Bob Hall was an exceptional investor and an even better human being.
President and Chief Operating Officer
On October 26, Brown Capital Management lost our friend and mentor, Robert E. Hall. Over the course of a career spanning more than 50 years, including 25 years at Brown Capital, Bob proved himself to be one of the handful of legendary investors in our industry. He was an even better man, as eloquently described in the Baltimore Sun’s obituary of him. In this time of grieving, our thoughts and prayers are with his children, Selby, Phil, Benton and Chris.
Bob’s contributions to Brown Capital and our clients are innumerable and enduring. Our founder, chairman and CEO, Eddie Brown, first met Bob when both were portfolio managers at T. Rowe Price in 1970s. Bob honed his approach to growth investing under the mentorship of Thomas Rowe Price Jr. and chaired the New Era Fund. In 1991, when Eddie was interested in starting an investment strategy focused on small growth companies, Bob joined the firm to help shape the strategy, first as a consultant and then as an employee. In fact, Bob played a key role in hiring me back in 1991 as a portfolio manager to launch the strategy.
Bob was instrumental in forming the investment philosophy and process behind Small Company. The key concepts that define our approach today—the pursuit of Exceptional Growth Companies, the use of revenue instead of market capitalization to define small companies, and the patience and tolerance to hold Exceptional Growth Companies for years—all trace their origins back to Bob. Over the years, the Small Company team and I all relished the opportunity to refine these ideas through countless hours of philosophical conversation with Bob. I am convinced that the ideas hashed out with Bob are the reason why the Small Company strategy has enjoyed the success it has.
That said, I think Bob’s most valuable and enduring gift to us at Brown Capital was the individual relationships that we each had with him. It was truly an honor, privilege and pleasure to call one of the smartest, dearest and finest human beings a colleague and a friend. We are all better people for having known him.