Intro: Review of Bridgecreek Investment Management

Prior to 2004, in an area saturated with tremendous wealth from oil and gas, Oklahoma was surprisingly dry for those who needed expert wealth management.

Rather than utilizing local sources, wealthy families and individuals went across the country, outsourcing their financial management down south to Texas and as far east as New York.

In 2004, Bridgecreek Investment Management emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma, providing local investors with the type of firm they so desperately needed—a research driven firm focusing on individual stock and bond management.

Today, Bridgecreek maintains two primary goals— to provide outstanding portfolio performance along with an unparalleled level of client interaction and service.

Led by co-founders Chuck Fuller and Brian Carney, their belief that investment management should revolve around a personal touch continues to be a guiding principle in everything that Bridgecreek does.

As a fee-only boutique investment management firm, Bridgecreek has a keen focus on serving high-net-worth families, corporations, and family foundations across Oklahoma and Texas.  

Their focus on client-based service is certainly paying off, as Bridgecreek has brought in multiple awards over the years for their excellence in individual stock and bond management.

Bridgecreek currently manages assets in excess of $600 million, with a minimum investment of $1.5 million per household.

As the firm employs a compact team of three Certified Investment Management Analysts, these figures are even more impressive, making them a dynamic force in the investment management field.

Review of Bridgecreek Investment Management

Photo courtesy of: Tulsa World

Dynamic Business Model

Part of Bridgecreek’s success comes from a holistic understanding of what their clients need, how to support those needs, and ultimately, delivering strong performance through a unique business model.

Aligning with their tenets of providing elevated client service and outstanding portfolio performance, the foundation for their services is uniquely divided into two pillars—Client Service and Account Management.

Client Service

Client Focus

To set themselves apart from other boutique investment firms, the principals at Bridgecreek focus on providing expert, one-on-one attention to each client.

Rather than obsess over benchmarks, the firm acknowledges that clients put more weight on goal-based management and has created a strong client focus to meet that need.

Portfolio Construction

Bridgecreek excels at creating diversified, effective portfolios across a range of asset classes, enabling assets to grow through reduced risk.

Team Experience

Clients can rest assured that their investment managers are both highly knowledgeable and highly experienced. With over 40 years of combined experience, Bridgecreek utilizes a team-based approach to ensure that each client receives maximum benefits.

Downside Protection

Protecting a client’s investment is a top priority, meaning that Bridgecreek will adjust investments accordingly during periods of extreme market volatility. These include utilizing derivatives, options, and trading vehicles for added asset security.

Client Service - Bridgecreek Investment Management

Photo courtesy of: Bridgecreek Investment Management

Account Management

Better Tools & Research

When it comes to equity selection, Bridgecreek adopts a fundamental approach to ensure that clients are always receiving the most up-to-date information possible.

This includes applying their own proprietary analysis and extensive research from investment powerhouses like Goldman Sachs and Standard and Poor’s, among others.

Additionally, clients have access to over 75 reports each month that illustrate portfolio composition, gains and losses (both realized and unrealized), transaction history, and relative performance.

Asset-Based Fees

To further embody their commitment to portfolio performance and client service, Bridgecreek adopts an asset-based fee structure. Fees are calculated as a percentage of the overall market value of each portfolio.

As portfolio values increase, Bridgecreek is paid more—as they decrease, the firm is paid less. Additionally, as a fee-based investment management firm, Bridgecreek does not accept any alternative commissions or compensation.

With this type of fee structure, clients can trust their investment manager to always consider their best interests, acting as a fiduciary for their portfolio.

Lower Account Loads

A core tenet of the firm’s business model is to limit the number of clients for each investment manager. As a result, managers have more time to spend researching individual stocks, diversifying portfolios, and building relationships with their clients.

In fact, co-founders Carney and Fuller reportedly spend a full 80 percent of their time conducting research, enabling the firm to better understand and adjust each portfolio as needed.

Tax Efficiency

Bridgecreek holds a strong commitment to balancing each portfolio’s performance with an individual investor’s tax situation.

All returns are qualified alongside tax implications, which means that Bridgecreek is constantly looking for ways to manage tax impact through offsetting gains and losses, and limiting turnover.

Holistic Investment Philosophy

Bridgecreek defines their investment philosophy as “a broad search for value,” a search which encompasses various assets, classes, sectors, and industries.

While their philosophy is rooted in a dedicated focus to find and retain the most attractive growth opportunities for each client, it also includes managing risk with transparency and insight.

This means educating each client on the nature of risk, which promotes transparency and financial literacy on the client’s behalf. As an experienced firm, Bridgecreek also acknowledges that risk is inherent in all investment opportunities—even when not investing.

To better manage risk, investments are spread across various classes, including domestic and international equities, corporate bonds, U.S. Treasuries and Agencies, real estate, municipal bonds, and commodities.

Their belief is that broader diversification results in less risk and more consistent returns, regardless of the current market state.

Personalized Client Service & Attention

Boutique investment firms tend to generate strong appeal and demand, since their smaller size corresponds to increased client attention, focused research capabilities, and expertise in their chosen field.

This personalized, boutique approach provides huge benefits for both clients and the firm itself. Rather than hand each investment manager hundreds of clients, Bridgecreek limits the number of portfolios for each manager.

Placing these limits lets clients receive the personalized, dedicated service that they expect and deserve. Clients and investment managers have the opportunity to create long-lasting, meaningful relationships, and portfolios can be extensively monitored and analyzed.

