The Secret to 25 Years of Success – Consistency

Photo by Daniel Smyth

The American economy has gone through a number of crashes and crises over the last 25 years, but Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel has weathered the storms by empowering clients to live life on their own terms.

The firm, which manages more than $13.8 billion, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Founders William Bahl and Vere Gaynor hold the secrets to successfully protect and grow their client’s investment.

The philosophy entails building a sustainable and diversified dividend growth stock portfolio: “We have a singular focus on dividend growth,” says Gaynor. “We want every stock we own to pay our clients more each year. We hope to grow eight to 10 percent a year.”

Our strategy begins with the ownership of a well diversified portfolio of large and mid cap companies with long histories of annual dividend increases,” says Bahl. Interestingly, this firm has a small cap dividend growth strategy which helps indentify small companies who are committed to growing the cash they return to shareholders.

Another key is having a firm of owners, not just portfolio managers, who are hired only after a thorough vetting process without the use of recruiters.

“Our interviewing and hiring process usually lasts several years,” says Gaynor. “It’s a delicate process. Our success thrives on people’s chemistry and their ability to make sound decisions.”

“Maybe the biggest thing that sets us apart from other investment firms is that our managers are owners and they act like owners,” says Bahl. “They have more at stake and they will only benefit when clients benefit.”

During the tech bubble burst and the housing crisis, Bahl & Gaynor’s portfolios declined less than the overall market. “During periods of maximum stress, high quality companies with sound balance sheets hold up better,” says Gaynor.

Leaving high-profile jobs in 1990, Bahl and Gaynor started their firm and have grown it into a team of 15 hand-selected portfolio managers and 21 support staff.

“We are 100 percent independent with no outside investors,” says Gaynor. “The people that own the company are the ones that come to the office and work every day. This aligns our clients’ interests with our interests.”

Bahl & Gaynor is located at 212 East Third Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.287.6100 or visit their website at