Diversified Financials

Gustavo Ballvé on October 21st, 2015

Bovespa’s Corporate Sustainability Index (“ISE”) is about to turn 10 in November and it has outperformed the flagship Bovespa Index. We are firm believers in active, case-by-case, in-depth investigative investing in our fund, but it doesn’t blind us to the potential benefits – for some – of index investing. The devil is in the details of any index’s formation, criteria, balancing and so on. Furthermore, the dangers of an inflexible mandate are well-known.

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Gustavo Ballvé on January 5th, 2015

A Financial Times story today highlights what is certainly a top-3 item on value investors’ wishlists: raising permanent capital. The compliance, corporate governance and incentives challenges are immense, but every investor thinks at some point that they could make it work for them and their clients – as the potential benefits of a truly long-term investment horizon could outweigh the risks/ unintended consequences incurred.

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Gustavo Ballvé on June 18th, 2013

H/T to Abnormal Returns for posing a tough question – “would a mandatory savings program be net-net beneficial to society?” – and for getting many financial bloggers to answer it. To be taken with the necessary pounds of salt as I don’t know how much work went into the answers, how much time they had to think about it and how much each individual respondent actually knows about this subject. It is a question that has been bothering me tremendously when considering Brazil and demographics.

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Gustavo Ballvé on May 17th, 2013

CNBC has a very interesting series of articles and videos on what they call the CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of 50 “disruptors” in several industries, including Healthcare, Travel, Transport, Retail, IT, Financial Services and others. Any disruptors creeping up on your portfolio companies yet?

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Gustavo Ballvé on March 25th, 2013

H/T to My Investing Notebook, and his emphasis on what Buffett says of Jeff Bezos is spot-on as the best part of an altogether interesting interview. Just yesterday I had read an interesting piece on how well Amazon Prime is doing, so this connected immediately. Disrupting innovation indeed.

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Gustavo Ballvé on March 18th, 2013

We highlight a post by Fortune’s Dan Primack on a conflict of interests in Private Equity fund-raising. It falls into the “imagined but unproven” category – unproven until now, if you believe the research Mr. Primack uncovers. Interesting stuff, as long as we remain honest and vigilant about our own industry’s shortcomings.

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Gustavo Ballvé on January 31st, 2013

Two quick notes from the same source (the Financial Times). The first is a Global Infrastructure report by McKinsey. The second is a lighter note, and I guess it had to happen someday: an activist fund manager is building up a stake in listed Private Equity specialists 3i.

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Gustavo Ballvé on January 17th, 2013

In the second update to our “Is investing in banks too hard?” original post, a reader has sent us a Howard Marks interview that has his views on analyzing banks. In summary, says the Oaktree Chairman, “they just don’t have analyzability”. Thanks again for our reader and please keep the stories coming!

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Gustavo Ballvé on January 7th, 2013

We posted last Thursday about a long article at The Atlantic arguing that banks are increasingly “too hard to understand”. As in all bank matters, the Epicurean Dealmaker couldn’t resist writing about that article and his response is the best so far. If you haven’t read last week’s post yet, you’d do well to start with this one instead.

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Gustavo Ballvé on January 3rd, 2013

Thought-provoking cover story (and I mean this in the “is it signal or noise?” realm) in The Atlantic: “What’s inside America’s banks?” To summarise the official story line, the article argues that a growing list of heavy-hitting investors are simply giving up on trying to understand banks’ balance sheets, thus considering big banks “uninvestable”.

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