This month we are celebrating 20 years in business. You have all seen the stats: most businesses do not make it to 20 years. Not only are we still here, but we are stronger than ever. What started as two co-founders and one employee serving a handful of clients has grown to a firm of 32 people serving over 300 families and institutions. Today True North manages over $2B in AUM, is financially sound, and continues to grow through this unprecedented environment. Our firm has no debt, we did not need a PPP loan to stay afloat, and we just hired two new team members. We are grateful every day for the opportunity to help fulfill lives, and we owe our success to you.
I have stated a number of times over the past two months that this COVID-19-induced lifestyle feels like stepping back in time to my childhood. Nights and weekends, normally filled during the Spring by kids’ sports and countless other obligations, have given way to activities such as family walks and bike rides, dinner at the table every night, and puzzles in the living room. No doubt exists for me that on a personal level there are some lessons around priorities that I will take away from the experience.
In Western’s 2012 Q2 letter we discussed a few historic natural disasters (notably, the 1900 Galveston hurricane) that acted as “black swan” events to alter the course of history around their geographic location. One question posed in the letter revolved around whether the 2011 Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan – precipitated by a historically devastating earthquake and the resulting tsunami – would have long-term ramifications across the global power generation industry. Only a year out from the disaster, the extent of long-term damage to the global psyche regarding nuclear power was not yet knowable. Today, almost nine years later, the answer is very clear. Short of some unknown catalyst occurring in the future and changing the current arc of history yet again, nuclear power generation is not long for this world.