Inside Victoria Capital Management in Charleston: Our One-on-One with CEO Diane V. Nugent

Mollee D. Harper

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

South Carolina CEO sat down with Diane V. Nugent, President and CEO of Victoria Capital Management, Inc. headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina. During our one-on-one, Nugent shares her extensive background in investment management (both domestic and abroad), the history of the firm she founded and manages with her husband and partner, and the high level of service they provide to individuals and organizations to build wealth. We also hear from Michael J. Laubinger, Vice President for the firm responsible for both building and managing strategic partnerships on the institutional side of the business. 

Victoria Capital Management Inc. was founded in October 2000 by co-owners Diane V. Nugent, who serves as President/CEO, and Thomas E. Nugent, who serves as the firm’s Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer.   The firm is headquartered at 211 King Street, Suite 106, Charleston, SC 29401 but serves clients all over the state.

Nugent offered, “We founded Victoria Capital in the year 2000 although we began managing our own money utilizing our most popular investment strategy in 1994. We have been working together as a team since 1991 and bring over 78 years of combined investment experience to the table “

Nugent described, “Our firm provides customized investment portfolios for individuals, institutions, foundations, trusts and more. We have several investment strategies that include stocks, bonds and ETF’s. On the private client side, we really create a customized strategy for each client with a high level of service.” 

“I personally don’t think we have competition in the Charleston area. Our structure is quite unique in that we are a majority female-owned firm, bound by the fiduciary role of a registered investment advisor and put our client needs first on both sides of our business – the institutional side like 401Ks and our hands-on client side,” she said. 

“We are very close to our private clients; they are not treated as a number. There is a high level of service and touch rate with our business model. Our clients call us from time to time to see how we are doing even when they don’t have an investment question. We are in their lives and they are in ours.”  

Nugent shared,”We have clients all over the United States. We are expanding our Southeast footprint because we have grown our team and are focused on serving more locally, as well.” 

Nugent continued, “The Charleston area is dominated by many larger brokerage investment firms. These firms are not registered investment advisors required by law to put client needs first, like we are. We abide by the fiduciary rule and that’s another factor that makes us unique.”

“I own 2/3 of the business, along with my partner, Tom Nugent. We both have comprehensive careers in this industry. I do think it’s important to distinguish that we are a female-owned business.” 

“There aren’t any female-owned investment firms here in Charleston. It’s not that other firms don’t cater to women, but they don’t have the specific approach that we do to meet the needs of our female investors,” she said. 

Nugent continued, “We have a total of five employees. This includes Mike Laubinger plus we have two Investment Associates that are responsible for performance reporting and assisting with the management of accounts. This year we decided to expand the private client side of our business as we have grown to over $120 million by referral only. Even on the institutional side, growth in our assets has all been based on word of mouth.”

Laubinger added, “Coming from a large brokerage firm, the transition to Victoria Capital has been like coming from a mass marketing machine to a highly personalized white glove service.”  

Laubinger continued, “One of the things that makes this role so exciting for me is that Tom and Diane are not stuffed suits. We really have Wall Street-caliber, superior money managers here in Charleston. If you dive deep into Diane and Tom’s backgrounds, you’ll see they are very experienced and uncommon for our area. Most financial advisors are quoting someone else on CNBC. With Victoria Capital, we have the expertise in-house with Tom and Diane here.”

Laubinger offered, “My role is one of a relationship manager, dealing with clients on the institutional side. There are firms that have a bunch of different advisors who reach out to us and use our investment strategies for their clients. My job is to make sure they understand these investment strategies.”

Nugent added, “There is a difference between asset managers and asset gatherers. We are asset managers. Our strategic partners are asset gatherers who use our investment strategies for their clients. We are expanding our service offering to both – individual and institutional clients.” 

Nugent continued, “Michael is doing a great job of building out the strategic partnerships we have on the institutional side.”

Nugent concluded, “We deliver results and we deliver results in a way that clients like. We keep it simple. That means no derivatives, options or crazy alternatives in client portfolios. Holdings are plain vanilla. People understand plain vanilla and they like it. Also our clients are not sold to. We develop what the client needs not we think we need to sell.” 

“As a company, we are really excited about the team that we have in place and where we are going, and look forward to serving more South Carolinians in the future.” 

Executive Bios

Diane V. Nugent serves as President and CEO for Victoria Capital Management since co-founding the firm in October 2000.  Nugent began her investment management career in a Swiss bank in 1986 and has worked with both retail and institutional investment firms in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. Nugent’s expertise includes business management, equity-research analysis, portfolio management, closed-end fund management, and client-relationship management. She earned her M.B.A. in international finance from the Henley Business School in England and a B.B.A. from European University in Switzerland.

Michael J. Laubinger serves as Vice President for Victoria Capital Management, Inc. since joining the firm in August of 2017. His primary focus is in portfolio management and new business development. Along the way, Laubinger spent 

9 years with Charles Schwab & Co. as VP Financial Consultant serving high net worth families in Charlotte, North Carolina. His career began in Boston in 2003 as a financial advisor where he focused on financial planning and wealth management. He earned a B.A. from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. He holds his Series 7, 24 and 66 licenses.

For more information on Victoria Capital Management, Inc., visit their website at:  http://www.vcm.us.com/.