Southeastern was founded on Ben Graham’s discipline of long-term, intelligent investing. Every business decision we make is based upon how to maximize the outcome for our client partners, of which Southeastern employees and affiliates are collectively the single largest. We are long-term business owners, not asset gatherers. Southeastern employees are committed to partnering with our clients, our corporate partners, our fellow employees and our community. An equal passion for how we invest and for helping others is the most important common thread across our employees.
O. Mason Hawkins, CFA
Operating as an independent, 100% employee-owned firm with three generations of consistent leadership enables us to always think and act like owners.
As a long-term, fundamental investor, we seek to own businesses, not trade pieces of paper. Our Founder and Chairman Mason Hawkins intentionally structured the firm to support our unique investment philosophy and to maintain constant focus on the best interests of our client partners. Our independence ensures our ability to stick to our core discipline throughout any market cycle so that we can work without distraction for our clients. Mason Hawkins, Vice-Chairman Staley Cates and CEO and Head of Research Ross Glotzbach are respectively the three largest owners of the firm. These three executive leaders bring valuable experience of operating a business to each investment discussion.
Three experienced generations of investment leaders oversee the consistent pursuit of a single investment discipline by our global research team across five geographic mandates.
Our Chairman Mason Hawkins founded the business in 1975, Vice-Chairman Staley Cates joined in 1986 and CEO and Head of Research Ross Glotzbach joined in 2004. It is rare for an investment firm to have three experienced generations of investment leaders actively engaged. Mason, Staley and Ross are committed to ensuring the next four-plus decades at Southeastern are as fruitful as our first 40+ years.
Southeastern manages all mandates and portfolios using the same long-term, concentrated, engaged value investment discipline, which has produced strong returns through seven different market cycles. Our team of generalist research analysts operate as a single team, with everyone involved throughout the investment process across our strategies. Portfolio managers for each individual strategy make final decisions, with each regional decision helping to inform our global research view.
Total assets under management at 12/31/19
We have a single, global research team, with a local presence on the ground in the US, Europe and Asia. Operating as one team benefits all our strategies by combining our global cumulative investment experience with our regional expertise and networks.
Over the past two decades, we have significantly built out our global presence, and today two-thirds of our research team are focused outside of the US. Our global team of generalists work together across regions, sharing their individual insight to deepen our understanding of each underlying business and ultimately to widen our cumulative circle of competence.
The off-the-beaten-path location of our headquarters in Memphis, TN reflects our unique focus on fostering independent, contrarian thought, uninfluenced by others. We are committed to giving back to this local community to help support and foster long-term growth. Our research offices in the more traditional locations of Singapore and London underscore the importance of having a local footprint with boots on the ground to further strengthen our global expertise. Being in these capital cities affords better management access and allows us to continually deepen our network of past, present and potential future investees with whom we continually engage.