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Jamie Rosenwald and Dalton Investments


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For many years prior to 2008, we had harped against asset backed bonds, particularly triple A tranches, because their

spreads had no correlation to their risks. In the last two years we purchased many triple A tranches of mortgage

backed bonds at about 40¢ on the dollar, since even if house prices dropped by 67%, we would get our money back.

Also, we bought some lower rated tranches at 8-9¢ on the dollar – where the interest payments alone on the tranches

would pay back our purchase price in less than 12 months. We invested a total of $388 million in these mortgage

backed bonds, received $262 million in interest and principal payments and sold the tranches for $441 million – a

15total gain of $315 million or 81% on our investment in less than 2

1

⁄2 years. This idea was brought to us by Jamie

Rosenwald from Dalton Investments, and Brian Bradstreet and our investment committee worked with Jamie

approving each purchase. Please thank Jamie when you next see him – perhaps at our AGM. By the way, we invested

$23 million with Jamie from 1996 to 2006 for Asian investments, he returned $20 million in March 2008, and the

remaining amount was worth $63 million at the end of 2010!

 

Has anybody heard about Jamie Rosenwald and his firm?

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Mr. Rosenwald is a recognized authority in Pacific Rim investing with more than twenty years of investment experience. He formerly co-managed and founded Rosenwald, Roditi & Company, Ltd., now known as Rovida Asset Management, Ltd., which he established in 1992 with Nicholas Roditi. Mr. Rosenwald advised numerous Soros Group funds between 1992 and 1998. He commenced his investment career with the Grace Family at their securities firm, Sterling Grace & Co.

 

Mr. Rosenwald holds a Masters of Business Administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College. He is a CFA Charterholder and a director of numerous investment funds. He is a member of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts and the Association for Investment Management and Research.

 

Business partners get together for diverse reasons. In the case of Dalton Investments LLC, the three founding partners had in common investment business experience in Asia and a belief that the timing was right to concentrate on the region. At the time the firm was established in 1999 Steve Persky, James Rosenwald and Gifford Combs each believed that post-crisis turmoil in Asia gave their investment strategies favourable medium-term opportunities. However, they might never have teamed up without the intervention of one Jamie Rosenwald, who was managing a Japanese long-only portfolio for a US pension account in October 1998. He seeded Gifford Combs to manage the Pacific and General Investments fund, which at that time was almost all in Asian equities. In November 1998 Rosenwald was approached by a listed NYSE corporation to manage an Asian distressed debt portfolio, and he recruited Steve Persky who had significant experience in Asia and in distressed investing to manage the account.

 

These recruitment acts were not random – indeed, quite the opposite. The three partners had informally worked and invested together from 1981 through 1998 and had known each other on a personal level for many years. Gifford Combs and Steve Persky were classmates at Harvard College, and Steve Persky and Jamie Rosenwald met in 1970, classmates at the Dalton School from which the firm derives its name. Creating Dalton Investments was a natural evolution of their shared experiences and aspirations.

 

 

Dalton Investment’s investment activities are in three categories: distressed debt (under Steve Persky), Asian equities run by Jamie Rosenwald, and Gifford Comb’s global hedged equities. Steve Persky managed a low volatility distressed credit strategy for the first seven years of the firm.

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