Investment Management As It Should Be

There is no question that Alex Odd, CEO of Tyndall Investment Management, understands the power of alignment. It’s obvious from the way he describes why Tyndall exists. A clarity of purpose that starts with the client and ends with client.

Tyndall was founded by a team of experienced investment managers in pursuit of a better way to look after clients. This focus on the client has led to an ethos around investment approach, but it goes much deeper than that. Tyndall has looked at how the ownership structure of its business can have a profound effect on strategy and with that in mind it has chosen to be privately owned.

So what?

Client Obsession

Well, this client obsession has ensured that private ownership means that Tyndall can take a long term approach to managing the company “for the next 30 years rather than the next 30 days.” This in turn matches the long-term objectives of Tyndall’s clients. That word springs to mind again: alignment.

Patience, Independence & Personal Integrity

Free of the distractions of external owners, Tyndall’s Investment Managers are free to build investment approaches for their clients and not as Alex Odd describes “for tick box, homogenous risk ratings.”  All of this takes the patience, independence and personal accountability that aligns the long-term interests of client and firm.

Achieving sustainable, long term income and capital growth that isn’t based on index tracking and model portfolios means that Tyndall needs to attract and retain the best fund management talent.  People that intuitively know how to play the long game. And so again Tyndall leans on that word: alignment. The best people need have their long-term interests matched to the interests of clients so that aspiration and reward align to strategy.  As a privately owned firm, equity in the business could achieve that shared purpose. Recognising that the current average age of the investment managers was around 40 it was obvious to Tyndall’s leadership team that their approach couldn’t focus on “share offers” to their team. The route forward needed to be around equity participation through a share scheme aligned to corporate goals.

 

“Our ethos, capability and capital structure are pretty unique. If we look after clients, we’ll get bigger by a focus on doing what we do really well. It’s as simple as that.”

Creating Alignment

Tyndall sought expert advice from Sue El Hachmi. Sue is a share schemes and incentives partner at Carbon Law Partners and designed a mechanism to fit Tyndall’s objectives and achieve the alignment needed.  Alex Odd, Tyndall’s CEO described Sue as “great to deal with – clear, concise and accurate.” In a world where advice is the driver of success Alex appreciated that Sue did “not drift off into random jargon and explain[ed] what I consider challenging legal points simply, which gave me great confidence in your technical ability. Your drafting was swift and accurate and your time keeping impeccable.”

It’s no surprise that the fit between Tyndall and Sue El Hachmi was an example of great alignment, because Carbon Law Partners operates to a very similar stakeholder ethos for the long term.  And when Alex was asked how Sue could have improved her service the answer made the humble Sue, blush.

“As to how to improve…to be honest, you did what you said you would do, when you said you would do it for the price you originally set out. That is all a client can ask for. That you are an accessible, bright and unchippy individual is a much-appreciated bonus.”

Now Tyndall has in place a key component of its alignment strategy and a mechanism to recruit, retain and motivate the best people. Aligning the interests of investment managers with Tyndall and it’s clients makes it clear that they have the spirit, ambition and desire to do what they do with the aptitude, ability and experience to be the best at it.

And that for Alex Odd is what it’s all about, “our ethos, capability and capital structure are pretty unique. If we look after clients, we’ll get bigger by a focus on doing what we do really well. It’s as simple as that.”

Author
Michael Burne
Michael Burne

Michael Burne is the Chief Executive of Carbon Law Partners.