The Way of Lean Investing

Presented By:

Cliff Ransom

Session Abstract:

Cliff Ransom, the founder and President of Ransom Research, Inc., bases his investment research practice for institutional money management clients on a deep and abiding appreciation for all that encompasses “Lean Thinking.”  His constituencies span three major audiences: institutional investors, the C-Suites of lean enterprises, and the professional lean community, including world-class practitioners, consultants, authors, gurus, and thought leaders.

He will discuss how lean thinking has created superior Stock Market investments and shaped the composition and goals of his own firm.  He will also articulate his unabashed frustration that the investment world pays so little attention to the power of lean process transformation techniques.

In particular, he will stress the importance relying on what he terms, “The Right Metrics,” to maximize returns and provide sustainability for both investors and managements.  His thesis rests on the primacy of engaged employees, delighted customers, and rewarded shareholders.

Learning Objectives:

  • This session will provide insight into the proper principles, behaviors, and practices for both lean managers and lean investors on the path to provide the most essential element of any Lean Journey, “Sustainability.”
  • This session will stress the importance that attendees ask the right types of questions, and then shut up and listen proactively to the answers before initiating follow-on probing inquiries.
  • In this session, attendees will learn about one set of early-warning signs in a section called, “Language Counts.”
  • Attendees will appreciate the power of “CRISP,” his acronym for Consistent, Repeatable, Integratable, Sustainable, and Predictable growth, with an eye to evaluating the relative merits of Earnings per Share and Free Cash Flow in achieving every investor’s ultimate goal: Valuation (usually expressed in the price/earnings ratio of the target enterprise).

About the Facilitator:

Cliff Ransom is the President of Ransom Research, Inc., an independent equity investment research firm that acts as an outsourced resource for a limited number of major investment management organizations.  The central focus of his firm is on industrial companies, including manufacturing, machinery, aerospace and defense, construction equipment, and water-related securities, among other sectors. The hallmark of the work of the firm is his focus on “going to the gemba”, where he meets corporate managers and insists upon plant tours.  He also attends trade shows and canvasses suppliers, customers, and competitors of his target companies. In the last five years, he has become increasingly interested in the migration of “lean” off the traditional factory floor, into back office, service, financial, sales and marketing, and new product development realms.  Cliff believes that these “transactional” realms offer even greater opportunities for beneficial process change than lean’s historical focus on manufacturing.

A few of Cliff’s many accomplishments in the lean community:

  • The first financial services executive made a Life Member of the Shingo Prize Academy; also elected to the Academy’s Board.
  • The only investment professional made a “Champion” of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.
  • Chairman of the Advisory Board of Lean Horizons Consulting LLC.
  • Frequent program speaker to a wide scope of lean audiences, including the Lean Enterprise Institute, Shingo Prize, Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Lean Accounting Summit, Parker Hannifin, Regal-Beloit, Terex, and Wabtec, among others.

Cliff has over 35 years of experience on Wall Street, on both the “sell side” and the “buy side”.  He is an ex-Navy officer and holds degrees from Princeton University, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the Executive MBA Program of Loyola College.