We are pleased to bring you the 21st edition of Graham & Doddsville. This student-led investment publication of Columbia Business School is co-sponsored by the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing and the Columbia Student Investment Management Association (CSIMA).
For this issue we spoke with five unique investors covering a range of different perspectives and investment styles.
Philippe Jabre recounts how he began his career in convertible arbitrage and how his firm, Jabre Capital Partners, searches the world for attractive investments.
Arnold Van Den Berg and Jim Brilliant emphasize the value of discipline in investment management, and explain the importance of building a framework and mental database around your experiences to improve decision making.
Eric Rosenfeld shares his evolution as an activist investor and how his firm, Crescendo Partners, identifies potential investments. Eric also delves into Canadian laws and how they facilitate shareholder activism.
H. Kevin Byun discusses the nuances of special situations investing and how he searches for opportunity in spin-offs, liquidations and transformative M&A actions. He also discusses some of the opportunities he sees in the market today.
This issue also contains pictures from the 17th annual CSIMA Conference, which took place on February 7th at Columbia University, featuring Bill Ackman and Joel Greenblatt as keynote speakers.
Lastly, this issue includes the finalist pitches from the Pershing Square Challenge which took place on April 23rd.
With this being our final issue as editors of Graham & Doddsville, we want to reflect for a moment on our time shepherding this publication. It has been a privilege to act as stewards of the legacy of value investing at CBS and to share the insights of such talented investors with our readers.
These interviews will be among our fondest memories at Columbia Business School. We leave Graham & Doddsville in the highly capable hands of Matt Ford and Peter Pan. Apparently we have to grow up now, but we look forward to reading the interviews they conduct in future issues. We are deeply grateful to those investors we interviewed during our tenure – none of this would be possible without their willingness to share their wisdom. Finally, we thank you, dear reader, for your continued interest, loyalty, and suggestions.
– Graham & Doddsville Editors
Philippe Jabre Q&A with Graham & Doddsville
Graham & Doddsville: When you were at Columbia, were there any professors who were particularly influential for you? Or any courses that stood out in your mind?
PJ: In the first two semesters, you don’t know all the classes that exist. And by the last two semesters, you try to catch up as much as you can.There was a guy named Francis Finlay, an Englishman who was teaching investments. Professor Adler had a course on international trade. I was fascinated by anything linked to international investments.
Today, students are much more prepared and focused when they start school. I don’t even know if there was an investment club when I was at Columbia in 1980. Maybe there was…I had no clue.
Graham & Doddsville: And when you graduated, where did you start your career?
PJ: I joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) in New York for an internship in asset management for nine months. And that was very useful because it was my first contact with the real world of managing equities, bonds, convertible bonds, and warrants. Then, after the nine months, I went to Paris to work for a bank named BAII, which later became a subsidiary of BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) (OTCMKTS:BNPQY).