Francis Chou, CFA, Chou Associates Management Inc., Toronto, ON (July 22, 2016 - Seminar on Value Investing and the Search for Value)

Mr. Chou is the President of the Toronto-based Chou Associates Management Inc. Mr. Chou, a CFA, ended his formal education at Grade 12. While working as a technician for a phone company in 1981, he started an investment club that would later become the Associates fund. Mr. Chou has operated two of the country’s most successful funds, Chou Associates Fund and Chou RRSP fund, for the last 20 years. In 2005, the Canadian Investment Award named him the fund manager of the decade. His approach is to “find bargains and maintain discipline; if you cannot find bargains stay in cash”.  Currently (2012), Mr. Chou manages more than $650 million for investors in his firm and runs the best performing bond fund in North America according to a Wall Street Journal article. The  financial  media  have   extensively   covered  Francis’   style, performance and character over the years. Other media articles on Francis can be read here and here.

For more on Chou Associates Management Ltd., see www.choufunds.com/associates

Fairfax annual meeting of shareholders, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (April 14, 2016, Roy Thomson Hall, 9:30am)

Mr. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has invited Dr. Athanassakos and a group of his Value Investing MBA and HBA students to attend the Fairfax annual meeting of shareholders on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After the annual meeting, students will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Watsa and his team. Mr. Watsa is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., a financial services holding company, which he took over in 1985. The company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, as well as investment management. Mr. Watsa is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a holder of an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business of the University of Western Ontario. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children, a member of the Advisory Board for the Richard Ivey School of Business and a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, as well as Chairman of the Investment Committee of St. Paul’s Anglican Church.  Fairfax has been one of the few companies to escape the ravages of the great recession of 2008 as Mr. Watsa and his team had anticipated the credit crisis and had taken the necessary steps to protect Fairfax. Mr. Watsa, also known as the Buffett of the North, had discussed his fears about the markets in a key note speech he gave to The Ben Graham Center of Value Investing First Annual Symposium on Value Investing on May 25, 2007. His key note speech can be viewed here.

For more on Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., see www.fairfax.ca

Lauren Templeton, Founder and President, Templeton & Phillips Capital Management, LLC, Chattanooga, TN (March 17, 2016)

Ms. Templeton is the founder and president of Templeton & Phillips Capital Management, LLC; a value investing boutique located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The company is the general partner to the Global Maximum Pessimism Fund.  Ms. Templeton received a B.A. in Economics from the University of the South.  She is the founder and former president of the Southeastern Hedge Fund Association, Inc. based in Atlanta, Georgia.  Ms. Templeton currently serves the on the Board of Trustees at the Baylor School, Board of Advisors for The Beacon Center of Tennessee and the Atlas Board of Overseers. She is also an active member of Rotary International.  She serves on the investment committee of Chattanooga Rotary Club 103 and the investment committee of The Rotary Foundation. Additionally, Ms. Templeton has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Memorial Hospital Foundation, a member of the Finance Advisory Board of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, and also served on the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  Lauren is the great niece of Sir John M. Templeton and is a current member of the John M. Templeton Foundation.  The John Templeton Foundation was established in 1987 by renowned international investor, Sir John Templeton.  Lauren began her career working with managed portfolios and investments in 1998, beginning as a junior associate at the financial advisor Homrich and Berg and later the hedge fund management company New Providence Advisors both of Atlanta.  In 2001, Lauren launched her own hedge fund management company which dedicates its efforts to the practice of value investing across the global markets using the same methods learned from her great-uncle, Sir John Templeton.  Ms. Templeton is also the co-author of, Investing the Templeton Way: The Market Beating Strategies of Value Investing Legendary Bargain Hunter, 2007, McGraw Hill, which has been translated into nine languages.  Lauren lives in Chattanooga, with her husband, Scott Phillips, who is a portfolio manager of the Global Maximum Pessimism Fund and author of the investing book, Buying at the Point Maximum Pessimism: Six Value Investing Trends from China to Oil to Agriculture, 2010, FT Press, and co-author to the revised edition of The Templeton Touch, 2012, Templeton Press.

For more on Templeton & Phillips Capital Management LLC, see www.templetonandphillips.com

Martin Whitman, Founder and Chairman, Third Avenue Management LLC, New York, NY (March 10, 2016) – Videoconference.

Mr. Whitman has proven for more than 50 years that active, opportunistic investors can find under-priced securities in companies with strong balance sheets. He is also an adept control investor who has led the rehabilitations of Nabors Industries and Covanta Energy among others. In 2013 he received the Harvey R. Miller Outstanding Achievement Award for Service to the Restructuring Industry. In 1990, he was named Morningstar’s Mutual Fund Manager of the Year.  After serving in the Navy during World War II and then attending college on the G.I. Bill, Mr. Whitman joined the ranks of Wall Street as an analyst at Shearson Hammill & Co. The Street’s simplistic analysis and focus on short term earnings was not for him. When he encountered a timber company rich with assets but with no visible earnings power he realized there was a better way. Later, while working at the family office of William Rosenwald, son of a founder of Sears Roebuck, he developed a risk aversion commensurate with the responsibility of managing another family’s legacy. His ability to find safety through the careful study of assets enabled him later to venture where other investors wouldn’t, like the bankrupt Penn Central railroad or troubled utilities like Consumers Power Co. of Michigan and the Public Service Company of New Hampshire.  Mr. Whitman founded the predecessor to the Third Avenue Funds in 1986 and affiliated broker-dealer, M.J. Whitman, in 1974. He managed the flagship Third Avenue Value Fund since inception in 1990 through March 1, 2012. He was Third Avenue’s Chief Investment Officer from its founding through January 2010. For over 30 years, Mr. Whitman was a Distinguished Management Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is also an honorary trustee at Syracuse University, his undergraduate alma mater and home to the Whitman School of Management. He is the author of The Aggressive Conservative Investor, Value Investing – A Balanced Approach, Distress Investing: Principles and Technique and, most recently, Modern Security Analysis: Understanding Wall Street Fundamentals, which he views as a modern successor text to the work of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from The New School for Social Research and is a magna cum laude Syracuse graduate. Mr. Whitman is a board member at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.  

For more on Third Avenue Management LLC, see thirdave.com

Guy Spier, Founder and Managing Partner, Aquamarine Capital, Zürich, Switzerland (February 24, 2016)

Mr. Spier is the founder and managing partner of Aquamarine Capital, an investment partnership styled after the original 1950’s Buffett partnerships. In 2008 Guy, along with Mohnish Pabrai, had lunch with Warren Buffett after submitting the winning bid for Buffett’s annual Glide charity auction. Guy completed his undergraduate studies at Oxford and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

For more on Aquamarine Capital, see aquamarinefund.com

Richard Oldfield, Chairman, Oldfield Partners LLP, London, UK (January 27, 2016)

Mr. Oldfield is chairman of a boutique investment management firm, Oldfield Partners  LLP.  He is also a director of Witan Investment Trust plc., and a trustee of Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the Clore Duffield Foundation and Canterbury Cathedral Trust and president of Demelza House Children’s Hospice.  Between 2007 and 2014, he was Chairman of Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd. and Oxford University investment committee. He is the author of the book Simple but not easy, which is a book about investing published in June 2007.

For more on Oldfield Partners LLP, see www.oldfieldpartners.com