Investment Philosophy

We are interested in asset classes where (1) banks or insurance companies previously dominated financing activity, (2) investments are privately placed, and (3) the source of loss is independent of the source of return. We call that last attribute independence. It is not typical, so we explain it a little further.

In a traditional investment, the risk and the return of investor money both happen in the same place. For example, the issuer of a corporate bond-and its ability to generate revenues exceeding expenses-is at the center of both its risk and return. This is not the case for some investments. An insurance company is the source of a catastrophe bond's return, but the risk of loss is driven by the occurrence of an independent event-e.g., a Miami hurricane. As another example, the seller of a trade receivable is the source of return, but the risk of loss comes from the obligor of the receivable. This independence condition can result in a risk premium greater than is natural for the risk. Cat bond investors receive a risk premium far greater than is normally associated with non-correlated event risks like earthquakes. Trade receivables investors often receive a risk premium that is far greater than normally associated with the credit risk of the obligor. The above-normal risk premium comes from our ability to send capital to where it is needed to generate incremental core business (e.g., new insurance policies or working capital) as well as from our ability to price and monitor the risks to which that capital is subject.

Independence allows an investor to "beat the risk curve" normally associated with traditional investments. Another benefit of the independence condition is that investors are better able to achieve a pure return on their capital by focusing the risk exposure on a narrow and well-understood aspect of a business activity. This removes less well-compensated general market or operational risks while still participating in the excess returns associated with the underlying business' products and services. The result is an attractive risk premium for allocating capital to risk in a more efficient manner.