Eric Sturdza Investments is committed to supporting individuals in the local community that demonstrate the same levels of passion, dedication and long-term commitment as we do in the way in which we invest.
We’ve been proud to support Guernsey-based racing star Nick Saunders since 2009, in a partnership that has enabled Nick to achieve some incredible results on the British hill climbing motor circuit.
As his successful, albeit unexpectedly short, 2020 season draws to a close, we sat down with Nick to find out more about his story: his passion for racing, his approach to constant improvement, and what the support of Eric Sturdza Investments has meant to him throughout his career.
Aside from discovering Nick’s family history of racing, what makes him tick and where he gets his passion from, we also discussed how the secrets to success in motorsport are not dissimilar to our own approach to investment management.
A family affair becomes a personal passion
Nick’s passion for racing stems from his family’s enjoyment and participation in the local racing scene in Guernsey. As a founding member of the Guernsey Kart and Motor Club, Nick’s grandfather encouraged his sons, including Nick’s father Bill, to take up the sport. The Saunders brothers competed in a multitude of racing disciplines, including bikes, Speedway and sand racing, with Nick’s achievements in hill climbing the latest in a long line of family accomplishments.
The strong family thread that runs through Nick’s racing career has undoubtedly contributed not only to his sustained enjoyment of the sport, but also to his success. As a family owned business, we certainly share the idea that a collective family knowledge and passion can generate dynamic ideas that deliver returns.
Constant refinement to achieve success
Success in hill climbing is down to a combination of talent, experience, and a drive for constant improvement. Testing and changing a vehicle is a key part of the sport, and Nick has refined both his 1,598cc Eric Sturdza Reynick and his driving strategy over his many years of racing.
Reflecting on his recent achievements, Nick comments that “a small change can make a big difference”, such as his recent decision to switch to a new tire manufacturer, becoming one of the first racers in Guernsey to use Pirelli tires.
Whilst this may have been considered a risky move at first, the switch has completely transformed the car’s performance, and the results speak for themselves. Progression in the sport requires a significant time investment as well as an intimate knowledge of your own car in order to consistently beat the competition and achieve success. As Nick points out, “you are always learning – part of the sport is doing, and then refining.”
Like Nick, we are also always looking at our environment to see what’s changing and then adapt how we apply our investment approach to deliver value. In a world where constant change requires relentless attention to investment trends, we take a progressive and agile approach, built on a foundation of over 30 years of experience.
Ambitious goals for Guernsey’s racing star
Despite a shortened season and the impossibility of competing “off-island” due to the pandemic, Nick has achieved a stellar set of results in significant local events, including Le Val des Terres and the Alderney three day event.
In addition to achieving a new personal best of 27.74 seconds on the Guernsey hill climb at Le Val des Terres, Nick set multiple class and course records on Alderney, returning to the event after many years away and competing in events he had never raced in before. Reflecting on the season, Nick commented, “Seven events in total, seven event and class wins with new personal bests and two outright course records. None of this would have been possible without the amazing support I have received from Eric Sturdza Investments and the team.”
And not content to rest on his laurels, Nick is already looking forward to the new season, with more upgrades planned for the Reynick and a set of ambitious racing goals. Aiming to become the first Channel Islander to go below 27 seconds, Nick also hopes to rank in the Top 10 British Hillclimb Championship drivers, becoming the first Channel Islander in many years to do so. Having placed 12th in the previous season, Nick is optimistic about reaching this goal and looking forward to participating in the rounds in the UK when travel resumes.
Our commitment to positive environmental change
As an asset management business, we are mindful of the global issues we face today and our obligation to take whatever action we can to address these issues. We have a responsibility to take steps wherever possible to contribute to positive environmental changes. As part of our wider approach to ESG, we can actively contribute through the investment decisions we make, and also through other initiatives we support that seek to address climate change directly.
As part of our partnership with Nick, we are participating in the Carbon Offset+ scheme run by local Guernsey not-for-profit organisation, ESI Monitor. Through the scheme we have offset the CO2 emitted by Nick’s racing this year, including travel to and from races, with the offset spent on local and international initiatives and conservation projects.
The importance of long-term partnerships
We are proud to support local talent as they make strides in the fields in which they compete, and look forward to supporting Nick as he continues on his upward trajectory. Nick says: “Without the relationship with Eric Sturdza Investments, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have so far. It’s so crucial to have the backing of such a supportive firm that has been with me throughout a significant part of my racing career.”
As a Guernsey-based business with a keen interest in supporting passionate stars of the future, we are proud to support a racer who has an ambitious drive to represent the Channel Islands on the national stage. Wishing you all the best of luck in 2021, Nick!