Insights and reports

  1. St Andrews Partners

    China project: one year on

    A little over a year ago, the St Andrews Partners investment team chose to create a model (paper) portfolio of our favourite Chinese companies.
  2. St Andrews Partners

    Our view of company engagement and three of our favourite examples

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current climate crisis, society at large has come to increasingly recognise and demand that businesses fulfill their responsibilities to stakeholders beyond shareholders. These expectations are being extended to the investment industry, with clients, regulators and society at large expecting fund managers to play a key role in ensuring that both they and the companies they invest in are contributing to a more socially- and environmentally-responsible global economy.
  3. St Andrews Partners

    From Barra to Bahia

    Having spent six months away from the desk, I explored, among other things, the rugged and beautiful landscape of Scotland’s Western Isles, where I reflected on twenty years of investment in Latin America.
  4. St Andrews Partners

    Global emerging markets update - December 2021

    Economic stress and political ‘randomness’ are on the increase in emerging markets. Once more, foreign investors shall end up disappointed by the failure of accounting revenues and ‘adjusted’ profits made in emerging markets to translate into hard-currency cash in clients’ hands.
  5. St Andrews Partners

    Quarterly Investment Insights - Q4 2021

    Highlights include a reflection on 20 years of investment in Latin America, and a discussion on the sustainability credentials of a top carbon emitter.
  6. St Andrews Partners

    Latin America Letter - January 2022

    The MSCI EM Latin America Index declined over the past year and the strategy protected capital a little better, though also declined. Since inception the strategy has returned over four times that of the index.
  7. St Andrews Partners

    Quarterly Client Update - Q1 2021

    Highlights include an article on ‘Hey, what about the G’ and an article on ‘Finding stewardship in China’
  8. St Andrews Partners

    Quarterly Client Update - Q4 2020

    Highlights include a commentary piece – views on China, and a Latin America and a Global Emerging Markets Update.
  9. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Panic of 1825

    The financial panic of 1825 has been described as the ‘first modern financial crisis.’ It resulted in a major banking crash across Britain, economic recession and multiple bank failures, with ripples reaching as far away as Latin America. There were many associated bankruptcies, including the world’s best-selling novelist.
  10. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - Investment Trust Bubble (1888/9)

    ‘Enormous initial dividends were paid on these modern trust companies, with the result that in the nicely arranged match between founders and shareholders… the founders romped home while the shareholders were nowhere.’ The Bankers Magazine (1893)
  11. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany (1923)

    Life was madness, nightmare, desperation, chaos. Extreme inflation or hyperinflation is in the news as price rises in Venezuela hit the stratosphere. The cataclysm of hyperinflation is both a symptom and cause of deep-rooted economic and political malaise. The example of Germany in 1923 may be an instructive historical example for investors today.
  12. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Tequila Crisis

    The Tequila Crisis is a classic example of an emerging market financial debacle. After years of strong returns for equity investors, the Mexican currency and stock market crashed in 1994. An examination of the reasons for this crisis provides a number of lessons for equity investors today.
  13. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Poseidon Adventure

    London, 1969. A shop assistant at Harrods makes a fortune from her investment in an unknown Australian mining company. A major nickel find has resulted in a speculative bubble in Australian mines. The Poseidon mining boom, as it is now known, offers a number of lessons for investors today.
  14. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Nifty Fifty

    The Nifty Fifty was the name given to a group of US growth stocks which performed very strongly in the 1960s and early 1970s, becoming symbolic of the spirit of the times. They traded on stratospheric valuations over many years. How do the valuations of the Nifty Fifty compare with the FANG stocks of today?
  15. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - Tulipmania

    The mania for buying and selling tulip bulbs in the Netherlands during the 17th century was arguably the earliest asset bubble in history and the precursor of financial manias over the following centuries. Tulipmania still provides valuable lessons for investors today.
  16. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - City of Glasgow Bank Collapse (1878)

    In October 1878 the doors closed at the City of Glasgow Bank, one of Scotland’s largest financial institutions. The bank’s demise, which was the biggest banking failure in the UK until the global financial crisis of 2007/8, highlights a number of issues around investing in bank shares.
  17. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Highland Debt Binge (17th Century)

    Debt binges are common in financial history - huge accumulations of debt by companies, individuals or governments. The deflation which may follow in their wake can transform economies and societies. A lesser known example occurred in Scotland in the 17th century when Highland chiefs amassed a mountain of debt.
  18. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Whisky Bubble (1890s)

    On 24 November 1898 the Scottish whisky firm of Pattisons was given a clean bill of health by its accountants. Thirteen days later Pattisons went bust, marking the end of the whisky bubble of the late 19th century. At their trial, which was a major media event at the time, it emerged that the brothers behind the company were swindlers of the first rank, pursuing every accounting scam in the book.
  19. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Gregor MacGregor Scam

    Perhaps the worst financial scam in financial history. In January 1823 a ship sailed from Leith in Scotland with 200 settlers bound for Central America. Two months later, when they reached their destination, the colonists were shocked to find virgin jungle rather than the mature settlement described by the scheme’s promoter. They were victims of a cruel fraud.
  20. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Mississippi Bubble

    Rue Quincampoix, Paris, 1719. The French capital was in the throes of something unprecedented in history – over the summer, the dirty, narrow street in the heart of the city became the epicentre of world finance, a veritable vortex of share trading. A new financial and cultural phenomenon had appeared on the scene – the stock market bubble.
  21. St Andrews Partners

    Lessons from the Past - The Darien Disaster

    In 1696 a Scottish company raised a huge amount of money in an early financial mania. The company attempted to establish a colony in Darien in Central America. It was an unmitigated fiasco and every penny of the capital was lost. Scotland’s greatest corporate disaster highlights the importance of management, franchise and financials in any commercial enterprise.
  22. St Andrews Partners

    What do we mean by a quality company?

    As part of our investment philosophy we say that we invest in quality companies. We develop this further by saying we invest in companies with sound financials, strong franchises and responsible stewardship. What do we actually mean by this?