A LOOK BACK AT 30 YEARS IN BUSINESS
THE EARLY YEARS
Pugh Capital was founded in 1991 by Mary Pugh and Scott Greiwe. The goal was to build a diverse firm located in their hometown of Seattle, WA.
The vision was to specialize in providing actively managed fixed income products to institutional clients. The firm began with one client with a $5 million portfolio.
The company was under-capitalized relative to industry expectations, but Scott and Mary had grown up in the Washington Mutual culture that was known for frugality and modest salaries. They funded the company with savings and “sweat equity.”
The original vision of the firm was to grow assets under management to $500-$750 million. The founders believed such a size of assets under management would provide sufficient cashflow to comfortably operate and allow the firm to focus on investing and building strong relationships with clients.
Here is Pugh Capital’s original logo which represents sector allocation within the fixed income market. The elevated slice depicts mortgages, which was the firm’s first product.
In 1994, the Core Fixed Income Strategy was launched. A local client hired the firm to manage a $2 million portfolio. Pugh Capital added five new clients that year, one of whom is still a client today.
During the early years, the firm was focused on gathering assets. The firm had unique portfolios with different benchmarks and enjoyed the challenge and diversity that managing the mandates required. In 1994, Pugh Capital was awarded a mandate benchmarked against what is now known as the Bloomberg Aggregate Index. This was the inception of the Core Product, which is the firm’s largest product today.
While our assets under management during this time were under $1 billion, the firm had 10 unique mandates.
In the second decade, Pugh Capital was focused on building out the firm’s Core Product. The firm was typically excluded from institutional investor searches because the firm did not meet the common minimum requirement of at least $1 billion in a product. In 2012, the firm reached this AUM milestone.
Pugh Capital launched the Long Duration Product in 2006. During this time, the firm was focused on building out the flagship products. As we added to the team, we continued to hone our investment strategy while providing outstanding client service.
During the third decade of Pugh Capital’s history, the foundation that had been established in the early years positioned the firm for future success. At the end of 2020, Pugh Capital crossed $10 billion in assets under management. The Core Product surpassed $5 billion and the Long Duration Products reached approximately $4 billion.
The firm has achieved its goal of growing its presence in the institutional space and being a niche active manager. Larger plan sponsors needed to be able to allocate amounts sizeable enough for efficiency, while also being aware of their impact on a manager. Pugh Capital was happy when the firm grew large enough that plan sponsors could hire us to manage a $100 million portfolio without triggering concern.
- During the first decade, the team was small, but experienced and the co-founders performed work across many different areas.
- In the second decade of the firm, as a part of succession planning, the firm expanded the investment team. By the end of this period, the firm had eight investment professionals, an increase from two. The primary focus was building out the credit analyst team. The firm also focused on developing the next generation of leaders, sharing equity ownership and building the foundation for a sustainable organization.
- During the third decade, the number of employees more than doubled in size with the investment team growing by five people. The other teams also grew significantly from three to eleven people. The firm also increased the depth of the leadership team, broadened equity ownership and celebrated the retirement of co-founder, Scott Greiwe.
We believe in giving back to our community. These photos represent some of our volunteer endeavors over the years including working at food banks, helping to revitalize a park and scholarship reviews for a community college.
While we were busy growing the business, we also took time out to have fun together. Boating as a company outing has persisted over the decades.
We have been humbled over the years to be recognized for different achievements. We enjoy coming together to celebrate these accomplishments.
Part of our culture is taking time to celebrate holidays, birthdays and other special events together. These photos show Pugh Capital engaging in fun and memorable activities over the years.
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