Our business principles
Now more than ever, strong business principles are essential when you navigate the market. We base all our business upon a set of principles.
Most investors want to be able to monitor their investments closely, and therefore value transparency. We are willing to disclose everything we do to our investors, and we communicate in detail the development of the investments and the business in our monthly investor letters and performance updates.
In order for a investment management organization to have the highest probability of delivering strong returns to the investors, we believe it is crucial that the managers have aligned interests with the investors. Therefore, our team has their financial asset invested in CARN. Also, we have a fee model aligned to when our clients make money.
We have a long-term focus in everything we do. This goes both for our investments and our business decisions. We look for clients who share our long-term perspective, we invest in the absolute best systems and infrastructure, and we always hire people with a long-term perspective. We are here for the long haul.
To achieve the highest level of performance in any field, whether it is in sports, music, academia, or in business we believe it is extremely important to be focused. This is particularly the case within capital management. Therefore, we have only one business philosophy and only one investment strategy.
We believe it is of utmost importance for an investment organization to be fully independent from other business lines and organizations. Independence secures that other business interests do not interfere with the investment management activities, as well as minimizing organizational bureaucracy and corporate politics. Therefore, CARN Capital is mainly owned by the employees, and fully independent from other organizations.
How we work
We base our strategy on time tested and sound principles ensuring that your investments are sustainable and profitable.
Sustainable Investment is an umbrella term covering a range of different activities such as ethical exclusion, ESG integration and positive selection through thematic and impact investing. It is CARN’s view that, on their own, these individual approaches often fall short of delivering both sustainability and profitability. So instead of choosing one, we have gone for “all of the above”. We believe this is the best way to grow our investors’ capital and to contribute to a more sustainable future.
Value investing and fundamental research
Value investing means to invest with a disciplined focus on how the investments are valued vs. underlying earnings, cash flows and assets, and only investing when the investments are valued cheap or moderate. There is solid empirical evidence that value investing has been the best way of managing money over time. Therefore, we invest according to this investment philosophy. In practice this implies a strong focus on fundamental analysis and valuation (i.e. not overpaying for assets).
Empirical evidence has shown that quality companies outperform the market over time. Therefore, we tend to focus our search for quality companies. Quality companies have strong balance sheets (low debt), a track record of delivering high returns to shareholders, and are in industries with high barriers to entry and good future prospects. We continuously search for and monitor such companies, and will invest in these when they are priced moderately or cheap.
We have an all-cap strategy, which means we can invest in small, mid-sized and large companies. However, we favor small and mid-sized companies because we think the highest probability for finding good investments are among such companies. There are several reasons for that: These companies are less covered by the sell-side; large funds often cannot invest in these companies due to fund size-issues; it is often easier to get meetings with senior management; and these companies are often less complex and more focused than large conglomerates. We have a flexible strategy and can therefore harvest the opportunities we see among mid-sized and small companies.
True active management
There has been a lot of focus in the financial press on how active the so-called active funds have been, often measured by the active share parameter. Several large funds have been criticized for having a portfolio that is too close to the index. We believe strongly that if a fund is marketed as an active fund it should be truly active and not a “closet” index fund. Therefore, we do not focus on which shares have high weights in the different indices, and our portfolio will typically have large deviations from index and a high active share. We do not focus on how the index performs either, since our goal is not to outperform a given index. We have an absolute return approach. Our goal is nothing else than to deliver the highest possible risk-adjusted return to our investors over time.
Christer has a broad and international background from asset management from Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) where he was a Portfolio Manager responsible for a global equity portfolio of NOK 50 billion (USD 7 billion) prior to co-founding CARN Capital in 2015.
Christer has both a Master of Science and MBA degree from the Norwegian School of Economics within Finance. He is also a Norwegian and European Certified Financial Analyst and Authorized Portfolio Manager from The Norwegian Society of Financial Analysts and Norwegian School of Economics.
Andreas started his career as equity analyst in First Securities before he joined the investment team in Formuesforvaltning where he was responsible for the Nordic public equity portfolios and hedge fund portfolios. He was also co-head for global equities. In 2015 he founded CARN Capital.
Andreas has a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics. He is also an Authorized Portfolio Manager and has completed studies in Advanced Valuation from The Norwegian Society of Financial Analysts and Norwegian School of Economics.
Harald started his career at J. P. Morgan’s Investment Banking division in 2004 specializing in M&A. In 2007, he returned to Norway and joined Orkla ASA’s investment management division with AuM of USD 3.5 billion. In 2012, Harald was a founding partner of Solsten AS, an independent and actively managed investment firm with a Norwegian and Nordic fund. Solsten was later acquired by competitor Arctic Fund Management.
Harald has a bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania (USA), in addition to attending Chinese language and culture studies at Fudan University in Shanghai (China).
Melanie has an international background and extensive experience in sustainable investments. Melanie started her career at Société Générale in Paris in 2009. She then led the work with Responsible Investment at Folketrygdfondet in Oslo, during which time she also helped start NORSIF (Norwegian Forum for Responsible and Sustainable Investments). From 2015 and until she started at CARN in September 2020, Melanie worked at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) in Oslo and New York, most recently in the position of Head of ESG Risk Monitoring.
Melanie holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Strategy from Said Business School at the University of Oxford. She also has a Master of Science degree in Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and a Bachelor degree in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico.
Erik started his career at East Capital’s research department in Stockholm in 2008, doing macro, market, and company research. In 2010, he relocated to East Capital’s Oslo office to focus on investor relations and became Head of Oslo Office in 2012. Erik has worked with institutional investors since then and been covering North America at East Capital since 2015. He joined Carn in October 2020.
Erik has a Master of Science degree in Security Studies from University College London (UCL) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from McGill University.
Jon Audun Kvalbein
Jon Audun started his career at the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2007. As a Senior Advisor he has gained extensive experience in public administration and national energy policies, including relevant EU legislation. His tasks have been to serve the political leadership by giving support to the political decision-making process and preparing policy documents. He also served many years in the secretariat of the Norm Price board which sets tax reference prices for all Norwegian oil production.
Jon Audun holds a Master of Science degree in Development Management from London School of Economics and a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Bergen.
Kjersti Haugstad Sanstøl
CARN Capital receives compliance advice from Kjersti Haugstad Sanstøl. Kjersti has a law degree from the University of Oslo from 1999, and has worked several years as a lawyer specialized in financial- and business law in one of the leading Norwegian law firms; Thommessen Krefting Greve Lund. She has also worked for several years as a senior adviser in The Norwegian Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet). In addition, she has worked as compliance officer for several companies, and has extensive knowledge of regulatory law. Kjersti also has board positions in a few financial companies.
Pauline is employed as a Business Assistant at CARN while pursuing studies at BI Business School. She will graduate in 2022 with a Master of Science in Business, specializing in Accounting and Business Control. Pauline has several years of relevant work experience including at KPMG, where she worked with audit and analysis before joining CARN in January 2021. Previously, Pauline completed an internship in Elkem’s Finance & Treasury department. She also brings with her valuable experience from various positions in investor relations and customer service.