My guest on today’s First Meeting is Richard Lawrence of Overlook Investments Group, one of the top managers of Asian equities. The conversation that follows is a replay of an early episode on Capital Allocators and one of the inspirations for the First Meeting concept.
Richard Lawrence is the Chairman and Executive Director of The Overlook Group, a $5 billion investment organization focused on Asian equities that Richard founded in 1991. Over the past quarter-century, Overlook developed and implemented disciplined investment and business philosophies that interconnected to drive extraordinary results for its partners. Overlook has compounded capital at an annualized 14.5%, outperforming its benchmark by an insane 9% per annum. But that’s not all, as Richard would proudly tell you himself, the capital weighted return of the average investor in Overlook is nearly identical to the time weighted return over any period of time – a rare feat in the money management industry. Indeed, today’s asset base is the result of $4 billion of investment gains on top of $1 billion in contributed capital.
Our conversation starts with a look at investing in Asia in Overlook’s early days and walks through the particulars of the approach Richard takes to investing and running his business, including attractive investment attributes, management integrity, portfolio construction, selling discipline, and China Yangtze Power - the only stock the firm supersized in an SPV in its history. We discuss Overlook’s long-held cap on subscriptions and periodic reductions in its management fee, two business philosophies that Richard believes have been key drivers of Overlook’s success.