Owner and family-managed companies think in generations, not quarters. A long-term perspective over the course of the economic cycle pays off in the form of higher profitability compared to the typical executive-led company. Entrepreneurial sustainability for your portfolio.
Investment Case Entrepreneur
Sustainable entrepreneurial practices raise returns
At the heart of every family or entrepreneur-owned business is its owner. Compared to non-family businesses, the decisions these entrepreneurs and managers make are not dictated by short-term financial targets. Longer-term goals are more important. Entrepreneurs balance their own interests with those of their employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders. Over the course of the economic cycle this long-term perspective pays off in the form of higher profitability and better returns on investment. Numerous empirical studies corroborate that claim.
Entrepreneurs – thinking in generations, not quarters
Family and entrepreneur-managed businesses are not only the backbone of the economy, they represent a special class of companies whose qualities clearly set them apart from non-family businesses. Decisions made by family and entrepreneur-managed companies are typically framed by longer-term goals; these companies «think in generations, not quarters.»
Entrepreneur-managed companies usually stick to a conservative financing strategy. Their equity capital is higher than average, and their balance sheets are stronger. These qualities make entrepreneurs more resilient during periods of crisis and permits them to pursue anticyclical investment strategies regardless of the economic cycle.
They are also distinguished by greater innovation, a sharp focus on market niches, a high degree of internationalism and stable customer relationships. Entrepreneur companies often have deep roots in their local community and cultivate a strong sense of identification with company values. Continuity and ethics come before the maximization of short-term profits.
Advantages corroborated by research
Family-run companies have become an object of research in their own right within the academic and economic communities. A large number of studies have concluded that entrepreneur-managed companies usually operate with significantly higher levels of equity capital than non-family companies. Entrepreneurs often have a substantial financial stake in their own business, which in many cases represents much of the family’s wealth. Studies have also found that entrepreneur-managed companies have higher operating margins. In the case of listed family businesses, this higher profitability translates into a better-than-average performance over the long run.
The influence a company’s shareholder structure has on its long-term performance was long neglected in practice by the investment community. Entrepreneur-based investment strategies can deliver an excess return in the long term.
However, simply creating a portfolio of listed family businesses will not automatically lead to a better-than-average performance. Every company can also have its own specific risks. Examples here are the absence of a succession plan, or when a business becomes detached from its entrepreneurial foundations, or when its minority shareholders are not treated equally. Astute stock-picking in a quantitative and qualitative sense, taking into account soft factors associated with the entrepreneurs and their roles and duties within the company, is therefore all the more important when investing in entrepreneurs.
Bellevue Asset Management was a pioneer in the field of entrepreneurial investing and is proud of its more than 10-year track record with successful Entrepreneur funds. In its quest to identify the most attractive investment ideas, management teams travel across Europe to meet company founders and managers in person. Prudence, skill and experience are needed to pick the right stocks. Particularly in today's challenging markets, smart stock selection is more important than ever.
Birgitte Olsen, CFA, Lead Portfolio Manager
- Since 2008 with Bellevue Asset Management, lead manager of the entrepreneur strategies and institutional mandates
- 2007 - 2008 GVO Asset Management, head of portfolio management
- 1998 - 2007 Generali Investments, Cologne, deputy head equities, portfolio manager European equities
- 1997 - 1998 Vontobel Asset Management, Zurich, analyst and portfolio manager
- Master's degree in Business Economics and Finance, University of St. Gallen (HSG)
Michel Keusch, Portfolio Manager
- Since 2013 as senior portfolio manager European equities
- 2007–2012 Bellevue Asset Management as co-portfolio manager of BB Toros Prime Fund
- 2003–2007 Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux, senior equity research analyst for consumer goods and services
- 1996–2003 Credit Suisse First Boston, senior equity research analyst for consumer goods and services
- DESS/MBA in international management following studies at the University of Strasbourg, France, and University of Bath, UK
Laurent Picard, SFAF, Portfolio Manager
- Since 2018 with the entrepreneur team of Bellevue Asset Management as financial analyst and portfolio manager European equities
- 2016-2017 Financial consultant for start-ups in the internet/tech sector
- 2003–2016 Société Générale as senior equity research analyst for Media
- 2001–2003 UBS Warburg as strategist specialized on the French equity market
- 2000–2001 UBS Warburg as equity analyst for IT Services and Software
- Graduated from Paris X University and ESSEC business school holding a Master of Financial Techniques.
Our investment solutions
Independent research has shown that family and entrepreneur-managed businesses add value by virtue of their sustainable and long-term strategies. Bellevue's offering of Entrepreneur funds allows investors to benefit from the intrinsic strengths of this investment class.
BB Entrepreneur Europe (Lux)
BB Entrepreneur Europe Small (Lux)
BB Entrepreneur Swiss Small&Mid (Lux)
Products & Services / 21.03.2018
BB Entrepreneur Europe Small and BB Entrepreneur Switzerland win Lipper Fund Awards 2018.
Markets & Opinions / 10.04.2017
Record of a call with Portfoliomanagen Birgitte Olsen.
Products & Services / 01.02.2017
Bellevue has launched a Luxembourg-based version of its BB Entrepreneur Switzerland fund.
Products & Services / 25.04.2016
Ten years ago Bellevue Asset Management launched the very first investment fund in Switzerland focused...
Markets & Opinions / 14.12.2015
“Entrepreneurs think in generations and not in financial quarters”. Studies show that long t...