David Gait is a Stewart Investors veteran having been at the company since 1997. This fund was launched by Gait in 2005 and over the years since he has built an impressive track record. He is a cautious investor, prioritising capital preservation more than most of his peers, and as a result tends to outperform in falling markets, but lag when they rise strongly. He benefits from the backing of a strong and stable analyst team. His portfolios typically have a bias to India but are underweight China. This is a near mirror of Pacific Assets Trust.
The manager employs a fundamental, bottom-up investment approach, targeting companies deemed to have quality in either financials, management and/or franchise. In addition to this he analyses the sustainability of each business with a focus on those that are positive to the social and economic aspects of the country in which they operate. Stock research is conducted by a well-resourced team based in Australia, Singapore, London and Edinburgh. Investment ideas are primarily sourced from company visits, research trips, industry contacts and third party research - typically the team conduct over 1300 company meetings per year. Portfolio holdings typically have strong balance sheets, are cash generative, shareholder friendly and are able to grow their revenues and profits sustainably and predictably. The investment horizon is generally medium to long term and the manager avoids 'momentum' type stocks. The team uses its own proprietary research tools and prefers to meet management of businesses before and when it invests. Decision-making takes into account factors such as quality of research, team decisions and views, and the manager's own knowledge of the companies. Final stock decisions and portfolio construction are the responsibility of the portfolio manager.