8th Annual Investment Symposium

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House – Dallas, TX

Speakers

Many thanks to our remarkable past speakers for their time, insights and support. Our 2013 speakers are listed below.

 

William A. Ackman

Founder and CEO, Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P.

William Ackman is the CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., a SEC registered investment adviser founded in 2003. Pershing Square is a concentrated research-intensive fundamental value investor in long and occasionally short investments in the public markets.

Prior to forming Pershing Square, Mr. Ackman co-founded Gotham Partners Management Co., LLC, an investment adviser that managed public and private equity hedge fund portfolios. Prior to Gotham Partners, Mr. Ackman began his career in real estate investment banking at Ackman Brothers & Singer, Inc. Mr. Ackman received a MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard College.

Mr. Ackman’s board memberships include Chairman of The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC), Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE: CP), the Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Harvard Business School, and a number of not-for-profit boards including the Pershing Square Foundation, a charitable foundation that he founded in December 2006.

 

David Einhorn

President and Founder, Greenlight Capital, Inc.

Mr. Einhorn is president of Greenlight Capital, Inc., which he co-founded in January 1996. Greenlight Capital is a value-oriented investment advisor whose goal is to achieve high absolute rates of return while minimizing the risk of capital loss.

Greenlight’s investment philosophy is to combine the analytical discipline of determining fair value with a practical understanding of markets.  The firm believes that an investment approach that emphasizes intrinsic value will achieve consistent absolute investment returns and safeguard capital regardless of market conditions.  

Mr. Einhorn is Chairman of the Board of Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE) and a Director of BioFuel Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:BIOF).  He is the author of Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short Story, published in May 2008.  He also serves on the boards of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Robin Hood Foundation.  

Mr. Einhorn graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University, where he earned a B.A. from the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

Paul J. Isaac

Founder and Portfolio Manager, Arbiter Partners

Paul J. Isaac is the CEO and founder of Arbiter Partners Capital Management, LLC. His responsibilities include managing the Firm's relationship with investors and the investment community, overall strategic exposure and asset allocation, individual security analysis and selection, and investigation of private investment opportunities. Mr. Isaac has been actively investing on behalf of himself and others for over thirty-five years.

Prior to founding Arbiter Partners, Mr. Isaac managed equity and debt portfolios directly; researched and employed outside managers; analyzed and invested in alternative strategies; and provided investment strategy consulting to investors. Mr. Isaac has also served on several non-profit boards, chaired a charitable endowment, and held positions as a corporate director. He brings a broad range of sell side experience, including eighteen years of managerial experience in the securities industry, spent at Mabon, Nugent & Co. and its successor firms. During that time, he developed and ran the firm's training program as well as managed the firm's municipal, government, mortgage-backed and high yield bond departments. He served as Chief Economist and chaired the firm's commitments and credit committees. During his time at Mabon, Mr. Isaac also spent a term as Chairman of the Securities Industry Association Capital Rules Committee.

Mr. Isaac graduated from Williams College with Highest Honors in Political Economy and was a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow.

 

Bill Miller, CFA

Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, LMM LLC

Bill Miller is the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of LMM and the portfolio manager for the Legg Mason Opportunity Trust mutual fund, the Miller Income Opportunity Trust fund and related strategies. He and his partner, Ernie Kiehne, founded Legg Mason Capital Management and served as portfolio managers of the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Trust from its inception in 1982 until Bill took over as sole manager in December 1990. Bill was sole manager of the fund for the next 20 years. During his tenure as sole manager, the fund’s performance exceeded its S&P 500 benchmark index for 15 consecutive years. He was named Fund Manager of the Year in 1998 by Morningstar, The Greatest Money Manager of the 1990’s by Money Magazine, selected as the Fund Manager of the Decade by Morningstar.com and in 1999 was named by Barron’s to its All-Century Investment Team.

Bill was the director of research for Legg Mason from October 1981 through June 1985 and assumed overall responsibility for Legg Mason’s equity funds management division in 1990. Prior to joining Legg Mason in 1981, he served as treasurer of the JE Baker Company, a major manufacturer of products for the steel and cement industries.

