Founded in 2005, Castleton Partners LLC is an SEC registered investment advisor and multi-family office providing customized, municipal bond investment management and portfolio consulting to an intentionally limited number of high net worth individuals, families, and foundations through separately managed accounts. Based in New York City and Vero Beach, Castleton evolved out of Reinoso & Company, Incorporated, a municipal securities broker-dealer and investment bank that has participated in over $65 billion of financings. The firm has an exceptionally strong track record of managing fixed income portfolios over multiple interest rate cycles.

“We are excited about expanding our relationship with Cairn Capital and the depth of resources they bring to our investment process. We believe that a well-managed municipal bond allocation can provide an attractive, risk-adjusted return appropriate for a balanced asset strategy.”

Edward Reinoso

CEO, Castleton Partners

Cairn Capital North America Inc. is an SEC registered investment advisor based in Stamford, Connecticut and is the US operating subsidiary of Cairn Capital Group Limited, an independent London-based full-service credit asset management, advisory, and securities restructuring firm. Cairn Capital has in-depth exposure to credit markets due to its diverse business lines, comprehensive bottom up research, technical understanding, and bespoke trading and analytical tools. The firm has a particular, but not exclusive, focus on the European credit markets. Cairn Capital is majority owned by Mediobanca SpA, which is a listed diversified banking group and Italy’s leading investment bank.

“This alliance is a continuation of the strategic expansion of Cairn Capital’s fixed income capabilities, where we have sought to capitalize on targeted market opportunities by leveraging Cairn’s broader investment expertise and long-term performance focus.”

David Littlewood

CEO, Cairn Capital North America

What We Do

Our strategic alliance was formed in 2016 to create a capability that provides compelling risk-adjusted returns in combination with outstanding client service.

The investment team averages 30 years of fixed income expertise and prides itself on designing and constructing bond portfolios with the efficacy of a global institution, the agility of independent practitioners, and the creative insight of experienced market veterans. This represents an institutional grade capability that is seldom available to private investors.

We endeavor to preserve and enhance wealth through fundamental credit analysis, strong macroeconomic oversight, and efficient trade execution.

Our consultative, high touch approach allows us to select individual bonds best suited for each client’s specified level of risk and income needs. All portfolios are designed to be tax and cost efficient, while seeking to minimize risk and enhance total return.

Vision + Purpose

Today’s investment landscape is dramatically different than it was ten years ago.

Slow global growth, low inflation, and accelerating technological change have had far reaching impacts. They have inspired structural changes across many asset classes; however, the municipal bond market has been conspicuously resistant to change.

Despite the fact that several of the largest municipal defaults in history have occurred within the last few years, risk management and portfolio management practices have been slow to adapt.

As the financial crisis demonstrated, bond insurance is not an adequate substitute for a credit worthy borrower, and the ratings agency model is deeply flawed. Bond managers can no longer follow the herd regarding credit avoidance. Nor can they employ passive strategies, such as portfolio laddering, under the assumption of safety.

Active risk and portfolio management is a necessity, not a luxury.

While the pension and budgetary issues facing many states and municipalities are well reported, most managers continue to be reactive to ratings changes and follow the tendencies of their peers. There is little appreciation or measurement of underlying value. For astute managers, this represents opportunity. To take advantage, independent credit analysis and agility are critical.

Those embarking on a journey into today’s municipal market must be clear in their objectives and choose their guide wisely. Be wary of convention. Be skeptical of consensus. Don’t follow the herd.

Investors seeking wealth preservation with a balanced perspective between risk and return stand to benefit from the direct ownership of tax exempt securities that are carefully selected for their individual needs and circumstances. For this reason, fiduciary responsibility is a critical attribute of a fixed income manager.

Most successful investors recognize they can do better with managers bound to serving their best interests, yet even the most sophisticated private investors tend to overlook the value of a municipal bond manager’s agility. In the municipal bond market, scale does not create advantage. In fact, size is often a liability.

Large firms provide the illusion of safety through enhanced risk management and robust credit analysis capabilities, but they are often handicapped by their size. Even among managers with a fiduciary duty, rising assets under management inevitably leads to conveyor belt processing. Large firms must purchase blocks of bonds at size, often moving the market when they trade. They must then allocate purchases across client accounts on a pro-rata basis, rather than beginning the credit selection process based on an individual client’s circumstances. While this may not conflict with a firm’s fiduciary duty, it is an inferior model.

The ideal municipal bond manager is agile, focused, and informed. Leading asset managers may possess the latter qualities, but frequently lack the former.

Client Focus

We design and construct custom fixed income portfolios using a consultative approach that blends…

Diversified Expertise

Our team combines veteran municipal market professionals with credit specialists covering corporate bonds, asset…

Analytical Rigor

Through constant analysis of market technicals, we develop an appreciation of factors…

Investment Discipline

Our process-driven approach to portfolio management is based on yield curve and…

Client Focus

We design and construct custom fixed income portfolios using a consultative approach that blends the high touch service of a multi-family office with the investment and risk management capabilities of a global institution. Our open door policy affords direct access to portfolio managers and senior management, while our relationships are characterized by transparency and a commitment to client education. Our alliance creates an access point for private investors through carefully selected investment platforms.

