culture without Ruppert believes the manager’s emphasis on culture is of clear benefit to its investor base. “In our industry, there’s a lot of emphasis on short-term assets under management growth and profit at any cost,” he says. This has led to poorly executed mergers and acquisitions, the development of products that capitalise on market trends rather create long-term value, and letting funds grow beyond capacity. “Culture is a precious thing built over time. We have to protect it, and one of the ways to do that is to be an investment-driven organisation, not distributiondriven. “I’ve been on distribution for my whole time and I fully embrace the investment-driven business, because that is what has made it successful.” Putting distribution first has also led managers to cut special deals, on fees or terms, to attract prospective investors. “Don’t forget that a prospect is not a client,” Ruppert says. “It’s the clients who are keeping the lights on, paying the bills.” For this reason, the manager does not cut fees, but concentrates on simple, worthwhile goals: to attract and maintain skilled investors, ensure they work collaboratively, and make returns for clients. “It’s one thing to say the words, and another thing to do them.” Looking forward, the manager will continue to play to its strengths: long-only equities and fixed income. After mulling over whether to establish a long/short fund in the mid-2000s, it decided such a move would not be in its interests, Ruppert says. Management decided its abilities lay in traditional asset management. Also, it recognised that 75 per cent of its US$482 billion under management is invested in long-only mutual funds and institutional mandates. “These are clients that have trusted us to pick stocks that go up. For us to put analysts to working on stocks that won’t is against our fiduciary responsibility.”

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