To understand where we are today, we have to go back where it began... a farm in rural Mississippi in the late 1960s where I (Frank) was born and raised. Everything I stand for and believe in was formulated in those early years by my parents on the farm. They taught me to:
My parents led by example. They will always be my inspiration. The beliefs they instilled in me remain the core components of my formula for success in both business and life.
After growing up on the farm and earning a degree from Mississippi State University, I pointed my car north to the big city of Chicago to try my hand at trading. I landed at the Chicago Board of Trade - the place where you could start with literally nothing and the sky was the limit in terms of where you could end up - the truest form of capitalism. While clerking for local traders during the day I would tinker with my own versions of trading. I would then apply my experimental system during the night pit trading sessions. It was to be the beginning of a long and fruitful trading career in the financial futures pits.
What I discovered amidst the chaos and volatility of the trading pits was how to garner an edge on the market and competition. There is no better training ground to gain a true perspective on how human nature and the markets really work in unison. My ability to spot opportunity among pure mayhem is a trait that not only created the means to start FSB Companies but is critical for continued success. What’s that competitive edge today?
Today we are a world-class private investment firm and portfolio. Just as trading requires a laser focus, tremendous agility, and adaptability to constant challenges, FSB is fast and nimble. We are opportunistic yet patient. We maintain a relentless focus on mitigating risk while optimizing upside.
I have surrounded myself with a highly talented and principled team. We care very deeply about character and work ethic. We work together individually to make each one better collectively. Our chemistry is obvious when you walk in the door. I have been in enough battles to know that people are the key piece of the puzzle for continued success - I recognize that having a great team surrounding you is paramount.
My investment philosophy, similar to my trading philosophy, centers around diversification. The synergies across the FSB Companies portfolio grow every day. With significant diversity across varied business sectors, we have a front row seat to mine the strengths of each and every FSB company to share across the portfolio. We excel at leveraging the skills of each member of the FSB Companies talented leadership team throughout the portfolio. We also strengthen each company’s leadership talents via constant communication and knowledge-sharing within the portfolio.
At FSB we are constantly either creating or looking for that special and rare combination of business opportunity and human talent. Our scope of diversity and depth of in-house talent is unique for a boutique investment firm. All of these intangibles put us in an enviable position to act efficiently and drive value to exceptional opportunities.
I truly appreciate the opportunity to meet, work with, and help people who have an unquestionable passion for what they do and possess the grit and determination to succeed. I understand what it takes to start from scratch and build something from the ground up - I’ve lived that reality many times over.
From the outside, it seems as though I’m a long way from that boy growing up on a farm in Mississippi. But those core beliefs - treating people the right way, working hard, possessing true humility and always acting with integrity - are still the driving forces in my life, the ones that determine when and how I achieve balanced success.
Frank S. Brumfield