Bridgecreek advisors are also better able to focus on fulfilling their clients’ needs because they can make research their first priority, a value that has held fast since the firm’s inception.

As co-founder Brian Carney explains in an interview with Tulsa World:

Bridgecreek’s overall business philosophy is to have fewer clients and less bureaucracy so that we can focus all of our time and energy searching for value in the marketplace and visiting with our clients on a regular basis.

This commitment to personalized client service and attention appears repeatedly throughout their mission and philosophy, reinforcing their belief that “an unparalleled level of client interaction and service” is a vital piece of a successful investment firm.

Personalized Client Service & Attention - Bridgecreek Investment Management

Photo courtesy of: Bridgecreek Investment Management

Customized “Lifestyle” Portfolios

Closely related to their personalized client service is the way that Bridgecreek creates portfolios for their clients.

Rather than attempt to classify portfolios into broad investment styles, like “Conservative,” “Moderate,” or “Aggressive,” Bridgecreek adopts a different approach.

After extensive conversations with their client, Bridegecreek portfolio managers use their unique goals and lifestyle needs to create a “lifestyle” portfolio, wholly tailored to each client’s needs.

The “lifestyle portfolio will then be projected over a period of 25 years to ensure that all goals can be met, both short-term and long-term.

As an additional testament to their commitment to client service, Bridgecreek offers an initial no-charge consultation to create a “lifestyle” portfolio.

The process involves evaluating current portfolios, identifying the desired type of growth, assessing desired annual income, and determining the best risk level.

Industry Recognition & Awards

Since its founding in 2004, Bridgecreek Investment Management has earned a respectable amount of industry recognition and awards.

While the firm has certainly celebrated success over the years, their investment management team also have their own success stories to share. Individual industry recognition and awards include:

  • Chuck Fuller and Brian Carney were both ranked among Barron’s America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors for 2017 and 2015, respectively
  • Chuck Fuller was named as one of the Top 100 Wealth Advisors in the United States by Worth in 2005
  • Brian Carney was named as one of 2010’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Oklahoma Magazine
  • Brian Carney was named as one of the “Tulsa 40” by the Tulsa Business Journal in 2011

Regrettably, direct links to many of these accolades are unavailable, though that certainly does not diminish their worth.

It’s certainly worth mentioning that, on both collective and individual levels, Bridgecreek Investment Management has gained an impressive amount of industry recognition, marking them as a leader among investment firms.

Compact, Highly Experienced Team

While Bridgecreek may be a compact investment management firm, they are anything but inexperienced. Each member of the team contributes to decades of experience in recognizing trends, setting expectations, and addressing client concerns.

An additional benefit is that Chuck Fuller and Brian Carney—both senior-level portfolio managers—directly monitor each account, guaranteeing that clients receive a team-based approach, individualized care, and expert advisement.

L. Charles Fuller, CIMA

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Charles (Chuck) Fuller has a vast financial management background.

Prior to cofounding Bridgecreek, he worked with BOK Financial and Merrill Lynch Asset Management as a portfolio manager for high-net-worth clients, corporations, foundations, and endowments.

His certifications include:

  • Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
  • Investment Strategist Certificate—Wharton School of Business
  • Member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA)
  • Member of the CFA Institute
  • Member of the CFA Society of Oklahoma

Brian G. Carney, CIMA

Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer Brian Carney also brings a wide array of investment knowledge to Bridgecreek. He was chosen to study at Oxford University in Oxford, England, where he gained experience in European economics and the works of C.S. Lewis.

As a portfolio manager and financial planner, Brian has previously worked with BOK Financial and JP Morgan Private Bank.

His certifications include:

  • Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
  • Investment Strategist Certificate—Wharton School of Business
  • Member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA)
  • Member of the CFA Institute
  • Member of the CFA Society of Oklahoma

Uniquely, while earning his business administration degree from William Jewell College in Kansas City, Missouri, Brian enjoyed a fulfilling tennis career. To this day, his 1993-1994 team is considered to be the most successful team in the college’s entire 120-year tennis history.

In recognition of his athletic performance, in 2014 he was inducted into the William Jewell Athletic Hall of Fame.

Steady Growth & Continued Security

Since its inception in 2004, Bridgecreek Investment Management has continued to experience steady growth. Two years after its founding, in 2006, the firm reported over $300 million in assets under management and 60 families.

In a 2007 interview with Tulsa World, Brian Carney reported $350 million in assets under management and a total of 65 families.

Five years later, in 2012, Bridgecreek exceeded $500 million in assets under management, effectively becoming one of the fastest-growing independent advisory firms in the nation.

A few years later, in 2014, their assets under management increased to $565 million.

Today, Bridgecreek continues to follow a long tradition of growth, managing over $600 million in assets for high-net-worth families, corporations, and family foundations across Oklahoma and Texas.

Conclusion: Future Outlook for Bridgecreek Investment Management

With a dynamic business model, a holistic approach to investment philosophies, decades of investment experience, and powerful core values of performance and client service, Bridgecreek Investment Management will almost certainly enjoy a bright future.

Their drive to provide the highest possible client experience is an integral part of everything that Bridgecreek does, and it’s this element that will continue to gain them national recognition and success.

As Bridgecreek sustains their commitment to putting research, investment strategy, and client care at the forefront of their business model, there is no doubt that this firm will continue to provide outstanding investment management services for years to come.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.