Our Social Contract with You
Trust is the foundation of the investment management industry. As a firm built and reliant on trust, we take the decision you made to allow us to manage your wealth very seriously. This contract clearly states our principles and responsibilities and will be abided by at all times, without exception. Your needs are at the forefront of every decision we make on your behalf. Your trust cannot be taken for granted and we value this tremendously.
Value gained from having your portfolio professionally managed goes well beyond just portfolio returns. We believe the best investments are not just well managed socially responsible businesses, with strong track records of good corporate governance and a strong competitive advantage, but also businesses that are prudently managed from a risk standpoint and that have the ability to continue to grow over time so that their value and your wealth will grow together.
At Summerhill, we are committed to living by these responsibilities and principles:
1. Ethics & Integrity: The most valued characteristics for anybody that works at Summerhill are ethics and integrity. Best in class credentials are a starting point, but not enough. We seek from our employees the same trustworthiness that our clients place in us when they hire us to look after their wealth. When it comes to matters of ethics and integrity we have zero tolerance for any breach of this trust. We provide our employees with every opportunity possible to further their learning and education. Each of our employees either holds, or is actively pursuing, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation which represents the highest standard in the industry for both educational standards and ethics. Governance and compliance with investment policy are taken very seriously.
2. To Understand Your Needs: At Summerhill you are not just an account number. To do our job properly we need to know our clients. We will strive to establish a long-term relationship with you and your family in order to gain a thorough understanding of your current financial needs and tolerance for risk throughout all the different stages of your life. We will work with you to establish achievable personal financial goals so we can manage your portfolio accordingly.
3. No Conflicts of Interest: The client comes first. It is our responsibility to first serve the best interest of our clients in all situations. We have no conflicts of interest and our own money is invested in the same securities as our clients. There is nothing we will ever buy for you that we do not think is also good enough for us. We are all in this together.
4. Best in Class Service: Knowledge provides both comfort and investment opportunity during volatile times. We take the responsibility of educating and informing you on financial market developments, and how they affect your portfolio, very seriously. Client engagement is encouraged and we are available to address any questions or concerns you may have, any time of the day or night, seven days a week, by phone or email. Best in class client service is the cornerstone of our philosophy.
5. Strong Risk Management: We understand that investing is about being adequately compensated for taking on an acceptable investment risk, without endangering your long term wealth. We strive to find this balance. We are constantly monitoring the risk/reward trade off on any investment we make on your behalf.
6. Socially Responsible Investing: Investing requires patience and a long term commitment to a business and its management. We will maintain our discipline in not succumbing to short-term noise or irrational markets. We avoid unnecessary trading that generates commissions for brokers at the client’s expense. We stay true to our beliefs and stick to our strategy. We do our own research on any company we invest in and ensure that the management is committed to not only good corporate governance but also a socially responsible business plan. Our goal is to invest in companies that are mindful of the environment, their employees and other stakeholders whenever possible because we believe it makes for better long term investments.
7. Information Protection: Protection of our client’s personal information is vital. We have very strict policies and procedures in place in order to ensure each client’s personal information is protected both physically and electronically. In fact, all our client sensitive information is managed offline except for very brief periods each month when we are reporting to our clients. In an era of rampant cyber security fraud, we take every precaution possible. Being a small firm we have advantages in this area that our much larger competitors do not have.
8. Transparency of Fees: Summerhill managers are compensated by charging a competitive fee tied to the firm’s assets under management. We have never charged a fee for performance, received commissions of any sort from third parties or charged any type of hidden fee (soft dollars, fund of funds, etc). Our management fees are fully disclosed to our clients every quarter in their report along with their performance. Transparency is very important to us.
Summerhill is not just the firm’s name. It is our brand, our pride and our reputation. Every day we come to work to deliver on our client’s objectives, in a responsible and ethical manner, and we have every intention of continuing to do so for as long as you will grant us that privilege.
Our promise to you,
The Summerhill Team