At Marcellus, we have spend most of the past decade writing books about and investing in clean, well-managed Indian companies with dominant franchises. Hence we were delighted and intrigued to hear that last month in the USA, a fund was launched which focuses on the character of the management team and invests in companies run by people with integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion:
“ROC Investments today launched the world’s first ETF composed of companies exclusively selected based on the behaviors of their CEO and senior executive teams, the ROC (Return On Character®) ETF (Cboe: ROCI).
ROC seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in character-led organizations. ROC Investments, the manager of the strategy, believes the market consistently misprices the value of exceptional character over the long-term, by not measuring it at all. ROC Investments has built an actively managed strategy to invest solely on the basis of the character of corporate leadership. The core strategy will be to identify and buy U.S. companies with management behavior that exemplifies the highest level of character.
“The four pillars of ROC’s character model – Integrity, Responsibility, Forgiveness, and Compassion – are the same principles parents seek to instill in their children, and yet they are often found lacking in the financial world. Far more than exterior characteristics like education, tenure, politics, age, industry or religion, it is these interior traits that determine character. Our hope is that the ROC ETF will show that not only does character matter, but it is the best way to live and invest,” said Dan Cooper, Founder and CEO of ROC Investments.
ROC is based on groundbreaking academic research by global consulting firm KRW International, which found a consistent, observable and measurable relationship between senior leadership character and an organization’s ability to execute its strategy. Leadership teams with high character scores showed higher profitability (as measured by return on assets), higher workforce engagement and lower levels of corporate risk.
The fund’s portfolio will generally hold 75 to 150 stocks with the highest Composite Character Scores, weighted to mirror the return profile of traditional, broad-based U.S. securities…”

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Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.

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