Firm History

Charles Brandes founded Brandes in 1974. Following a meeting with Benjamin Graham, widely considered the father of value investing, Mr. Brandes became a student of the value investment philosophy. When the bear market of 1973-1974 created attractive long-term opportunities for disciplined, patient investors, Mr. Brandes decided it was time to launch his own firm. Since then, the company has remained independent, and has applied a bottom-up, Graham and Dodd, value investment philosophy and process consistently across numerous investment strategies.

 

Brandes has achieved notable milestones throughout our history, as noted in the Timeline below.

 

Brandes Timeline

1971 1974 1977 1986 1990 1991 1994 1995 1996 1997 1999 2002 2006 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 2021 2023 2024
Charles Brandes met Ben Graham, whose value investing principles later inspired Brandes to set up his own firm.
The Nifty 50*
Investors couldn’t get enough of the Nifty 50. Their valuations skyrocketed well beyond levels that even companies such as Polaroid and Digital Equipment Corporation could sustain.
*Nifty 50: an informal term used to describe the 50 most favored “buy-and-hold” U.S. stocks in 1960s and 1970s.
Brandes Investment Partners was founded under the name Branco Investors.
1973 Oil Crisis
Oil supply concerns contributed to the stock market crash of 1973-1974, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average* falling over 45% during the crisis. Even most of the Nifty 50’s constituents did not come out of it unharmed.

* Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged, price-weighted index of 30 blue chip U.S. stocks. The DJIA was created by Charles Dow in 1896 as a general measure of the stock market, and today is compiled by editors of The Wall Street Journal. With over a hundred years of data behind it, the DJIA still serves as a reliable U.S. market’s measure. This index captures price movements of the securities.

New Brandes Global Equity Strategy was among the first global offerings in the United States.
Rising Interest Rate in 1979 

BusinessWeek magazine declared “The Death of Equities” as the prime rate headed to a high of 21.50% in December 1980.

Brandes won its first sub-advisory wrap program and institutional separate account.
1987 Black Monday
On October 19, global financial markets collapsed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average* losing over 22%, providing a great environment for value investors to seek bargains.

* Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged, price-weighted index of 30 blue chip U.S. stocks. The DJIA was created by Charles Dow in 1896 as a general measure of the stock market, and today is compiled by editors of The Wall Street Journal. With over a hundred years of data behind it, the DJIA still serves as a reliable U.S. market’s measure. This index captures price movements of the securities.

New Brandes International Equity Strategy targeted select non-U.S. value opportunities.
“Tear down this wall!” 

President Reagan, 1987

On October 3, 1990, the formal reunification of East and West Germany signified the dawn of larger markets and the beginning of globalization.

Brandes launched U.S. Value Equity Strategy.
Glasnost and Perestroika 

Public call for transparency and better standard of living led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War.

Brandes introduced Emerging Markets Equity Strategy. 
1994 Tequila Crisis

Brandes remained unnerved as Mexican Peso’s devaluation scared many investors. Then and now, we believe not all companies are affected by macroeconomic events in the same way.

Brandes launched European Equity Strategy.
World Trade Organization

The establishment of the WTO paved the way for international trade expansion and globalization.

Brandes introduced International Small Cap Equity Strategy. Brandes opened its first overseas office in Geneva.
Baby Boomers Began Turning 50

CalPERS* reached $100 billion in assets as baby boomers started thinking more about retirement.

*California Public Employees Retirement System, manager of the biggest public pension fund in the United States.

Brandes started offering mutual funds.
The Asian Contagion

The 1997 Asian financial crisis sent many emerging economies into a deep dive. Despite emerging markets’ numerous transformations since then, many investors still fear a potential replay of this crisis.

Brandes acquired fixed-income strategies from Milwaukee-based Hilltop Capital.
“Irrational Exuberance”

The dot-com bubble led the NASDAQ* Composite Index to almost quadruple between 1997 and 2000 – before ending in the "tech wreck".

*Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, broad based market capitalization-weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and international based common type stocks listed on the NASDAQ market. This index captures price movements of the securities.

The Brandes Institute was founded to lead thought leadership and research initiatives. Brandes Investment Partners & Co. (Brandes Canada) opened.
2002 South American Economic Crisis

Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay struggled as economic crisis hit. Brandes took this opportunity to invest in out-of-favor businesses in the region.

Sionna Investment Managers, Inc. joined Brandes Canada line-up.
Global Financial Crisis

Major downturns in stock markets shocked investors worldwide and led to the collapse or sale of several large financial institutions. The S&P 500 Index* fell over 56% from October 2007 to March 2009 (peak to trough).

*Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The S&P 500 Index with gross dividends is an unmanaged, market-capitalization weighted index that measures the equity performance of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The index includes 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy, capturing 80% coverage of U.S. equities. This index includes dividends and distributions, but does not reflect fees, brokerage commissions, withholding taxes or other expenses of investing.

Brandes was #3 for trading-cost efficiencies according to a national ranking agency.* 
The ECB’s “Whatever It Takes”  

The European Central Bank announced in 2012 to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro zone.

*Source: Institutional Investor; rank was for 12 months ended June 30, 2012. Click here for full article.

Brandes Canada expanded as an investment sales platform under the name Bridgehouse Asset Managers. Brandes moved its Europe office from Geneva to Dublin and opened its first Asia-Pacific office in Singapore.
To Taper or Not to Taper

Speculation on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering plan affected international equity markets, especially emerging markets. At the end of 2013, valuations for the MSCI EM Index* were near pre-2008 crisis levels.

*Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index with gross dividends measures equity market performance of emerging markets. MSCI has not approved, reviewed or produced this report, makes no express or implied warranties or representations and is not liable whatsoever for any data in the report. You may not redistribute the MSCI data or use it as a basis for other indices or investment products.

Brandes commemorated its 40-year anniversary, reinforcing its commitment to clients and value investing.
Oil Prices Slump

The significant drop in oil price toward the end of 2014 sparked investor concerns about the prospects of companies in the energy sector.

The Brandes International Equity and Corporate Focus Fixed Income strategies reached their 25- and 15-year milestones, respectively.
Oil-Price Decline

A supply glut continued to weigh on the oil market. 

Brandes became a signatory of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative and a member of the International Corporate Governance Network.
Leave or Remain?

About 52% of U.K. voters favored Brexit, a referendum for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. 

Founder and Chairman Charles Brandes retired from Brandes Investment Partners.
Trade Dispute

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on a variety of Chinese imports, triggering a trade dispute between China and the United States.

Brandes headquarters moved to La Jolla, California.

Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, lasted the entire year. This ongoing global pandemic had an economic impact on industries and the markets.

Brandes started offering ETFs

Artificial Intelligence

OpenAI released GPT-4, an upgraded version of their artificial intelligence chatbot.

Brandes celebrated its 50-year anniversary, reaffirming its dedication to clients and the principles of value investing. 

Olympics

Paris, France, will host the 2024 Summer Olympics Games. It will be the first Olympic Games fully aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 55 percent.