EA Sundram
Executive Director, BugleRock Capital Wealth & Asset Management

Sundaram’s previous stints include a role as Manager (Research) at SBI Mutual Fund, Head of Research and Fund Manager at Zurich India Mutual Fund, Senior Portfolio Manager at HDFC Mutual Fund, Portfolio Manager at M3 Investment Managers (a family office), and CIO and Portfolio Manager at PGIM India Mutual Fund.

He has spent the last 19+ years in managing long-only portfolios with separately managed accounts and family offices returning a CAGR of 19% + compared to the Nifty 500’s 16%.

In his 33+ years of investment experience, he has been able to demonstrate taking significant contrarian positions – underweight Technology in 1999, underweight Infrastructure, Utilities, Power in 2007, underweight Midcaps in 2017, no NBFC exposure in 2018, etc.

The common factor being to avoid sectors which were extremely popular and hence avoid the very expensive valuations.

This helped protect the portfolio downside when these sectors corrected extensively in subsequent years, while overall delivering significantly above average returns.

Sundaram likes to classify his value investing style bias as “Commonsense investing”. His thesis is simple – investment success can be achieved not only by doing the right things; but also by avoiding the wrong things. The “avoidance of disasters” is the hallmark of Sundaram’s investment style. Investment disasters are avoided when one stays away from (a) weak businesses (b) company managements that have treated minority shareholders unfairly and (c) expensive valuations. As a result, Sundaram’s approach is to invest in strong businesses when they are temporarily unpopular. The unpopularity provides for a good entry price. As long as we are confident about the company’s long-term ability to compete in the marketplace, we should utilize the short-term fear to buy the stock(s) at attractive prices.

Since most mainline products actively pursue companies in the news and/or those that are popular, Sundaram’s style and portfolio shows low overlap with them, and hence provides a very good diversification option. Also, his strong belief in investing only in companies with long track record of high Return on Capital Employed and using the client’s capital efficiently by not overpaying for such companies, is in complete sync with the market beliefs.

Do Not Simply Invest, Make Informed Decisions


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