We help institutional clients achieve their unique goals with thoughtful investment advice, delivered with integrity.
Sellwood operates with different values than many of our industry peers. Those values are:
With our clients. We treat our clients as partners. We respect our clients by offering them a stable firm, which is a precondition for long-term relationships to flourish and the benefits of long-term investment thinking to be realized. As fiduciaries, we handle clients’ assets and implement their investment programs as if they were our own. We celebrate our clients’ uniqueness by designing customized portfolios for them. We are transparent with our thinking and proactive with our recommendations. We uphold a high level of client service and believe that all of our clients, regardless of their size, deserve our very best.
We focus on creating value for clients, not extracting it from them. We structure our advisory fees, which are never hidden and always accompanied by an invoice, to be only a fraction of the value we expect to add to clients. Clients should benefit more from their portfolios than their investment advisors and managers do.
With our employees. We owe our clients a stable firm and stable advisory team. This is best accomplished by being owned only by active employees, by dispersing our firm’s ownership broadly amongst our senior professionals, and by cultivating a culture wherein all employees behave as owners of the firm. We believe that when we treat our people like the professionals they are, they serve our clients best.
We are beholden only to our clients, our values, and our regulators. When we say we have no conflicts of interest, we mean it: we believe that true advice, in the sense that it is worth taking, arises only when conflicts of interest are fully eliminated, not merely disclosed. We never write anything in fine print. We are paid only by our clients and offer no proprietary investment products or add-on services that would pollute the advice we deliver to clients. We have no outside ownership, commitments, or pressures. Independence offers us the freedom to think most creatively about solving client investment problems.
Quality, Not Scale
Achieving “scale” is not our objective. Quality is. Truly customized and thoughtful advice, and high levels of client service, by definition cannot scale. There is a finite limit to the number of clients we can serve without diluting what makes our advisory offering unique. We would rather serve fewer clients better than more clients in a watered-down way. We recognize that our service offering is an optimal match only for a narrow segment of the marketplace of institutional clients, and we only seek to serve those clients. Other firms can appropriately focus on the rest.
Diversity makes Sellwood a better firm, and a better partner to our clients. We believe that diversity enhances our investment process, and we want Sellwood to be representative of the clients and communities we serve. Our DEI mission is to have a culture of inclusion, infused into everything we do, and to have a hiring process and culture that are inclusionary and non-biased. Our industry is not as inclusive of people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and other underrepresented communities as it should be. Our culture of inclusion seeks to ensure that both Sellwood and our clients benefit from the diversity of perspective that comes from diversity of talent.
We believe that operating under defined Investment and Advisory Philosophies makes us better consultants. We invite you to review our Investment Philosophy and Advisory Philosophy, which are drawn from our experience and guide our advice and advisory practice.
Our senior consultants have worked closely together since 2005, leading client relationships ranging from several million dollars to several billion dollars in size. Our professionals thrive on the challenge of creating robust investment solutions designed to exceed our clients’ expectations. Our entire team is located in our Portland, Oregon, office.
It is important to us that we sit on the same side of the table as our clients, and that our clients know that our advice is completely unbiased. Our ethical standards are uncompromising. All our employees adhere, in writing, to both the Sellwood Consulting Code of Ethics and the CFA Institute Code of Ethics & Standards of Professional Conduct. All of Sellwood’s revenues come in the form of cash payments from our clients – we do not accept 12B‐1 fees, soft dollars, revenue sharing, commission recapture, or any other payments from investment managers or any service provider that Sellwood may recommend to clients. Sellwood has no proprietary investment products nor lines of business that introduce conflicts of interest. As fiduciaries to every client we serve, for all services that we perform, we advise our clients under the industry’s highest standard of care.
For further information, please see our responses to the questions that the SEC and Department of Labor recommends that plan sponsors ask of their pension consultants, to evaluate their objectivity.
U.N. Principles of Responsible Investment Signatory
Sellwood Consulting is a signatory of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing (“UN PRI”). Signing the internationally-recognized UN PRI publicly demonstrates Sellwood’s commitment to responsible investment. As a signatory, Sellwood pledges to provide, improve, and promote services that support our clients’ implementation of the Principles.
Ownership & Stability
Clients that hire Sellwood Consulting can have confidence that the organization they hire will be the same organization that serves them many years later. We can make this promise only because of our unique ownership and governance structure: not only are we 100% owned by our active investment professionals, but the ownership is widely dispersed throughout our organization rather than concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. We thoughtfully built our firm this way because solid long‐term client relationships and investment results start with sound firm governance and stable ownership.