Diversified Expertise

Our team combines veteran municipal market professionals with credit specialists covering corporate bonds, asset basked securities, hybrid capital, loans, and structured credit. Our expertise spans the full spectrum of investment grade and high yield credit in the United States and European markets. Having direct access to all aspects of Cairn Capital Group’s multi asset class platform, we benefit from a significant market presence that provides insight into investor and bank positioning.

Analytical Rigor

Through constant analysis of market technicals, we develop an appreciation of factors influencing market behavior. Our deep knowledge of issuers and underlying securities are complemented by independent, bottom-up credit research, without reliance on ratings provided by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch. Our bespoke infrastructure is specifically designed to avoid credit pitfalls.

Investment Discipline

Our process-driven approach to portfolio management is based on yield curve and duration management, with opportunistic relative value trading. Strong macroeconomic oversight, robust risk management, and various surveillance processes ensure that our approach to credit management is relevant and reasonedOngoing reviews of portfolios ensure conformity with individual client mandates, and detailed portfolio reporting is customized to client needs.

Investment Process

Our investment process begins with sourcing of new issuance and secondary trading opportunities that are screened for portfolio compliance and tax efficiency.

We then conduct fundamental credit analysis that is performed independently from the credit ratings agencies. Risk management input is provided by the entire investment team through an open forum.

Securities are purchased in the inter-dealer market, with no additional markups or commissions. Once invested, we continuously monitor the portfolio and, when applicable, revise internal credit assessments.

Our strategic alliance allows our senior team of research and portfolio management professionals to tap into an extensive network of well-established industry relationships.

We leverage the legacy municipal broker dealer network of Reinoso & Company, the ongoing institutional coverage belonging to Castleton, and the firm-wide trading relationships of Cairn Capital in sourcing investment ideas.

Opportunities also originate from Cairn’s private advisory services to financial institutions, government agencies, and structured vehicles—mandates that total over $18 billion.

The credit selection process evaluates relative value opportunities in consideration of a client’s federal, state, and local tax burden.

Portfolio allocation is achieved across sectors and geographies, based on market research and quantitative relative value analysis.

Blended portfolios of tax-exempt and taxable bonds are constructed for clients subject to low tax brackets and alternative minimum tax treatment. Per annum tax-loss harvesting is of critical consideration.

Our value-oriented strategy begins with the selection of an optimal benchmark. We then perform fundamental credit analysis that emphasizes conservatism and principal preservation. Understanding the deal structure, liquidity, and collateral involved with all eligible securities is a primary consideration that results in a selective, tenor- and issuer-focused investment process.

In every portfolio, we seek to achieve portfolio breadth that prevents issuer, individual issue, and geographic concentration by diversifying across regions and tax-based General Obligation and Revenue bonds.

Our process features active Market, Credit Monitoring, and Portfolio Management to enhance returns. We focus on transaction efficiency by weighing trading costs against market opportunities and individual tax efficiency.

The investment team meets regularly to discuss approval of buy and sell recommendations, waivers, amendments, and material changes requested by borrowers.

Tactical Investment Allocation
  1. Initial investing is focused over a six to twelve week time period.
  2. State limitations may impact investment periods.
  3. Time horizon may vary due to portfolio management team’s evaluation of market conditions and the strategy being implemented at the time of investment.
  4. If rates rise, succeeding purchases are acquired at higher yields.
  5. Portfolio manager shops for value in the market.
  6. If rates decline, initial purchases have locked in higher rates. Time frame can be accelerated.
  7. Process imposes a discipline on purchase and sale decisions.
Daily

We review economic, capital markets, and sector news daily–both nationally and on a regional basis. We also review our issuer and regional watch lists.

At Least Semi-Weekly

The investment team meets throughout the week to review and approve purchases, sales, and portfolio investment strategies.

At Least Weekly
  • Portfolio Credit Review highlights relevant issuer information, any ratings changes, and price updates.
  • Watch List Review addresses information on credits and sectors of concern.
  • Price Movement Review focuses on weekly price movement of portfolio credits, prioritized by amount and direction of price change per credit.
At Least Quarterly

All credits are evaluated for potential deterioration in quality. We also perform national, regional, and state economic analysis, and review each sector to confirm or change outlooks and weightings.

Infrastructure

Our entirely cloud-based information technology platform provides robust, scalable support for all decision making, while utilizing the maximum disaster recovery and business continuity configuration available.

Playing a key role in portfolio and risk management, this infrastructure extends from the front to the back end of the investment process, including trade capture, portfolio reconciliation, and cash management.

A list of current vendors is available upon request.

People

With well over a century of combined experience on both the buy side and sell side, as both institutional and private investors, our investment team possesses a perspective of the fixed income asset class that is generally inaccessible through a fiduciary relationship.

Full bios

Learn about our track record.

View Performance

Castleton Partners LLC claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). Follow the link to review our annual presentation and important disclosure information.

140 East 45 Street, New York, NY 10017

600 Summer Street, Stamford CT 06901

1.212.832.9700

info@castletoncairn.com

Contact

If our values, philosophy, and investing approach are consistent with your objectives, we would welcome an opportunity to explore your joining our ecosystem of like-minded investors.

Should you care to learn more about Castleton Cairn, we invite you to reach us by completing the form below.

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