Our Philosophy

Cat Trail’s philosophy is to be critical thinkers who develop diversified investment programs to achieve capital appreciation as well as trading profits. The resulting quantitative analysis, fiscal discipline, and operational proficiency enable investment growth, setting the stage for future opportunities.

Based on the history of merchant banks, Cat Trail’s approach is heavily influenced and inspired by that model of financial self-sufficiency and differentiation. Merchant banks were in fact the original "banks" of Europe, formed in the middle ages by Italian grain merchants.

Medieval markets were later disrupted by wars and became limited by the fractured nature of the various states of the time. The next generation of bankers arose from migrant Jewish merchants in the wheat growing areas of what is now Germany and Poland. Many of these merchants were from the same families who had been part of the banking process in Italy. They also had links with family members who had earlier fled Spain for Italy, England, and the Netherlands.

This course of events set the stage for the rise of banking names which still resonate today: Schroder, Warburg, Rothschild, even the ill-fated Barings, were all the product of the continental grain trade, and indirectly, the establishment of Merchant Banking.

Today, Merchant Banks have expanded from their sixteenth century roots of direct lending to a more broad investment approach. Based on the evolution of the Merchant Bank, Cat Trail has developed its approach to investing, including long-term relationship building, active investment planning, and prudent risk mitigation techniques.

Cat Trail’s merchant bank philosophy is spread among active securities trading, derivative market plays, lending, as well as private equity investments. Cat Trail does so by establishing active, on-going relationships with those whom it invests, requiring close interactions and thoughtful communications. Cat Trail’s investment partners are carefully selected based on their ability to achieve differentiation and the generation of true alpha. They also provide real-time insights into industry trends, and other strategic opportunities.