Robert V. Sinnott believes in the idea of partnership and “doing the right thing” as a staple of a successful investing strategy. In the late 1990s, a rogue oil trader was crippling a Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors portfolio company, and the company was not likely to survive.
Sinnott, president, CEO and chief investment officer at Kayne Anderson, worked closely with the company’s management to navigate and source a large equity investment to support the company’s long-term success.
The portfolio company is now one of the largest and most respected master limited partnerships (MLPs) in North America. Both firms have prospered from the long-term relationship.
Upon joining Kayne Anderson in 1992, Sinnott brought his unique approach and deep knowledge of the energy industry, which has not only led to generating impressive returns but also to revolutionizing the energy markets by fostering institutional ownership of the industry, thus changing MLPs’ access to capital.
Sinnott sees to it that the Kayne Anderson reputation and business philosophy inspires confidence among investors and portfolio companies. The firm focuses on accountability and living up to commitments to create a sense of trust that leads to mitigating risk and continued business relationships.
Trust also begins with open communication. Sinnott believes that oral commitments are as strong as written, and insists that his team negotiate personally, rather than slipping legalities into agreements.
He also argues that terms should be mutually beneficial — an “everyone wins” mentality. If one party is in a distressed situation, you might get a little more out of the party now, but the party will be less likely to return on the next deal.
To help ensure return business, Sinnott searches for win-win deals and develops long-lasting partnerships. In the economic downturn in 2008, many investment firms were limiting investor withdrawals. Kayne Anderson recognized the uncertainty investors faced, and worked hard to ensure the liquidity investors had come to rely on.
How to reach: Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, www.kaynecapital.com