Over the past year, GH&A has had the good fortune of adding new clients. This growth has been due in part to compelling returns generated by our Fixed Income team. Our profile also increased earlier this year when we were named Investment Grade Manager of the Year by Institutional Investor magazine.
We are thrilled with the increase in assets, but we don’t want to lose the “magic” that got us here. While good performance is paramount, exceptional client service is an important way we differentiate ourselves from our competitors. As we grow, clients can rest assured that the GH&A Client Service team, like the 70’s hit song, is “Taking Care of Business” by focusing on several key areas.
Building trust is essential to providing exceptional client service. We do this by consistently providing basic services that our clients require in a timely manner. We also encourage our clients to use us as a resource, and we stand ready to meet and/or conduct conference calls as often as requested. In addition, we stay in touch with clients. When we are in the area where a client resides, we proactively reach out to stop by and give them firm updates. Furthermore, we regularly participate in client events and support many of their local community efforts.
Integrating Investment and Client Service Teams
Our Investment and Client Service teams are fully integrated and sit together in an open “trading floor” environment. This allows for optimal communication and exchange of ideas among departments. Thus, team members understand our philosophy, process and portfolio composition, which provides us flexibility to send anyone out in the field to represent our firm and products.
Responding to Challenging Market Events
We keep our clients informed of key market events, especially the challenging ones. The third quarter of 2011 is one example, as it was a difficult quarter for our fixed income strategies. At that time, U.S. debt was downgraded and markets were fearful of a Greek default. The result was a dramatic “flight-to-quality” into treasuries. However, our investment process led us to maintain our overweight position in corporate bonds.
So, what did we do? We contacted clients ahead of time to explain market dynamics and why we were staying fully invested. We also wrote an investment letter titled “Under Pressure” which explained our market view in great detail. The letter was distributed to all clients and consultants. As it stands today, we still strive to keep the client informed of what we’re doing and our reasons behind it.
Staying Ahead of Growth
In anticipation of firm growth, we have added several members to our Client Service team, which now represents over a third of total firm employees. The single most important thing we can do to ensure continued firm success is to hire the best people!
When we add a new team member, the “right fit” is more important than the right credentials or the right experience. We look for people who will give 100% and take initiative to contribute in their own unique way. Adding the right people, like managing money, is more of an art than a science. Because we take a thoughtful approach in hiring new people, we feel strongly that our employees are some of the hardest working and dedicated professionals in the business.
In summary, we want all clients to know that GH&A is always “Taking Care of Business.” All of our team members are available and willing to help. For your reference, we have listed contact information for the Client Service Team Leaders below. Thanks for your continued confidence in our firm, and please let us know how we can better serve you in the future.
Client Service Contacts
Ruby Muñoz Dang
Partner/Director of Marketing & Client Service
As always, our Managing Partner, Gilbert Garcia (713) 853-2323, and Partner, Janna Hamilton (713) 853-2309, enjoy visiting with clients/consultants and are always available. Client Service – Taking Care of Business