13 March 2024Analysis

A strong sense of purpose

Greg Cobb of Sage Advisory Services describes how the company established its core principles and has maintained them over the past 25 years.

"Every investment decision is made collegially." Greg Cobb

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Captive International has given us pause and time for reflection at Sage. We have been part of this same journey within the captives space, managing assets for captive insurance companies for more than 25 years. That management has been squarely grounded in Austin, Texas. When one considers that the tagline for the city is “Keep Austin Weird”, we guess you could say we have been keepin’ it weird and making insurance fun for over a quarter of a century! We have no plans to stop—the insurance industry is just too deeply embedded within our DNA.

Today, the insurance industry as a whole represents our largest corporate line of business. Our relationship with the industry has evolved over the last 25 years—with a constant redefining of risk, enterprise, and purposeful action. We believe it is the latter, however, which has been the key driver of our success within the industry—it is essential for an organisation to have clarity of purpose.

Studies have shown that those who report a strong sense of purpose have elevated satisfaction at work, greater financial success, and better overall life satisfaction. Indeed, having a clear sense of purpose is closely linked to one’s personal sense of identity, emotional balance, and conviction.

When Sage was formed, the founders sought to establish a firm with a clear identity and strong sense of purpose. After many days of discussion and contemplation, they agreed upon Sage Advisory Services. Many have questioned the selection, wondering if the name is a veiled reference to the ubiquitous Texas purple sage plant, or perhaps meant to imply the clairvoyance of the wise, old, and mysterious. The answer is: neither of these.

Our core mission and purpose are embodied in our name in the following ways:


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sage as “proceeding from or characterised by wisdom, prudence, and good judgement”. For us, the emphasis is on the act of exercising good judgement in everything we do. As investment professionals, we reserve the right to be wrong, occasionally. However, it should be noted that every investment decision is made collegially within an historically aware, value-conscious, and risk-managed framework—a framework that lends itself to sound judgement over time.


Merriam-Webster defines the word as “having or exercising power to advise regarding a decision or course of conduct”. Through our advisory efforts, we must never forget the power we exercise in influencing and determining the actions taken by and on behalf of our clients. This is indeed a great responsibility and one that commands deep respect as our decisions can have significant impact on the lives of our clients.


Merriam-Webster defines service as “the work performed by one that serves or renders contribution to the welfare of others”. This embodies the true day-to-day of our working lives at Sage: contributing to the welfare of our clients, our coworkers, and the intermediaries with whom we partner.

Putting it all together, our purpose is to exercise good judgement; remain deeply respectful of our power to influence; and work diligently to contribute to the greater welfare of our clients. This purpose is firmly rooted in the ideals of servant leadership, which prioritises serving the greater good of our clients, colleagues, families, and communities before that of the firm itself.

It has indeed been quite a journey over the last 25 years with our partners in the world of alternative risk transfer. With purposeful intent, we look forward to the next 25. And yes, sometimes it might get a little weird, but in the end, it’s going to be so much fun!

Sage is an independent investment management firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, that serves the institutional and private client marketplace with traditional fixed-income asset management, ESG-integrated portfolios, global tactical ETF strategies, and liability-driven investment solutions. As of December 2023, Sage manages and advises over $24 billion in client assets. For more information, visit

Gregory H. Cobb is director of insurance solutions at Sage Advisory Services. He can be contacted at: