This week, we speak with Simon Hallett, Co-Chief Information Officer at Harding Loevner, which manages about $72 billion dollars. The firm’s global equity portfolio’s has a remarkable track record, outperforming the MSCI ACWI by 250 bps annually since its 1989 inception.
Hallett discusses how the firm’s four metrics for portfolio companies — Competitive Advantage, Quality Management, Financial Strength, Sustainable Growth — can be made less “squishy” and quantitative.
He explains how behavioral finance has led the firm to restrict the freedom’s of their portfolio managers. As Co-CIO, the rules he creates has forced his portfolio managers to stick to a process that is devoid of emotional errors.
He also explains why he became the owner of the Plymouth Argyle Football Club, the League One team he grew up rooting for in his hometown of Plymouth, Devon, England. The team still plays at home park, the same location since 1901. Buying the team was a labor of love and “the worst investment anyone could ever make” but a way to give back to his hometown. He has renovated the stadium, and improved much of the surrounding area. He has explored ways to introduce a form of “Moneyball” for Soccer. Despite market efficiencies, there are inefficiencies on the edges of professional sports.