September/October/November 2017 B2B

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LAWSON KROEKER from left: Frank V. Lawson, Jr., CFA; Kenneth W. Kroeker, CFA T hese excerpts from a letter to a prospective client in 1985 reflect the philosophy Lawson Kroeker Investment Management still follows today:

INGERSOLL RAND "Almost all manufacturing uses compressed air," says Jon Sprunk, Great Plains District general manager for Ingersoll Rand Compression Technologies and Services. "Our products are used to make virtually everything." Two good examples here in the Midwest are compressed air used in ethanol production to put gas in cars and in food processing facilities to put food on people's tables. "The Omaha location covers Nebraska, Iowa, and North and South Dakota. The Great Plains District covers those states, plus Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin," says Sprunk. "We provide best-in-class products and services that exceed our customers’ expectations for the compressed air utilities at our customers’ facilities." Customers span a wide array of sectors, including hospitals and medical, food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and electronics, Sprunk says, because the power of compressed air is used in thousands of applications in hundreds of industries. But in juxtaposition to the widespread usage of compression technologies, local Ingersoll Rand employees are focused on supporting the community through involvement in area city and county chambers of commerce, volunteering for various nonprofit and community organizations, and sponsoring youth organizations, activities, and athletic teams. “We want to make sure we’re giving back to the community that gives to us and we want to be part of the community,” Sprunk says. 13205 Centennial Road Omaha, NE 68138 402.330.5831

If we were looking for someone to manage our family’s investments, we would focus our inquiries along two basic headings: the honesty and integrity of the prospective managers, and their competence to handle our investment problems. Answers about honesty and integrity usually do not come easily. After all, a good con man oozes integrity. An attempt to state in 50 words or less our investment philosophy mocks the totality of our education and experience. Yet we owe prospective clients some sense of how we think so that they can judge whether our investment approach is suitable for them. We are conservative and patient. We are independent thinkers. We seek value. We look at the stocks and bonds we buy as investments in businesses which are solid, long-term ventures. In this sense we are not traders, but we do believe that there comes a time when any investment should be sold. We believe in diversification, but not to the extreme of matching an index like the Standard and Poor’s 500. Nor do we believe that diversification should push us into areas where we lack understanding or comfort. Within the limits of our abilities we believe that every investment portfolio should be designed to fit the needs of its owners, their circumstances, tax status, income requirements, and their ability to carry risk both financially and emotionally. To sum it up, Lawson Kroeker believes successful investors must always look forward, attempt to perceive improving opportunities, monitor current conditions, and change when and where appropriate. The company wishes to thank Frank and Ken for founding the business on such strong fundamentals that have weathered and flourished over 30 years.

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