Standard manages its founding family’s shareholdings
and acts in an advisory capacity for like-minded
We believe in hard work, humility, singularity, long-term ownership and total integrity. Favoring public equities and family-controlled companies, we follow a value investing blueprint — endeavoring the disciplined pursuit of mispriced assets off the beaten path — and seek opportunities across all sectors and geographies.
Headed by accomplished scientists Jean-Paul and Martine Clozel, the founders of Actelion, Swiss biotech Idorsia (SWX:IDIA), our largest investment, was spun-off from its former parent with a pipeline of eleven compounds, of which four in late-stage development. In the U.S., Aravive (US:ARAV), led by distinguished healthcare entrepreneur Fred Eshelman, is exploring a promising treatment against platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. In Canada, Knight Therapeutics (CAN:GUD) is structured as a carbon copy of Jonathan Goodman’s successful first venture, Paladin Labs, this time with a broader focus on Latin America.
To buy when others are despondently selling requires the greatest fortitude but pays the greatest rewards. Well-capitalized, superbly managed and trading for a fraction of their reserves values, Canadian low-cost producers Peyto Exploration & Development (CAN:PEY) and Gear Energy (CAN:GXE) represented perfect vehicles to ride the recovery of oil and gas markets. Also listed in Canada, but active in Tanzania and registered in the British Virgin Islands, natural gas producer Orca Energy (CAN:ORC.B), our oldest investment, operates the prolific Songo Songo field and plays a strategic role in the country’s path to economic development.
Commercial Real Estate
Designed as a platform to redevelop a vast portfolio of prime but underexploited real estate assets, Berkshire Hathaway-backed Seritage (US:SRG) upgrades and leases commercial space formerly occupied by Sears department stores to a diversified group of tenants. Rents grow fourfold in the process, paving the way for splendid value creation over the next decades.
Based in the Netherlands and partially spun out from Constellation Software in 2021, Topicus (CAN:TOI.V) intends to replicate its parent holding company’s highly successful approach to M&A within the European software industry — a fragmented landscape with many hidden champions and less private equity money chasing acquisitions.
Run and controlled by Luc Tack — the turnaround artist of Picanol fame — Tessenderlo (BEL:TESB) sported entrenched competitive positions in each of its subsidiaries and had plenty of leeway to grow, yet it remained chronically undervalued on a sum-of-the-parts basis. In a like manner, Colfax (US:CFX) was a fast-growing, well-capitalized conglomerate controlled by brothers Mitchell and Steven Rales — founders of extraordinarily successful Danaher Corporation — that traded as a hopeless cause at the time of our investment.
The fifth largest brewer worldwide, Molson Coors (US:TAP) has a 25% market share in North America, where it also controls highly strategic distribution networks. Despite stable earning power and multiple short-term catalysts — dividend reinstatement, asset sales, restructuring program, etc. — the company saw its shares priced at badly depressed multiples during the pandemic, triggering our interest and most sizeable — albeit short-lived — investment in recent years.
Grants & Endowments
We are keen on supporting social entrepreneurs engaged in thoughtful, high-impact philanthropy. Our involvement so far has been with children education and more recently cancer research, but we always strive to do more and broaden our horizons. A specific area of interest closely related to our history would be to help resourceful refugees in their quest for a better life. Read more on this subject →