Following the flotation of Stagecoach Brian started to invest in a number of early stage companies.
As Brian would say however, not all his eggs were double yokers and in 2006 he decided to establish a professionally managed family investment office, under the leadership of Andy Macfie, an experienced private equity practitioner.
The strategy of Souter Investments has been to:
- Create a diversified portfolio, whilst retaining Stagecoach Group as a core holding of the portfolio, targeting private equity opportunities but also making highly selective and limited allocations to other asset classes, such as private equity funds, listed equities and property.
- Maintain an opportunistic investment approach, so as well as our focus of direct private equity investing, we can invest in selected listed stocks and stock market index tracker funds, in a very limited number of private equity funds, and in commercial and residential property situations, focussing on areas where we have an angle and/or where we have experience and knowledge.
In Souter Investments’ most recent review in 2019, Brian reported: “Our total portfolio, excluding Stagecoach, increased in value by 9% per annum over the 12 years ended March 2019. This compares against a 5% annual return on UK quoted equities over the same period.
“Although this does not sound like much of a difference, the compounding effect of this difference means that our portfolio is 55% higher in value than had we invested solely in the UK stock market.”
The private equity focus has borne fruit and Souter Investments has taken significant stakes in companies in a wide range of sectors including financial services, business services, industrial, healthcare, oil & gas, consumer products, telecoms, technology and transport.