Bill earned his economics degree from Washington and Lee University where he graduated with honors in 1972. Subsequent to graduation, he served as a military intelligence officer overseas and then pursued graduate studies in philosophy in the PhD program at The Johns Hopkins University. He received his CFA designation in 1986. Bill is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute where he served as Chairman from 2005 to 2009. The Santa Fe Institute is one of the world’s leading scientific research laboratories, conducting multi-disciplinary research in complex systems theory. 

 

Ray Nixon

Executive Director, Large Cap Value Equity Portfolio Manager, Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, LLC

Ray Nixon is the Executive Director and Portfolio Manager of Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, LLC. Barrow Hanley, founded in 1979, is one of the largest value-oriented investment managers of institutional assets in the U.S. The ninety-six billion dollar firm provides value-oriented investment strategies to institutional investors, mutual funds, and family offices on five continents.

Mr. Nixon joined BHMS in 1994 from Smith Barney, Inc., where he was a member of the firm's Investment Policy Committee and served as their lead institutional stockbroker for the Southwest. During his thirty-seven year investment career, he also served as a research analyst for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.  Mr. Nixon holds a BA and an MBA from the University of Texas.

Mr. Nixon is a Chairman of the Texas Health Resources Investment Committee and a Trustee of the UT Southwestern Foundation. He is also a member of the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council, the University of Texas Development Board, and the Board of the Salvation Army.

 

Richard Perry

Managing Partner and CEO, Perry Capital

Richard has been CEO of Perry Capital. since 1988. He is also a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Prior to 1988, Richard was in the equity arbitrage area of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He was also an adjunct associate professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he taught a course in the finance department. Richard serves on the board of directors of Capital Business Credit LLC, Universal American Corp., Ovation LLC and Northwest Investments LLC. He is also chairman of the board of Barneys New York Inc. Richard is on the boards of The Sutton Trust, Facing History and Ourselves, The Israel Project and the University of Pennsylvania. He is also on the Advisory Council of the Hamilton Project. Richard earned an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1980, and a BS at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1977.

 

T. Boone Pickens

Founder and CEO, BP Capital

T. Boone Pickens is one of the nation’s most successful businessmen, first building one of the nation’s largest independent oil company, Mesa Petroleum, and later reinventing himself in his 70s as one of the most successful investment fund operators with BP Capital. In July 2008, Boone launched the Pickens Plan (www.PickensPlan.com), a grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing this country’s crippling addiction to OPEC oil. 

Boone’s 2008 book, The First Billion is the Hardest, also detailed what this country must do to win back its energy independence. He is also aggressively pursuing a wide range of other business interests, from alternative energy options to Clean Energy, a clean transportation fuels company he founded and took public in May 2008 (the eighth entity he has helped go public in his career). 

CNBC has dubbed him “Oracle of Oil” for his uncanny knack of predicting oil price movements. At a time in life when many businessmen are concentrating on golf course and ship cruises, he remains a dynamic force in his industry, as evidence by his fellow Dallas chief executives selecting him as DCEO magazine’s 2013 CEO of the Year. His many professional honors include membership in the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In 1998, the Oil & Gas Investor listed him as one of the “100 Most Influential People of the Petroleum Century.” During the span of his career, Pickens has given away more than $1 billion to philanthropic causes. He is among the most generous university benefactors of all time, having contributed more than $500 million to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, divided evenly between academics and athletics.

If you want to follow Boone Pickens on Twitter, you can do so @boonepickens.

 

Michael F. Price

President of The Price Family Foundation, Inc.; Managing Member of MFP Investors LLC

Michael F. Price earned his bachelor’s degree in 1973 from the University of Oklahoma. In 1999 the University of Oklahoma honored him with a Doctor of Humane Letters.

Michael F. Price was Chairman of the Board of Franklin Mutual Advisers and Franklin Mutual Series Fund. He had been associated with both entities and their predecessor organizations since 1975. At that time the adviser was known as Heine Securities Corp. and the fund was Mutual Shares Fund. Michael was Vice President of the fund from 1975 until 1986. From 1986 until November 1, 1998 he was CEO, President and Chairman of the Board of the adviser and the fund, which came to be known as Mutual Series Fund.

