Managing Member, Gardner Russo & Quinn LLC, Lancaster, PA, USA
Mr. Russo joined Gardner Investments as a partner in 1989. In 2014, Mr. Russo became the Managing Member of the firm. Mr. Russo serves as Managing Member of Gardner Russo & Quinn LLC and of Semper Vic Partners GP, LP, which oversees two “global value,” long-only, equity investment partnerships, the first of which Mr. Russo founded in 1983. Mr. Russo oversees more than $8 billion distributed between Semper Vic partnerships and separate accounts managed in parallel fashion. In his role as a global value investor, Mr. Russo attempts to commit clients’ capital to globally leading companies whose brands permit them the capacity to develop market shares in those parts of the world that are undergoing economic growth and increasing political stability. Such economic growth, coupled with increased consumer disposable income, creates a large total addressable market (TAM) for our businesses to address. He prefers companies with sufficient cash flows from existing operations to allow them to underwrite long-term-oriented investments required to build market share and develop enduring franchises. In selecting investments, Mr. Russo looks for companies that possess two valued “capacities,” i.e., the “Capacity to Reinvest” and the “Capacity to Suffer.” It is rare to find a company that possesses the above-mentioned “Capacity to Reinvest.” It is even more rare to find management teams that have the “Capacity to Suffer.” Our company managements have the “Capacity to Suffer” when investments, required to ensure strong growth in intrinsic value on a per share basis, inevitably burden current, reported profits. He has found over the years that family-controlled public companies are often best positioned to withstand criticism which comes from Wall Street when the burden of such long-term investments weighs negatively upon reported short-term profits. Hence, he has relied over time on public company investments where founding families still retain control and significant investment exposure. Typically over 50 percent of Mr. Russo’s portfolio companies remain family controlled. Founding families of our public companies, like Mr. Russo and his investors, prefer the ability of investments, intended for long-term gains, to allow one to hold positions tax efficiently for as long as franchises, built by such long-term investments, continue to deliver growth in intrinsic value on a per share basis. Thomas Russo is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA 1977), and Stanford Business and Law Schools (JD/MBA 1984). Memberships include Dean’s Advisory Council for Stanford Law School, Dartmouth College’s President’s Leadership Council, and California Bar Association. Mr. Russo is a charter member of the Advisory Board for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School. He serves on the boards of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the U.S., Facing History and Ourselves, and Storm King Art Center. In May 2017, he was awarded The Graham & Dodd, Murray, Greenwald Prize for Value Investing.