Investment philosophy

Our philosophy, as an Asia-Pacific focused strategic investment company, is to invest in high-growth, innovative, consumer-related businesses in the region’s rapidly growing economies, in collaboration with talented entrepreneurs and management teams.

We focus on the particular sectors – healthcare, hospitality, lifestyle, and branded real estate – that we believe will continue to profit from the increasing disposable incomes of Asia’s growing middle class.

Our private-equity style of investing enables us to invest and divest at the most opportune times while, at the same time, being mindful of the economic cycles of the different countries in which we invest. We don’t believe in selling businesses when they clearly have much more room for value appreciation and, equally, do not believe in buying businesses in “frothy” markets.

We focus on creating capital growth for our shareholders by investing for the long term. Rather than simply pursuing transactions that provide the greatest potential upside, we invest in businesses that we believe have limited downside risk. When we sell an asset, we keep the proceeds in our business before committing them to a new investment. We believe this compounding of capital growth provides the best returns for our shareholders.

Our long history in Asia gives us access to a network of business leaders – entrepreneurs, management teams, bankers, accountants and lawyers – that enables us to generate deal flow without relying on auctions, in which intermediaries offer transactions to multiple potential buyers. In those situations the highest bidder generally wins and that is not ideal for an investor.

Our shares are listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. This not only gives shareholders immediate liquidity – unlike traditional private equity funds – but also enables them to maintain their investment horizons separately from ours.

Our interests are closely aligned with those of our shareholders. Some members of our investment team have invested their own capital, which cumulatively accounts for more than 10% of Symphony. The team is compensated through a NAV-linked fee, with a floor and a cap. It is incentivised through a stock option plan rather than through the typical method employed by private equity funds of paying carried interest (a fixed percentage of profits).