Profiles in Success
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The nice thing about growth investing is you are always asking what is possible and what is going to change the future.”
Brandon Geisler was born and raised in Canada, got started in the asset management industry in New York City and now resides in Denver as a portfolio manager focused on mid cap growth companies. Exposed to innovative companies like Tesla early in his career, he spends his workdays searching for the next great growth company. Outside of work he takes full advantage of living in Colorado and participates in an array of outdoor activities including cycling, skiing, camping and off-roading to name a few. Even with that full schedule, he manages to maintain a passion for automobiles and racing promotions like Formula 1.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, which is about 40 minutes outside of Toronto. My dad managed car dealerships and my mother was a nurse. I was curious as a kid, so she came home after a 12-hour shift in the E.R. I always had a million questions. I originally thought I would be a doctor.
And you became interested in cars through your father?
I have always been into cars. From the time I turned 16 I spent my summers in the auto business. I also raced remote-control cars. When you are 15, it was an affordable way to understand how cars actually worked. For example I could change gear ratios, shock absorber spring rates and even tire combinations for different track surfaces to maximize performance. The curiosity was always there.
Do you channel that same curiosity into investing?
I do. The nice thing about growth investing is you are always asking what is possible and what is going to change the future—whether it is in payments, electric cars or the next paradigm shift in healthcare therapies.
What is whetting your curiosity these days?
Recently I visited a private company in Colorado that is working on green hydrogen storage solutions. Why? Because I am trying to learn what the alternative energy world will look like in five or 10 years. What is hype versus reality? What are the economics like? Which technologies will be viable? Meeting people at the companies and getting to ask those questions is still the best part of the job.
Early in your career, you got to see one of the great growth companies, Tesla, get its start. What was that experience like?
That’s right. I was fortunate to see Tesla transition from a private company producing the Roadster to the leading electric vehicle public company we all know today. In fact, when the Model S was released in 2012 we were in unique position to give “real world” driveability and service network feedback to the company. Participating in one of the great growth stories of my generation in an industry I was passionate about was no doubt one of my career highlights.
How have you grown as an investor over time?
Early in my career I was focused more on what I was seeing on a day to day basis. As I have become a more seasoned investor, I have learned to take a longer-term perspective. The key for me is to take advantage of opportunities the market provides and concentrate on the longer-term attributes of a business, such as the market position, employee turnover and happiness, the absolute and consistency of revenue growth, and free cash flow conversion profile, that may lead to better returns over time.
How do you enjoy your life in Denver?
It starts with the commute time. My commute is only 30-40 minutes so I really get to take advantage of spending time with family and friends and getting outside whenever possible.
What do you enjoy doing in the time you aren’t commuting?
We literally can hop on our bikes and get on a trail. My wife and I now do something called the “triple bypass” where you ride over three mountain passes and bike over 100 miles. We also ski and snowshoe way more than we used to. In New York we used to make the trip to Vermont twice a winter while now we can get out for a quick day trip at a whim.
What else do you do in the outdoors?
I have a core group of friends and we get together regularly for a great dinner or conversely explore the backcountry. Often we offroad to a secluded river and do some fishing. Work can be intense and having balance in my life is important to me.
You do a great deal with your family. How do you like to spend meaningful time with your children?
I believe investing my time and energy into my family is integral to healthy relationships. One of those activities is supporting community organizations across Colorado with our time and other resources. Over the years, we have found these experiences to be invaluable to our personal development as well.
What causes have you supported?
Our daughters are 15 and 17 so issues that affect young women like domestic violence, the environment and access to education are especially important them. We have made donations to a number of related charities and often do so anonymously to demonstrate to them the real purpose and fulfillment of making a positive impact.
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Brandon’s Thought Leadership Content
Mid Cap Growth