Our Ethos

Our Ethos


Our Code of Ethics at Aylett & Co is clearly stipulated and we apply the highest possible standards of correctness, legality and fairness. Our guiding principal is one of “rightness” – we invest when the terms are right, we conduct our processes and company affairs in the right manner and we stay on the side of what is right. In Aylett & Co speak “close to the line is out”!

Our cost ethos would be the envy of many other investment houses. We are relentless in keeping costs in check and find that this principle has a fascinating way of influencing professional behaviour, team mentality and investment discipline. Short cuts are not a clever way to save costs. Instead we are always looking at smarter and better ways of doing things for less. Rather like buying at a discount on the basis of clever research. Technology is a major contributor to doing business more cost effectively.

How We Think

How We Think and Operate



We buy businesses.

Shares are evaluated, not by a fluctuating ticker or a graph on a screen, but by what they represent, a certificate of ownership. We critically value each company much as an owner would evaluate his own business. We seek great businesses that are well run and managed, trading at a discount to their intrinsic value. In an industry driven by benchmarks and peer reviews, it demands conviction and tenacity to buy and hold out of favour companies which often require the benefit of time to reflect their true worth. We follow the adage that the return of an investment is determined not by the exit price but by the price one pays.

Stock pickers by nature, we look at companies rather than at the economy. We favour shares supported by a strong and sustainable business model, managed effectively and priced well.

We make these investment decisions across the globe, where our mandates allow this flexibility. Overlaid will be investment decisions regarding world currencies, bonds, equity sectors and country specific equity markets. Our joint objective is to preserve investor capital and to grow this over the long term. The client mandate informs the manner in which we invest and where this investment may occur.

What is it worth?

Our thinking is actioned by a robust and disciplined investment process. Deep thought and thorough analysis lies behind investment decisions taken at Aylett & Co. We read voraciously, debate freely and spontaneously and research ideas meticulously in our job as fund managers. We employ well designed systems that produce the data needed to feed into our decisions and research. A blend of proprietary and broker research is used, the combination of which is decided by a clear equity focus demanded locally due to the limited size of the JSE, relatively speaking, and critical globally, due conversely to the market enormity and scope of “the rest of the world”.

In simple terms the true worth of an investment rests in proper facts and sound financials, not in market sentiment.

We follow a set of rules.

Rule No.1: Never lose money.
Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.

– Warren Buffett

 
We include a margin of safety when making investments and are strong advocates of managing risk by not overpaying for an investment. We favour buying shares when they are trading at a discount of about 40% although this percentage may be adjusted up or down depending on the cash flow generative powers of the company.

We eat our own cooking.

Our interests are aligned with those of our investors who will be comforted to know that we ‘eat our own cooking’. Our personal and company wealth has been invested alongside that of investors in the retail unit trusts and hedge fund managed by Aylett & Co.

The Team

The Team


The team consists of individuals with impressive academic credentials. Intelligence, energy, integrity and a passion for investing are the special ingredients required to work at Aylett & Co.

Ours is a highly privileged environment – we work with people we really like, doing a job we love, entrusted with managing investor capital and for that we are entitled to participate in an incredibly generous reward structure. We invest our own assets in Aylett & Co. managed unit trusts. Out performance therefore rewards us in both our personal capacity and in our career capacity.

- Walter Aylett

 

 
Walter Circle WALTER AYLETT
Founding Fund Manager
CA (SA), B Compt Honours

Walter founded Aylett & Co. in mid-2005 and began managing assets soon thereafter. This followed his time at Coronation Fund Managers for whom he worked for 7 years, first as Head of Research and then as Portfolio Manager. He excelled at managing several of their key Pension Funds and achieved recognition in the retail markets with the success of the Optimum Growth Fund. Walter managed this worldwide flexible fund from its inception and earned a number of Raging Bull awards over the years.

Prior to that Walter had been at Syfrets Managed Assets for 4 years where he had the privilege of jointly managing the highly rated Prime Select Fund with well-respected Tim Allsop. Earlier experience in the London financial industry had established a career path for Walter which he has been following ever since. He is regarded as an independent thinker with an investment approach driven by strong conviction, and a clear set of principles and values.

Aylett & Co. has provided an environment for these characteristics to flourish. He has handpicked a team that supports and practices his investment ethos backed up by exceptional client focus and a robust operational infrastructure.

 

 
Dagon Circle
DAGON SACHS, CFA
Analyst
B.Sc Engineering (Mechanical) Wits

Dagon moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town to join Walter in setting up Aylett & Co. in 2005. His 3 years Operations and Systems experience at well-known financial advisory firm, Hewitson and Kontominas, was put to good use in designing systems, operational infrastructure and company practices for Aylett & Co. Since becoming a CFA charter holder, Dagon has moved into the role of investment analyst. His enquiring mind and research tenacity are ideal qualities on the team. Dagon was made a shareholder in Aylett & Co in 2009.

 

 
Justin Circle
JUSTIN RITCHIE, CFA
Analyst
CA (SA), B.Acc (Stellenbosch)

After completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting at UCT, Justin completed his articles and qualified as a Charted Accountant at Deloitte in Cape Town, specialising in financial services. After qualifying, Justin worked in the Hedge Fund audit industry in the United States. Justin joined the Aylett & Co. research team in 2010.

 

 
Corne Circle 
Corné van Zyl
Research Assistant
B.Acc Honours (University of The Free State)

Corné grew up in Bloemfontein and obtained his Honours in Accounting at the University of the Free State. After that he completed his articles and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at LDP Incorporated in Stellenbosch. Inspired by Investment Management Corné joined Aylett & Co in 2017 as a Research Assistant.

