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Leon Cooperman on Henry Singleton (1-hour video)


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Ok, I've had a look at the paper via a trial DeepDyve.com subscription (pretty easy to do if you want to do that too). Fairly short (4-5 pages of texts and a few graphs).. Kind of disappointing, I was expecting a 40-page deep-dive into Singleton. Oh well.

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While we're at it, if anyone still hasn't seen the 1979 Forbes article on Singleton, here it is:




Also a great podcast episode (2 hours long) on Singleton here:



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The Forbes article was an excellent read.  Another example of how being a contrarian or unconventional thinker is a prerequisite to extraordinary results.  I had never even heard of Singleton until Munger fielded a question about him at the last Brk annual meeting. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing Cooperman's great speech on Singleton.

Cooperman mentionned an early investor in Teledyne, Intel and Apple: Arthur Rock.

Pardon my ignorance, but I'm just discovering this pioneer venture capitalist.



I’d been introduced to Henry Singleton and George Kozmetsky before I moved to

California. They were both vice presidents of Litton Industries and they ran a division

focused on electronics. Henry was as intellectual as anyone I had come across. He was

really brilliant. He had invented the gyroscope, which was used in airplanes and

spaceships and missiles to keep them oriented, and that was a huge invention. During the

war, he had invented a method for degaussing submarines, which allowed our submarines

to go by German submarines without being detected. It was a huge invention and made

the seas a lot safer during the war. So he was running this division of Litton with George

Kozmetsky and we at Hayden Stone financed them in forming Teledyne. I became a

director of Teledyne and soon after formed the partnership with Davis, and we invested

in Teledyne.

I then became very involved in the early stages of Teledyne. I was always more

interested in building companies than in building a business for myself. I didn’t foresee

how big the venture capital business would become, but I don’t think it would have ever

interested me anyway to build a big venture capital investing firm. I liked to invest in just

a few companies and be associated with them and help them grow. So I spent a lot of

time in those days with Teledyne and also with SDS. At Teledyne, we started out by

buying a defunct company that had lost all of its military contracts and was about to go

broke. Teledyne bought it for very little money and then was able to get contracts and

build that business up. Then during the next ten years we bought about 125 companies,

most of which had something to do with scientific products. There was no general theme.

This was a conglomerate of scientific companies, and most of these were allowed to

operate with very little direction from corporate.

Henry Singleton was this very brilliant, intellectual type who could foresee all of these

problems that no one else saw, and he saw the opportunities. I was the sounding board for

Henry. He’d call me up all the time. What did I think about this, what did I think about

that? We went on a stock buy-back program. We reduced the number of shares by 90

percent during the period probably from 1980 to 1995. We just kept on buying back stock

and that, of course, increased the value for the remaining shareholders. So we used to talk

about that and whatever problems the company had. I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles

and had a lot of dinners and lunches with Henry. And for the twenty-five years that he

ran Teledyne, we compounded the growth at 25 percent a year for twenty-five years. But

Henry, despite all his brilliance and braininess, had a tough time developing people. So

after he left, things started to deteriorate quite a bit. Teledyne was eventually sold to

Allegheny Corp. after we spun off the two insurance companies. And the stockholders

made out extremely well."

A must read - Interview with Arthur Rock - Harvard Business School, March 2001





2012 NVCA Annual Meeting: Mike Markula Interviews Arthur Rock



Rock of Valley on New Terrain, July 2010



Arthur Rock - Legendary Venture Capitalist, May 2007

Transcript: http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/access/text/2012/05/102658253-05-01-acc.pdf


2011 Movie trailer: Something Ventured – the art of venture investing/ Available on netflix


Arthur Rock-Strategy vs Tactics-importance of jockey



I invest in people, not ideas.

Arthur Rock


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