We are an externally managed non‑diversified closed‑end management investment company that elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the "Investment Company Act"). We are an "emerging growth company" within the meaning of the JOBS Act, and, as such, are subject to reduced public company reporting requirements. Our investment objective is to seek to generate both current income and capital appreciation, while seeking to protect against risk of capital loss, by investing predominantly in the debt instruments of middle-market companies in a range of industries, which our external investment manager, Great Elm Capital Management, Inc. ("GECM"), defines as companies with enterprise values between $100.0 million and $2.0 billion. Our investment objectives may be changed without a vote of the holders of a majority of our stock. GECM provides the administrative services necessary for us to operate.
We made, and expect to make, multi‑year investments primarily in secured and senior unsecured debt instruments that we purchase in the secondary markets. We may also originate investments directly with issuers. We invest in companies that have high leverage or operate in industries experiencing cyclical declines. Investments in these companies may trade at discounts to their original issue prices. We seek to protect against risk of loss by investing in borrowers with tangible and intangible assets, where GECM believes asset values are expected to, or do, exceed our investment and any debt that is senior to, or ranks in parity with, our investment. We seek investments whose total return potential (interest income plus capital appreciation and fees, if any) appropriately recognizes potential investment risks. GECM's investment process includes a focus on an investment's contractual documents, as it seeks to identify rights that enhance an investment's risk protection and avoid contracts that compromise potential returns or recoveries. We may also invest in subordinated debt, mezzanine debt, and equity or equity‑linked financial instruments.
A list of the industries in which we have invested as of December 31, 2018 may be found in "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations." Set forth below is a brief description of each company representing greater than 5% of the fair market value of our portfolio at December 31, 2018.