September’s insight provides a brief discussion of India and the opportunities we see for several of our investments. We take the view that investing in global companies which have strong businesses in emerging markets like India is a great way to benefit from the potential for progress, prosperity and value generation they offer for the next five, ten and 25 years. Our insight presents an overview of several of our positions that have strong businesses in India and how they are looking to generate value.
The Stern family has a long history of investing in emerging markets. In the 1870s the family began its heavy involvement in the biggest emerging market of its day − the United States. The physical size of the US was enormous and the growth opportunities unprecedented. Development of the economy required huge investment in infrastructure. Through an American partner, Henry Villard (born Ferdinand Heinrich Hilgard in Germany), one of the pioneers of the US railways, in 1872 the Frankfurt bank of Jacob S. H. Stern bought bonds of the Wisconsin Central Railway, now part of Canadian National Railroad. Later they financed the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and made money from the receivership of the Kansas and Pacific Railway. Both Oregon and Kansas are now part of Union Pacific Railroad, an investment the family holds to this day.