – The toughest question we’re asking VZ Holding’s management team

32:00 – Rapid Fire Round

  • Small Cap or Large Cap and why
  • Favourite German expression 
  • One of the most insightful observations Christian has learned from his children

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This blog and its contents are for informational purposes only. Information relating to investment approaches or individual investments should not be construed as advice or endorsement. Any views expressed in this blog were prepared based upon the information available at the time and are subject to change. All information is subject to possible correction. In no event shall Mawer Investment Management Ltd. be liable for any damages arising out of, or in any way connected with, the use or inability to use this blog appropriately.