 

 
 Alex Circle
Alex Philippou
Research Assistant
CA(SA), B.Com Honours (UCT)

Alex graduated from UCT with an Honours Degree in Accounting. He completed his articles at EY in Cape Town, gaining valuable experience in the Financial Services industry (specifically Asset Management) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Prior to Joining the Investment team at Aylett & Co. in 2018 as a Research Assistant, Alex was fortunate enough to work at EY Cyprus in the Transaction Advisory department, where he performed both buy and sell side Due Diligence and Valuations.

 

 
Dimitri Circle
DIMITRI THEO
Business Development Manager
Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science (UNISA); B.Com (WITS)

After obtaining his Honours Degree in Accounting, Dimitri followed his lifelong dream of working on Wall Street. Working in New York for Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young, he gained deep financial services experience in the Hedge Fund and Asset Management industries.

Upon returning to Johannesburg, Dimitri joined ABSA Wealth in 2009 as a Senior Wealth Manager, and then moved down to Cape Town with RMB Private Bank working with Ultra High Net Worth individuals.

With a passion for Sales and forming trusted client relationships, Dimitri joined Aylett & Co. in 2017 heading up their new business development.

 
 

 
Megan Circle
MEGAN PETERS
Business Assistant
Senior Paralegal Diploma (SASPS), Exercise Specialist Diploma (HFPA)

Megan completed her Senior Paralegal Diploma through The South African School of Paralegal Studies in 2015, where she achieved an overall distinction for the course.

She is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (NQF Level 7) through IIE Business School at Varsity College on a part-time basis. Megan is currently fulfilling the role of Business Assistant in which she manages the office and assists the team with day to day tasks.

 

 
David Circle
DAVID HEANY
Fund Accountant
B.Com Hons (UCT), Passed Level 2 CFA

David graduated from UCT with a B.Com majoring in Economics in 2014 and is currently studying part-time to complete his Honours degree in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management (UCT).

He passed level 2 CFA in June 2018 and worked for a management consulting firm for a few months after graduation. There he learnt fundamental management principles and company processes relating to multiple industries.

He joined the Aylett & Co team in September 2015 as a fund accountant and is focused on the administration of our client funds.

 

 
Bert Circle 
 Bert Ellmann
Head of Operations
CA(SA), BBusSc Finance and Accounting (UCT)

After completing his Bachelors of Business Science Honours Degree (Finance & Accounting) at UCT, Albert went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte in Cape Town, specialising in the audit of companies in the financial services industry. Post articles Albert was seconded to New York where he focused on the audit of hedge funds.

After returning from New York Albert took up the role of a Senior Operations Manager at State Street where he gained advanced knowledge of both the regulatory and technical aspects of the asset management industry.

Careers

Careers


Aylett & Co. is an independently owned and managed asset management boutique. Since inception, the company has followed a strategy of measured growth both in terms of attracting assets and talented individuals. This has led to a highly sustainable business and one which offers all staff the opportunity to participate in an incentive scheme. Our model suits the entrepreneurial minded individual who is drawn by the prospect of working in an asset management environment that offers long term rewards to those prepared to invest their intellectual capital, integrity and sustained commitment in the continued growth and success of the business.

To find out more about the careers available with Aylett & Co. please see below:

Current Vacancies

Job Title / Duties
Description Posted Date
There are currently no vacancies available.

External Shareholders

External Shareholders


Aylett & Co. is independently owned and managed and has made a commitment to its staff to provide them with future shareholding opportunities. 2009 saw Dagon Sachs being welcomed into the ranks of owners of Aylett & Co.

In conjunction to staff shareholdings, Aylett & Co. is proud of the esteemed external individuals who have seen value in Walter’s vision right from the start and have taken minority stakes in the company.

Lady Mary Hatch LADY MARY HATCH

Lady Mary Hatch is a first generation Irish woman. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin where she did an Arts Degree followed by a higher diploma in education.

She is a Director and Company Secretary of the Clancy Group plc which through Clancy Docwra Ltd, is one of the leading utility and construction companies in the United Kingdom, started by her father in the 1950’s.

Lady Hatch has been an external shareholder of Aylett & Co. Fund Managers since the company was founded in 2004. She owns a home in Cape Town and travels regularly to South Africa.

She was Chairman of the Irish Youth Foundation in England for 7 years and was instrumental in raising over £2 million for disadvantaged young Irish people in England. She remains on the Board as a Trustee. She is Chairman of the Women’s Irish Network. She was a Trustee and Chair of the Development Committee of the Tricycle Theatre in London for 12 years but resigned in April 2008. She has recently been appointed as an Ambassador for an employment charity, Tomorrow’s People.

In 2002 she was given the Irish Post Award for services to the community.

In 2004 she was awarded Irish Tatler International Woman of the Year.

Mary married in 1999. Her husband, Sir David Hatch, was knighted in 2004 for his services to the UK Parole Board. Sadly he died in June 2007.

Compliance and Policies

Compliance and Policies

PAIA

Promotion of Access to Information Act

We fully comply with the Promotion of Access to Information Act and are prepared to assist you with any request you make in terms of this Act.

Act Fee Schedule Form

Treating Customers Fairly

Treating Customers Fairly Policy

Treating Customers Fairly Policy

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest Policy

Conflicts of Interest Policy

Customer Complaints

Customer Complaints

Customer Complaints Policy Customer Complaints Form

Proxy Voting

Proxy Voting Policy

Proxy Voting Policy

Responsible Investment Policy

Responsible Investment Policy

Responsible Investment Policy