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Rob Vinall: Why Is A Good Management So Important?

Rob Vinall of RV Capital performed with 18,5% return per annum since 2008. We had the opportunity to talk to him in Switzerland in March. Here you can find our first English interview.

Rob Vinall
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

Our English speaking audience gets to know Rob Vinall

  • At 01:16 Rob explains us how a typical year of him looks like
  • At 02:37 he also explains his “opportunistic” approach
  • At 03:08 we discuss how the inflow of money and the growth of assets under management has changed his approach
  • At 05:38 we ask: Are there limits through the amount of capital he has under management?
  • At 06:23 how Rob Vinall deals with mistakes
  • At 08:25 Rob explains what he defines as a mistake
  • At 09:28 we discuss the former investments Novo Nordisk and Baidu
  • At 12:07 we talk about Chinese internet stocks
  • At 13:18 Our conversation on the importance of management started
  • At 14:48 we are discussing factors for the trustworthiness of management
  • At 16:00 Rob Vinall explains how he filters out managers he trusts
  • At 17:22 we talk about positive surprises with management on the example of Grenke
  • At 19:13 and 20:07 we discuss other examples of good managers
  • At 20:43 we started to talk about corporate culture
  • At 21:56 we discussed the management and culture of Facebook
  • At 24:34 we talk about the role of reflexivity in his process

You can find Rob’s letters after logging in here: https://www.rvcapital.ch

Why is a good management so important? A talk with Rob Vinall on his approach

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Transcript

Hello Rob. Welcome back to our YouTube channel. Now we're doing our own kitchen interview. And therefore I would like to ask you to introduce to yourself to our audience. Who are you?

Yes sir. My name's Rob. I'm originally from the U.K. but I've been living in Switzerland now for just over 15 years. I first moved here to work with a local family office. But I think after about two years in 2006 I set up all the capital to begin with. It was purely a sort of consultancy. I had the dream of running my own fund but faced the chicken and egg problem that many of your viewers I'm sure will be familiar with it. Without capital it's difficult to start a fund but without a fund it's difficult to attract capital. So for the first two years I was consulting for different family offices so a company I think and I had my sort of lucky break in 2008 to where the Rentrak family very kindly supported me and started the business on a fund. So since since 2008 my my sole occupation has been managing fund.

Louis you are now running the fund for 10 years. That's right. Congratulations through the anniversary. Thank you. I'd rather be 10 years younger. And how does a typical investment year of you look like me how I kind of spend the time.

Yes I guess in terms of how I spend my time you know there's a part of the activity or an important part of the activity which is sort of desk based you know kind of reading reading annual reports primary information on companies making notes and keep a journal on all of the companies which are which are usually a model. Not so much to value the company but just to make sure that I've understood the mechanics of the business.

So that's the kind of the desk based on the research and then the other side is you know I'd love to visit companies are saying it's very important for the investment process.

So once I get to a sudden point with the research that I think an idea or sufficiently interesting I'll normally get on a train or an aeroplane to go and visit the company and you know kick the tires with the management and that kind of thing. You're also going to foreign countries to explore them. Yes some completely opportunistic about where a company is based and some investors have a sudden geographic focus on a particular country or continent or whatever. For me I'm completely different to it where a company has the sudden characteristics or look for an investment which we can talk about but provided that they're indifferent whether a company is based in Germany and America or in China South Africa or whatever you've grown us with and the Minutemen from tend to think that 22 2012 50 million with a great track record.

Thank you very good track record and inflows. How does this change in the model of money taking care of changed you not change you.

Well I think it hasn't made a whole lot of different so far. You know there was I've never really marketed the fund. You know I think when the phone started back in 2008 it was Parubiy around 7 investors.

And I would guess that on average every year probably roughly 7 investors have joined the fund and there hasn't really be much difference and maybe there was slightly less joining in the early is slightly more today.

But it's never been a big Russian.

And you know even today that's probably less than 100 investors invested in the fund.

It started as a club and still today it is a club and in terms of the capital you know I think the vast amount must the majority of the capital has come not from people investing capital but from the performance of the existing investments. So I think in my first full year as a fund you know the fund started going around seven or eight million years and had 20 30 percent performance. You know 20 percent of 7 million is less than 2 million whereas today based on 200 million if I do if I have a 20 percent return you know that's 40 million. So it makes quite a big difference. Clearly you know the percentages are the same. So you know the catalyst really come from from the performance rather than from from people.

And in terms of how I invest I've always found my sweet spot to be companies which have a market cap of around about somewhere between 1 to 3 billion.