Presently, Michael is the President of The Price Family Foundation, Inc.; Managing Member of MFP Investors LLC; and Managing Partner of MFP Partners, L.P. He also serves as a Director of Liquidnet Holdings and Nexsan Technologies, an Investment Advisory Council Member to the Florida State Board of Administration and on Boards for The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

 

Thomas A. Russo

Managing Member, Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC

Thomas A. Russo joined Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC as a partner in 1989. In 2014 he became the Managing Member of the firm. Mr. Russo and Eugene Gardner, Jr. each manage individual separate accounts and share investment approaches and strategies. In addition, Thomas Russo serves as the Managing Member of the General Partner to Semper Vic partnerships. Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and is not associated with any bank, security dealer or other third party. 

Mr. Russo’s investment philosophy emphasizes return on invested capital, principally through equity investments. His approach to stock selection stresses two main points: value and price. While these would seem to be obvious key considerations in any manager’s approach, it is equally obvious that all too often they are either misjudged or, perhaps more frequently, simply not viewed together.

Mr. Russo looks for companies with strong cash-flow characteristics, where large amounts of “free” cash flow are generated. Portfolio companies tend to have strong balance sheets and a history of producing high rates of return on their assets. The challenge comes in finding these obviously desirable situations at reasonable or bargain prices.

Mr. Russo’s investment approach is focused on a small number of industries in which companies have historically proven to be able to generate sustainable amounts of net free cash flow. (These industries have typically included food, beverage, tobacco, and advertising-supported media.) This fairly narrow approach reflects his training and discipline at the Sequoia Fund in New York, where he worked from 1984 to 1988. Mr. Russo tries to limit risk by not paying too large a multiple of a company’s net free cash flow in light of prevailing interest rates. He attempts to broaden this otherwise narrow universe by including companies with smaller market capitalizations and companies in similar industries based abroad.

Mr. Russo’s goal is one of an absolute return rather than a relative return, and he continues his long-term investment objective of compounding assets between 10 and 20 percent per year without great turnover, thereby realizing a minimum amount of realized gains and net investment income.

Thomas Russo is the Managing Member of the General Partner of Semper Vic Partners, L.P., and Semper Vic Partners (QP), L.P., limited partnerships whose combined investments are roughly $3 billion, along with overseeing substantially more funds through separate accounts for individuals, trusts, and endowments. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA, 1977), and Stanford Business and Law Schools (JD/MBA, 1984). Memberships include Dean’s Advisory Council for Stanford Law School, Dartmouth College’s President’s Leadership Council, and the California Bar Association. Mr. Russo is a charter member of the Advisory Board for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School. He serves on the boards of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the U.S., Facing History and Ourselves, and Storm King Art Center.

 

Gretchen Morgenson (Moderator)

Assistant Business and Financial Editor, The New York Times

Ms. Morgenson has been Assistant Business and Financial Editor and a Columnist at The New York Times since 1998. She covers the world financial markets and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her “trenchant and incisive” coverage of Wall Street. In 2009, Ms. Morgenson won a Gerald Loeb Award in the “Beat Writing” category in her coverage of Wall Street. This followed her Gerald Loeb Award for excellence in financial commentary in 2002 and the American University School of Communication’s Annual Journalism Award for excellence in personal finance reporting in 2000.

Ms. Morgenson began her career at Vogue magazine as an Assistant Editor in 1976. By the time she left the magazine in 1981, she was a writer and financial columnist. She has filled the roles of Assistant Managing Editor and Investigative Business Writer and Editor at Forbes magazine, Press Secretary for the Forbes for President Campaign, Executive Editor for Worth magazine, Staff Writer at Money magazine, and Stockbroker for Dean Witter Reynolds in New York from 1981 to 1984. Ms. Morgenson received a B.A. degree in English and History from Saint Olaf College. She is co-author of The New York Times bestseller Reckless Endangerment, published by Times Books in May 2011.