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STOLBERG Investment Governance AG (“SIG”) offers discretionary portfolio management across (a) major asset classes such as equities, bonds and hedge funds and (b) world-class external investment managers that are typically unknown to the general public. I will take single positions in certain stocks and bonds if all the stars align but deliberately invest the bulk of clients’ assets across individuals who promise outstanding results independent of each other. The latter can be referred to as „Investment Governance“. The term describes the systematic outsourcing to and monitoring of external managers in order to achieve superior results and be sufficiently (but no more!) diversified at all times. You may call SIG a family office but I prefer the expression „investment office“. This is because I focus on making good investments and not much else. I am perfectly happy to leave related services to providers who are better at it and may work for the client already.

The firm was founded in 2007. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, privately owned and fully independent from outside interests such as banks, asset managers, other financial institutions or clients. My only source of revenue is what clients pay me – directly and knowingly. I employ no salespeople and have no desire to do so in the future. I simply hate any distraction and cherish a quiet and investment-centric atmosphere with minimal administrative workload. The firm is registered with and regulated by PolyReg, a Swiss Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) and follows their Code of Professional Conduct.

There are three main challenges: (1) Outstanding investors are rare and typically found way off the beaten track of mainstream asset management. I believe it takes a little bit of experience to identify them. (2) Having excellent managers doesn’t render timely allocation decisions, conviction and patience obsolete. Leaning against the wind and avoiding lemming-like behavior is as difficult on a governance level as it is on the individual manager level. (3) Staying rational and disciplined in the face of adverse market action can be difficult indeed. Clients must be prepared and willing to maintain a hands-off approach. They need to be comfortable with somebody else making all investment decisions within a predetermined and fully transparent strategy.

You may have guessed it: SIG is a one-captain ship and I consider this crucial if results is what you are after. Prospective clients find me by recommendation. I want to be in close contact with the people whose money I manage and will therefore avoid dealing through intermediaries. I do not pay anybody for recommendations
– and I certainly never will.

Georg Stolberg