January 2012     Issue 7

The London Value Investor Conference – 19th April 2012
This is the first time London is hosting an all day conference focused on value investing. Value investing has been popularised in the US, by the success and writing of the likes of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett. It is still relatively nascent within the London investment landscape. A group of UK fund managers have come together to help launch this event, which will be held in the West End on Thursday 19th April.

Delegates will have an opportunity to hear from some of the UK’s most successful practitioners of value investing – from the established and well known names of Richard Oldfield and the team from Schroders to some of the smaller less well known managers. Each speaker will discuss at least one current investment idea and there will be plenty of time devoted to audience questions and comments..

The Misguided Mix-up of Celebrity and Leadership
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Within our long check list of items we use to assess a potential investment is a section on management.  One of those questions asks whether the leadership is “low ego”.  We have long believed that the larger the ego of a CEO, the more likely it is that the business will be managed to further the aspirations of the person rather than the shareholders, which often leads to poor capital allocation.  We recently found this article, written by Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great”, which supports this thesis.

An interview with Seth Klarman
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A number of you emailed this to us – so forgive me if you have already seen this.  The first 18 minutes, covers his philanthropic endeavours.  Thereafter, this legendary investor discusses his investment philosophy, comparing his style to Warren Buffett’s.  Klarman also discusses the psychology of investment, suggesting that the value investing instinct to buy when prices are dropping and to sell when they are rising may even be genetic.