Crawford investment Counsel, Inc. was founded in 1980 by John H Crawford, III. The firm was founded on two operating principles that thirty-seven years later continue to be the driving force for the firm: 1) invest in a conservative manner, and 2) provide clients with a high level of individualized service. The consistent application of these operating principles has enabled the firm to grow and prosper over the years. Most importantly, the clients of the firm have benefited from the firm’s unswerving goal of always attempting to do what is in the client’s best interest.
The investment approach followed by the firm was developed by Mr. Crawford early in his career. Engaging with one of his clients who had a strong preference for income at a time when low yielding growth stocks were all the rage, he developed an approach that emphasized both income and growth by investing in high quality stocks that had a strong history of consistent dividend increases. The emphasis on quality has been a hallmark of the Crawford investment approach and applies to both stock and bond management. The firm’s focus on income generation has been a helpful element for clients who now find themselves in an investment world where there is a shortage of income.
Crawford Investment Counsel is now in its second generation of leadership having transitioned from what was originally a one-man firm to a fully integrated investment management firm. While Mr. Crawford serves as the firm’s Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, his sons John IV and David, who joined the firm in the 1990s, occupy senior leadership positions in the firm. They have been instrumental in helping to build Crawford into one of the largest asset management firms in the southeast. The firm now manages some $6.0 billion* of assets and employs close to fifty people.
Over the years, research and technology investments by the firm have helped refine the investment approach utilized in the firm’s equity, fixed income, and balanced strategies. “Our intellectual capital resides in our investment approach,” Mr. Crawford says today. The essence of the firm and its well defined approach is grounded in fundamental research and common sense. He calls the approach “simple but elegant.” It has always been a core belief that an investment firm must be consistent in following its investment approach.
The firm’s dedication to integrity, best-in-class asset management, client service, and the culture of collaboration and professional dedication augurs well for a bright future for the family-run firm, its professionals, and its clients.
*As of 3/31/2019