Investment Philosophy & Process

Investment Philosophy & Process

We invest selectively and independently—taking a long-term perspective. Our active, concentrated portfolio strategy allows us to pursue our most compelling investment ideas. We consistently apply a disciplined, proven investment process, refined over decades and tested in virtually every market environment.


Our investment philosophy is built on our core belief that growth can and should be achieved at a reasonable price. We:

  • Build high conviction, concentrated portfolios with a long-term investment time horizon
  • Employ a bottom-up research process to identify mispriced securities and unique opportunities
  • Seek long-term relative outperformance through active management and selective investing
  • Invest with a bias toward small- and mid-size companies
  • Use fixed income allocations to balance the risk in portfolios—where appropriate and based on client objectives

Investment Process

A consistent and repeatable process

Comprehensive, rigorous bottom-up analysis with long-term focus allows us to look beyond short-term noise and identify what we believe is the fundamental value of a security.

This includes a focus on stocks where valuations are compelling, management teams and balance sheets are strong, and any dislocations appear temporary in nature.

The result is a portfolio that gives investors upside opportunity through carefully selected stocks while potentially reducing overall risk through fixed income holdings when applicable.

Equity Research
Bottom-Up Focus
Investment Committee
Portfolio Construction
Risk Management
Equity Research
  • Generate ideas from long-term relationships with research analysts and partners
  • Visit companies and management teams
  • Attend conferences and investor days
  • Interview competitors, suppliers, customers and others
Bottom-Up Focus

"We invest in companies, not stocks."

What we look for to Identify quality companies

  • Reasonable/low debt
  • Strong free cash flow
  • Low price/earnings (P/E) ratio relative to growth
  • Stock has potential for multiple expansion—an increase in the price-earnings ratio
  • Strong management team
  • Dominant market share with high barriers to entry—companies that dominate in their space
  • Primarily small and mid-size companies—ability to invest in companies of all market capitalizations
  • Stocks that may be out of favor, overlooked or relatively unknown
Investment Committee
  • Decisions are made by the Investment Committee, composed of the four partners
  • Our nimble, team-based approach fosters an open exchange of ideas
  • Four distinct, multi-generational perspectives collaborate on our best ideas
  • We rigorously discuss every opportunity
  • All trades are reviewed both from an investment perspective and a client appropriateness viewpoint
  • We have the flexibility to act decisively, unhampered by big-firm bureaucracy
Portfolio Construction

SEPARATELY Managed Accounts

  • Seek guidance from the client regarding income needs, risk tolerance and time horizon
  • Establish a framework for the types of stocks and bonds that are appropriate for the client
  • Recommend asset allocation (% of stocks and bonds)
  • Choose securities on a discretionary basis


  • A selective, concentrated portfolio of Villere’s 20-30 best ideas
  • Largely a function of our bottom-up process of finding “growth at a reasonable price” opportunities
  • Diversify by sectors
  • Low turnoverthe average stock held for over 5 years


  • Focus on corporate and municipal bonds
  • Primarily newly-issued bonds, selectively buy bonds in the secondary market
  • Mainly investment-grade bonds
  • High-yield bonds are used in certain circumstances – usually when we know the company well from our equity research efforts
  • Typically hold until maturity
  • Diversify maturities to minimize volatility
Risk Management
  • Focus on quality companies with solid fundamentals
  • Look for strong cash flow that supports balance sheet
  • May decrease exposure to more volatile stocks based on the market environment
  • Increase cash or fixed income allocation as needed
  • Diversify bond maturities to minimize volatility
  • Conscious of sector over/under weights