Tuesday, January 31, 2023

All the calls from Sohn 2022 as managers shun shorts



Long calls dominated shorts at this year’s Sohn investment conference, which returned to London for the first time since 2019.

Here is a round-up of the calls, in order of presentation:

  • Maxime Carmignac, managing director of Carmignac UK, did not pitch a specific stock but outlined the firm’s equity strategy of investing in family-owned businesses.
  • Daniel Avigad, a 16-year veteran of Lansdowne Partners who manages its long-only equity strategy, pitched a long position in Boliden, a Swedish mining company. In a separate interview he said inflation has probably peaked. “[It] is going to most likely start to come down,” he told CNBC. “There is an argument that if equity markets and bond markets rally very aggressively, it amounts to an easing of financial conditions too early in the cycle for what central banks want to see.”
  • Michel Massoud, CIO and founder of Melqart Asset Management, a London-based event-driven firm, pitched a merger arb trade around the all-stock merger deal between tanker giants Frontline and rival Euronav.
  • Shashin Shah, founder and managing partner of Think Investments, headquartered in San Francisco, tipped Bharti Airtel, an Indian telecoms company. Shah, who previously worked at Valiant Capital and Blue Ridge Capital, said Bharti shares will double within the next three years.
  • Nicolas Gourdain of Lexcor Capital, a European value and catalyst based long/short equity firm, tipped Dassault Aviation, a French manufacturer of military aircraft and business jets.
  • Abhishek Agrawal, event-driven at Polygon Global Partners, tipped Kahoot!, an app where you can create and play app-based games. He said it had a strong position in a large market, high growth and attractive economics (a 20% margin today, expected to double in next few years). He said he “didn’t realise it was so popular with kids” until his daughter came back from school raving about the app.

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  • Ivelina Green, the ex-CQS credit specialist who has founded Pearlstone Alternative in London, tipped buying claims around Espirito Santo, the Portuguese bank split into two in 2014. Pearlstone is backed by Leucadia Asset Management.

  • Mikael Brantberg, CIO and managing partner of Lodbrok Capital, a $1.3bn credit manager, tipped the 2027 convertible issue in Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based multinational online food-delivery service. Brantberg previously worked at Och Ziff (now Sculptor) and Farallon.
  • Chris Dale, the former Millennium manager and founder of Kintbury Capital, a low-net long/short equity manager, who is betting against Ocado. He said he saw a 50% downside in the share price. “Pipeline and Covid drove the valuation upward,” he said, but rivals like Aldi and Lidl had made much more progress since.