Accountability Capital redefines what active investing means and what active investment managers should be doing. We don’t think hope is a viable strategy and yet that is what investing strategies are largely based on. Investors, whether institutional or individual, tend to buy stock and hope the share price goes up at some point. Needless to say that is not much of a strategy.
Traditionally, "active investing" has simply meant making deliberate choice to deviate from the characteristics of the relevant benchmark. At Accountability Capital our objective is to be a catalyst for improved share price performance. We bring solutions and ideas to improve shareholder returns. When underperforming board or CEO fails to listen to our concerns and advice, we work with our fellow shareholders and seek to replace the board.
We believe investors in many Canadian companies suffer from the absence of truly active investment managers who seek and demand accountability and result. The lack of truly active investment management, combined with low quality corporate directors and executives which are prevalent in Canadian companies, have resulted in persistent and significant investment losses for many investors.
In our experience, Canadian markets and investors are particularly susceptible to incompetent boards and management because of tendency to hire and promote family, friends, former colleagues and fools (failed politicians and others with no relevant skills or capital market experience) rather than find most qualified individuals. To be candid, many directors are also well past their best-before date and perhaps should be resting at a retirement home.
Capital markets are highly inefficient. Regulators, analysts, mutual fund managers and other key players have largely neglected shareholders. There have been too many significant losses, fraudulent companies (Sino Forest, Poseidon, etc), blow-ups (Concordia, Valeant, etc), and perennial underperformers (Cineplex, Crescent Point, Quarterhill, etc.)
Too many Canadian companies are defined by mediocrity and complacency, and many boards are characterized by arrogance and incompetence (to be clear, there are just as many or more U.S. listed companies that have spectacularly horrible leadership - see recent share price performance of companies such as GE). We believe it is shareholders’ responsibility to demand better performance. If most board members were truly independent, engaged, knowledgeable and working for shareholders, as they should be, investors wouldn’t be experiencing the losses they suffer on a regular basis.
We encourage investors to ask the following key questions:
(1) How has the share price performed over the past 12-24 months under the current board and management?
(2) What specific shareholder-friendly actions has the board undertaken over the past year?
(3) How has your investment manager voted for any given board? Your fund manager or financial advisor should not follow blindly the advice of proxy advisory firms as they are typically conflicted and paid by the companies.
At Accountability Capital, we hold boards accountable for share price performance. We actively seek to change underperforming directors and management. We believe all investors have a responsibility and obligation to do the same in order to safeguard their investments. After all, buy and hope is not a strategy.
We welcome opportunities to work with other investors and shareholders in addressing underperformance and making necessary board and management changes.
Don’t leave your investments to chance. Seek and demand accountability. Invest with Accountability Capital.