Firebird’s objective is long-term capital appreciation through diversified exposure to equities mainly of companies operating in Eastern Europe. We seek to generate these high absolute returns while taking appropriate levels of risk for the emerging and frontier markets where we invest and, of equal importance, to run our company according to high ethical standards.

Firebird’s investment philosophy is based on fundamental value, both from the top down and bottom up perspectives. The top down analysis focuses, for each country in our region, on its level of political development; its macroeconomic outlook; market infrastructure; and which sectors are best positioned to prosper. Within the countries chosen, we look for high-quality companies trading at discounts to intrinsic value, especially those that generate free cash flow and have managements with a history of shareholder-friendly capital allocation via dividends and share buybacks.


Firebird avoids value-destructive state-owned enterprises, some of which are because of their size the largest components of the indices. We achieve less volatile returns than the market in part through diversification, not only by country but also by sector, keeping a balance between resource producers, export-oriented manufacturers, and domestic demand growth plays such as banks and retailers. We also seek to protect our and our investors’ capital by raising cash during periods of heightened risk or very excessive valuations.

We believe that the value available in our region and numerous market inefficiencies make it possible to generate attractive returns without the use of leverage, derivatives, or short selling. Accordingly, our key form of risk control is liquidity management. We seek to ensure that the liquidity profile of each fund’s portfolio matches its terms and investor composition. Principals’ capital makes up a large portion of all the funds, giving each a stable base that allows us to dig into the mid- and small caps in search of value. In addition, we usually hold a long tail of illiquid stocks that could generate extraordinary returns if they work out, and which we size appropriately.


While we are generally passive investors, we have gotten involved and often served on Boards of Directors where we have owned a significant stake and believed we could contribute. Not infrequently, Firebird has had to defend its funds’ rights and has achieved results through a combination of persistent pressure, litigation, and cooperation with peer funds. However, we never put our funds at risk by overestimating our importance to the capital markets of the countries where we operate.


We believe that our pioneering role in the capital markets of Russia, the Baltics, the Balkans, Georgia, Kazakhstan, etc., has not only made great returns for our investors, but also a contribution to the modernization of these nations. Our long-time focus on corporate governance, which we find usually goes hand in hand with good public citizenship, has naturally incorporated ESG principles into our process. We are proud of our ongoing work.