Podcast: Steve Goddard & Brian Campbell – The London Company
Founder & Lead Portfolio Manager Steve Goddard and Co-Lead Portfolio Manager Brian Campbell sat down with Steve Graziano & Tim Bray from Touchstone Investments to discuss The London Company’s investment strategy, their personal backgrounds and career trajectories
Brian Campbell: We take an owner’s mentality to an investment process. We’re looking at the long-term ownership of businesses that we could buy outright if we wanted to.
Blake Moore: Welcome to Distinctively Active Investing: Profiles and Perspectives, presented by Touchstone Investments. I’m Blake Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Touchstone. On this show, you’ll find out what makes Touchstone, and its portfolio managers distinctive. We share in-depth interviews with people who are actively engaged in leading and managing the Touchstone funds and you will hear from other industry professionals, as well.
Tim Bray: Hi. I’m Tim Bray. The divisional vice-president here at Touchstone Investments. Today we’re talking with Steve Goddard and Brian Campbell of The London Company. Steve is the founder of The London Company and heads the firm’s investment and management teams. Steven and Brian are portfolio managers of the Touchstone Mid Cap Fund, as well as the Touchstone Large Cap Fund, and the Touchstone Small Cap Fund. The London Company serves as a sub-advisor to the funds. They’ll be discussing The London Company’s investment strategy, as well as their personal backgrounds and career trajectories. First we’ll hear from Steve and then Brian, about how they got into the investment business.
Steve Goddard: Back in college, I was a part of the Student Investment Club, before there were student investment clubs. We decided to start a small investment club with five, six students and with our own capital. That was back in the early 80s when the markets were not the popular place to be. When I got out of school, had a taste of that, but I was working for an accounting firm and going towards my CPA and I found myself on my off hours, tend to gravitating towards looking at value lines and investment reports, just as a hobby.
The more I did it, the more I realized that if I enjoy doing this so much, I should go into it for my profession. So I dropped the accounting route and started as a sell-side analyst for a small regional firm. From there it moved step by step, and finally got on the buy-side five years later, it evolved from there. The buy- side, because I was working for a bank, regional bank in Virginia, and we had responsibility for certain sectors. So I was getting my background with financial services, I was given the banks, which at that time were not very popular with the investment community. So I was following 10 to 15 different financial service firms. I always had, ever since I got out of college, my ultimate goal was to start an investment firm and it took me 15, 16 years to get to that point.
But you know, it, I waited for the right opportunity and that came along in 1994, when the insurance company gave me the flexibility to bring in other accounts and being as risk averse as I am, that was the perfect opportunity for me because I had the first company, I mean the insurance company for my main account, but didn’t have all the startup risks that you normally would have.