C.J. Lawrence’s Koepp on Bulldog Investing

Bernhard Koepp, CEO, C.J. Lawrence, joined Julie Cooling, Founder & CEO, RIA Channel, to discuss C.J. Lawrence’s investment strategy. On RIA Channel’s 2020 Top Emerging RIAs list, which identified top 50 firms under $500 million in AUM and growing significantly, C.J. Lawrence was ranked #15.

C.J. Lawrence is a New York City based investment management boutique that provides investment portfolio customization to individuals, families, and institutions. After its founding in 1864, C.J. Lawrence was relaunched in 2014 as an independent SEC registered investment adviser. The firm now capitalizes on the talent of its highly experienced portfolio management team to deliver optimal results for clients. “Our core competency at CJ Lawrence is investment management, that’s really our best foot forward on the advisory side – it’s our institutional expertise in money management,” says Koepp.

C.J. Lawrence uses a bulldog investment philosophy that focuses on companies that are tenacious about taking market share in sustainable businesses. These companies outperform their competitors through a combination of financial strength, innovation, product differentiation, and management talent. Because the companies that C.J. Lawrence invests in have robust business models and have invested in sustainability and digital transformation, C.J. Lawrence’s clients have had one of their best years in terms of returns and have been able to avoid mainstream economic distress.

The firm prioritizes fundamental research and bottom-up stock picking. The concentrated portfolios are made up of 30-40 stocks, many of which are in sectors that have growth, like tech, healthcare, specialty retail, and ecommerce. The bulldog portfolio strategy is paired with fixed income and other investments to create balance and manage risk.

C.J. Lawrence has nine employees, five of which are on the portfolio management side, and the other four are on the client services side. C.J. Lawrence’s clients are predominantly high net worth individuals, but also include small businesses and foundations, with the typical account size between one and ten million dollars. As of December 2020, C.J Lawrence’s assets under supervision are just over one billion dollars.