Dan Loeb to headline Sohn Hearts & Minds

Famed hedge fund manager Dan Loeb has been named as one of the headline acts for next month’s Sohn Hearts & Minds philanthropic investment conference to be held in Sydney.

Mr Loeb, 61, has built a reputation as a fierce shareholder activist and oversees $US11.7 billion ($18.5 billion) at New York-based Third Point. The California-born Mr Loeb founded Third Point in 1995 with $US3.3 million of capital from friends and family.

Daniel Loeb oversees $US11.7 billion ($18.5 billion) at New York-based Third Point.  Picture: Bloomberg

His brutal letters to management have become legendary on Wall Street. Some of his best-known activist investments have been in Yahoo, Sony, Sotheby’s, Campbell Soup and lately Shell.

Third Point is an event-driven hedge fund, and has profited from some macro bets over the years. This includes a highly profitable Greek bond trade after the European debt crisis and taking a position in corporate loans after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Mr Loeb told investors in an update in July that he expected the US Federal Reserve to get less hawkish, and although consumers were vulnerable in a mild recession, Third Point had faith in its corporate debt positions.

Sohn Hearts & Minds chairman Matthew Grounds said the event had been trying to convince Mr Loeb to speak since its inception in 2016.

“We had a top five list and Dan was in that, and now I think we’ve got everyone else on that list.”

Previous headline acts include Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio, Oaktree’s Howard Marks, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway and Bill Ackman of Pershing Square. 

Fund discount in focus

Mr Grounds said a friend and former UBS colleague, Tommy Anglin, helped broker Mr Loeb’s appearance, and would host the conversation. 

Event organisers have also scheduled a macro panel that includes Bridgewater’s Atul Lele – a former Sydney-based Credit Suisse equity strategist, The Future Fund’s Ben Samild, and Sheila Patel of B Capital. Dan Rasmussen, the founder and portfolio manager of Verdad, has also been named as a keynote speaker.

Mr Grounds said this year’s event would have more international speakers than in previous years. The full line-up of speakers has also been finalised. Ellerston’s Chris Kourtis, Tribeca’s Jun Bei Liu and Munro Partners’ Kieran Moore have been added as local managers. 

London-based Toscafund’s Martin Hughes, Prusik’s Tom Naughton and Metronome’s Sharif el Khazen round out the roster.

Sohn Hearts & Minds in on track to raise more than $60 million for medical research through conference ticket sales and donated fees from its listed investment company, known as HM1. 

Fund managers present their best investment ideas to attendees. 

In 2018, more than $500 million was raised by Hearts and Minds Investments, which invests in the ideas presented. Fund managers forgo their fees, which are passed on to associated charities.

Although the has LIC delivered stellar gains to investors, it is now trading at a near 20 per cent discount to its net asset value. 

Mr Grounds and Sohn Hearts & Minds co-founder Gary Weiss said the LIC’s board and the investment committee had taken steps to improve performance and close the discount.

The Sohn Hearts & Minds Leaders Conference will be held on November 17 at the Sydney Opera House. Tickets are on sale here.

This article was originally posted by The Australian Financial Review here.

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