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"Jeffrey Towson A Look At The Investment Methods of Prince Al Waleed"


Guest hellsten
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Guest hellsten

Giofranchi got me thinking about Prince Al-Waleed as a value investor when we discussed "China's Berkshire" in another thread. Today I found this interesting article:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/118722477/Jeffrey-Towson-A-Look-At-The-Investment-Methods-of-Prince-Al-Waleed

 

The article covers not only Prince Al-Aweed's investment process but also value investing in emerging markets:

What was interesting is that while value investing (in its pure traditional form) was working in the west, it just didn't work in the emerging markets. None of the classics strategies got you very far-forexample, classical stock picking in Africa. Guess what? There aren't that many stocks there. So you alwayshad to find ways to make money while protecting your downside. This is something Prince Al-Waleed hadto develop and I think its fair to say that (at that point, and arguably today) he has the longest and mostsuccessful track record of investing in emerging markets. Yes, he is a value guy. But his strategies bewilderpeople.

 

Al-Aweed has invested in Fosun and I think the following applies to Fosun to some degree:

The big opportunity is with companies that are smaller and that lack global capabilities. In this case, if you are very knowledgeable investor and you have a deep knowledge of emerging markets, they are going to love having you at the table.

 

if you meet with mid-level companies you are going to meet a lot of folks who are struggling to find away to get into these developing markets. Often they will not even have an international business segment.

So you can either reach out to a company in a developed market or you can go to Shenzhen, find an opportunity/problem, and then find the partner. Also you can know the partner from day one and then you go on to the emerging markets together—these are the inbound development stories you read about in the papers—where you see some Chinese or Indian company doing an acquisition of a European tech company. These deals tend to work really well. There are a number of people doing this –meaning brining western capabilities, business models, etc into developing markets.

 

On Prince Al-Waleed:

Miguel:

In your book you highlight that Prince Al-Awleed is willing to be flexible and he has core competence (in certain industries), but overall is willing to do anything that makes sense.

Jeffrey Towson:

He tends to hunt the world for deals, he is a master deal maker. What really catches his attention is having an overwhelming advantage. For example, buying a distressed hotel where the owners are in financial trouble but it is in a prime location,. He can come in and buy it at a discount and connect the owners with his partner network. Overall, I think he looks for that overwhelming sledgehammer advantage. I think that tends to drive him more often than anything else. But nobody really knows for sure. I mean he bought General Motors this last year and he just did a deal with Bloomberg to start a new Arabic news channel.But if you want to look at him in the simplest terms – he’s a specialist in participating in distressed investments in the West and then levering capabilities back into value added deals in emerging markets.That's the most common place you see it work real well.

 

On superstar investors in the region:

the guys at the Abu Dhabi Investment Company are probably the smartestin the region

 

Anyone of the many insurance gurus here know CV star?

CV star is an interesting company to watch. They do a lot of deals around the world and their deep insurance underwriting capabilities gets them into deals everywhere.

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Guest hellsten

Anyone of the many insurance gurus here know CV star?

 

He is probably talking about CV Starr aka Hank Greenberg.

 

Thanks, so that's where Mr. Greenberg went:

People who work in the industry say that if he is already luring A.I.G.’s people, he may soon be siphoning off its business and, therefore, its means to repay its debt to the government.

 

“To me, it’s just going to be a matter of time before the valuation of what he’s building is greater than the valuation of A.I.G.,” said Andrew J. Barile, an insurance consultant in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/business/27aig.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Guest hellsten

His book on crony capitalism is good too - 'What Would Ben Graham Do Now'

 

http://www.amazon.com/What-Would-Ben-Graham-Now/dp/0132173239/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357225233&sr=8-1&keywords=jeffrey+towson

 

Cheers

JEast

 

Thanks :)

 

Prior, Mr. Towson served as Head of Direct Investments for Middle East North Africa and Asia Pacific for Prince Waleed, arguably the world's first private global investor and nicknamed by Time magazine as the "Arabian Warren Buffett". Waleed's distinctions include: the world's 4th richest person (2004, Forbes), the largest foreign investor in the USA, the largest shareholder of the world's largest bank (Citigroup, 2007), and the world's second largest media owner after Rupert Murdoch.

 

Waleed's investments have included 5% of Citi, +300 hotels (Movenpick, Fairmont, The Plaza, George V, the Savoy), Bank of China, EuroDisney, Canary Wharf, News Corp, Saks Fifth Avenue, TimeWarner, the Four Seasons Hotels (through leveraged buy-out with Bill Gates), a private Airbus 380, multiple Africa projects (private equity funds), and a One Mile Skyscraper in Jeddah.

 

Between 2000 and 2009, Jeff was one of five core investment staff at Prince Waleed's Riyadh headquarters. A few of Mr. Towson's marquee projects include the development of the world's tallest skyscraper (one mile in height), the turn-around of Saks Fifth Avenue stores, the development of a potential new mortgage company in partnership with GE Money, the development of a potential new energy / infrastructure company with GE Energy Financial Services and the launch of multiple Four Seasons properties.

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Anyone of the many insurance gurus here know CV star?

 

He is probably talking about CV Starr aka Hank Greenberg.

 

Thanks, so that's where Mr. Greenberg went:

People who work in the industry say that if he is already luring A.I.G.’s people, he may soon be siphoning off its business and, therefore, its means to repay its debt to the government.

 

“To me, it’s just going to be a matter of time before the valuation of what he’s building is greater than the valuation of A.I.G.,” said Andrew J. Barile, an insurance consultant in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/business/27aig.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

What are people thoughts on Hank Greenberg? He's seems like tough guy to work with/for but he seems like he knows his insurance.

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What are people thoughts on Hank Greenberg? He's seems like tough guy to work with/for but he seems like he knows his insurance.

 

Cv Starr was duped into CCME a couple of years ago

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-25/greenberg-s-starr-to-seek-outside-money-for-buyout-deals

 

what is CCME ?

 

It was China Media Express. It was a fraudulent reverse merger company based in China. There were value investors who thought it was undervalued but they were off the mark.

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What are people thoughts on Hank Greenberg? He's seems like tough guy to work with/for but he seems like he knows his insurance.

 

Cv Starr was duped into CCME a couple of years ago

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-25/greenberg-s-starr-to-seek-outside-money-for-buyout-deals

 

what is CCME ?

 

It was China Media Express. It was a fraudulent reverse merger company based in China. There were value investors who thought it was undervalued but they were off the mark.

thx

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