Gianluca Ferrari and Kurt Kara’s interviews from the 2018 International Value Investing Conference in Luxembourg.
Kurt Kara (Maj Invest) on Investing in the current market environment
In his speech at the International Value Investing Conference 2018 Kurt Kara of Maj Invest is talking about investing in the current market environment. Furthermore, he is presenting his view on General Motors and Samsung.
The interview was held during the International Value Investing Conference in Luxembourg.
Thank you. Thank you very much. My name is Gianluca Ferrari. I helped manage investments in shareholder value. We are a small team. It's a small company employee owned and we're based in Frankfurt.
And how did you come into value investing.
Funny story I guess when you when you started looking when you become interested in investing you look at all the possible approaches all the possible styles. And I just came across what I like to think is common sense investing. It just made sense and it clicked with me right away. So when I was in university I started reading books on the subject and it became a no brainer that this is exactly where I wanted to where I wanted to go and nobody wanted to talk about today's activism.
What is your definition of activism.
It's funny I get asked that question a lot about what is activism in the way the way I like to characterize it is we don't think of ourselves as activists. We think of ourselves as responsible shareholders. And when you're a shareholder of a company and you feel that you can you can help that company increase value for all of its shareholders that it would be irresponsible not to engage with them. So the way I look at it is being an active shareholder it just means being a responsible shareholder.
This Front's responsibility. What does this mean.
It's the responsibility I should say the fiduciary duty that the board and therefore the management of companies have to deliver satisfying returns for their investors and act in the best interest of their company and those who own their company. We tend to we tend to look and seek out look for and seek out companies that are superbly managed companies that have a sustainable competitive advantage buying them at prices that we think are attractive prices. But ultimately that are that are managed by top notch individuals. The type of person who you're happy to give your wallet into their hands. Hence our philosophy of a business owner philosophy. We seek to invest in companies that are run by people who who are or act as if they were business owners and sometimes when the companies we invest in which we like for a number of reasons fall short of that criteria we seek to make the improvements necessary and give me please Adam will color the activists and a responsible approach.
Maybe in any case that was a successful case for activism. From your side explaining that.
Yeah absolutely we are. It can take a number of different a number of different shades. There's not one cookie cutter response to that question but I think an example is probably the best way to go about it. We get we invested in a company called John Menzies PEOC which is traded in London and it was a business that doesn't mean it's its core business is in the aviation sector. They do services for airlines ground handling and cargo handling there. Their clients are the big airlines the easy jets of the world. We we invested in this company under the assumption that this was a great business and that it was going to continue growing their multi-year multi year contracts a very fragmented market that is ripe for consolidation and we found it to be very very attractive. The problem with this is that the company was had another business attached to it which was a I would call it a publishing business but a newspaper and magazine distribution business which is a great business.