Looks Small and Plays Big

Max Osbon - October 23, 2013

At Osbon Capital, John Osbon is the conductor, but where’s his orchestra?

We often hear the question: How many employees do you have? Our reply – zero – is a surprise to some. The business is operated by two partner owners. John Osbon manages all client portfolios and investment strategy while Max Osbon is the operational guru. Our payroll is small, but our team is big. That’s by design.

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Teamwork beats solo efforts every time, but we don’t employ for every need. We hire specialized contractors, whom we consider to be the best in the industry at what they do. Why contract? First, to find the best people no matter where they are. Next, for efficiency and value.  Based on cost alone, employing our network of Osbon Capital experts would be impossible. Not only do we get the exact skills we need within each field, but we can pass the benefit of efficiency on to clients.

Who are they?

  • Custody: Fidelity. Rule number one: always use an independent custodian. It’s your best anti-Madoff insurance. New clients don’t move assets to Osbon Capital; assets are held by Fidelity. Clients grant us discretionary authority to buy and sell index ETFs on their behalf, but the money never touches our hands.
  • Asset allocation and risk management tools:  Windham Capital. Windham is a key advisor to endowments and hedge funds, and to us. See our recent article The World According to Windham.
  • Compliance: National Regulatory Services. NRS is the recognized leader in compliance for registered investment advisors, assuring that we follow all rules for conduct and disclosure. We love the cops (John used to be one). Superb compliance is a competitive advantage in our business.
  • Reporting: Schwab Performance Technologies. SPT turns account data into state-of-the-art performance insight. We can report on any account, anywhere, whether we manage it or not.
  • Key-man insurance and disability: In the event of John Osbon’s temporary or permanent absence, we hold a $3M insurance policy, allowing Max to assemble a team of John’s former partners – all Wall Street managing director investment advisors – to provide continued service to clients.
  • Tax expertise by referral: FLSV has done our taxes for 15 years. We can introduce clients there, or at other leading firms.
  • Estate planning by referral: We have a long relationship with Hemenway & Barnes. Other experts available on request.

Built to last

Forget scalability. We don’t want thousands of accounts. Our all-custom portfolio management approach is about quality, not quantity. We have a cap on how many one-on-one relationships we can and will maintain.

Our family owns 100 percent of the business, and with it, all voting control is in our hands. There’s no employee turnover, no strategy to fatten the firm and sell it, no debt holders or outside shareholders seeking their own enrichment at the expense of clients, no middle management to feed, no commissions or incentive systems to push proprietary products. With this enviable – and intentional – structure, we have the freedom to make decisions that are best for the long-term interest of clients.

We’re proud of the orchestra of specialists we’ve assembled here. We feel it hits all the notes that matter to clients, at ticket prices that make sense.

Max Osbonmosbon@osboncapital.com

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