The Ben Graham Centre's 2013 Value Investing Conference SPEAKERS

Gary Shilling, President, A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc.

Dr. Shilling is President of A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc., economic consultants, and publisher of INSIGHT, a monthly report of economic forecasts and investment strategy.  He has also been a Forbes magazine columnist since 1983 and writes the “Financial Strategy” column.  He is a member of The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Board of Economists and a columnist for The Christian Science Monitor and Bloomberg View, and on Investment Advisor magazine’s panel of investment strategists.  He graduated from Amherst College AB in Physics, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned his MA and Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University.  While on the West Coast, he served on the staffs of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Bank of America.  Before establishing his own firm in 1978, Dr. Shilling was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of White, Weld & Co.  Earlier he set up the Economics Department at Merrill Lynch, at age 29, and served as the firm’s first chief economist.  Prior to Merrill Lynch, he was with Standard Oil Co. NJ (now ExxonMobil). Twice, the Institutional Investor magazine ranked Dr. Shilling as Wall Street’s top economist and Futures Magazine rated him the country’s number one Commodity Trading Advisor.  In 2003, MoneySense Magazine, named him the third best stock market forecaster in the world, right behind Warren Buffett. Dr. Shilling’s new, best-selling book, The Age of Deleveraging: Investment strategies for a decade of slow growth and deflation was published by John Wiley & Sons in late 2010.

For more on Lauren Templeton Capital Management, LLC, see www.agaryshilling.com

Watch Mr. Shilling's presentation

Jeremy Grantham, Co-founder and Chief Investment Strategist, Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO)


Mr. Grantham is the co-founder of Grantham Mayo and Van Otterloo (GMO), which he co-founded GMO in 1977, and is a member of GMO’s Asset Allocation team, serving as the firm’s chief investment strategist. Prior to GMO’s founding, Mr. Grantham was co-founder of Batterymarch Financial Management in 1969 where he recommended commercial indexing in 1971, one of several claims to being first. He began his investment career as an economist with Royal Dutch Shell. He is a member of the GMO Board of Directors and has also served on the investment boards of several non-profit organizations. Mr. Grantham has been featured in Forbes, Barron’s and Business Week and is routinely quoted by the financial press. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Sheffield (U.K.) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

For more on Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo, see www.gmo.com


Tom Russo, Partner, Gardner Russo & Gardner

Mr. Russo is a partner at Gardner Russo & Gardner, which he joined in 1989. Eugene Gardner, Thomas Russo and Eugene Gardner, Jr., as partners, each manage individual separate accounts and share investment approaches and strategies. Mr. Russo oversees $4 billion through separately managed accounts and partnerships. Mr. Russo’s investment philosophy emphasizes return on invested capital, principally through equity investments. His approach to stock selection stresses two main points: value and price. Mr. Russo’s investment approach is focused on a small number of industries in which companies have historically proven to be able to generate sustainable amounts of net free cash flow. This fairly narrow approach reflects his training and discipline at the Sequoia Fund in New York, where he worked from 1984 to 1988. Mr. Russo’s goal is one of an absolute return rather than a relative return, and he continues his long-term investment objective of compounding assets between 10 and 20 percent per year without great turnover. Mr. Russo is also General Partner of Semper Vic Partners, L.P., and Semper Vic Partners (Q.P.), L.P., limited partnerships whose combined investments exceed $1 billion, along with overseeing substantially more funds through separate accounts for individuals, trusts, and endowments. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A., 1977), and Stanford Business and Law Schools (JD/MBA, 1984) and member of the California Bar Association and Board of Visitors for Stanford Law School.

Tim McElvaine, Founder and President, McElvaine Investment Management Ltd.

Mr. McElvaine is the founder and President of McElvaine Investment Management Ltd. which manages The McElvaine Investment Trust, a mutual fund established in 1996. Tim developed his value-oriented philosophy during his 12-year career with Peter Cundill & Associates Ltd. where, amongst other capacities, he served as Manager of the Cundill Security Fund (1992-99), Co-Manager of the Cundill Value Fund (1998-2003) and Chief Investment Officer (1998-2003). Tim has been active on the boards of a number of publicly listed companies including Rainmaker Entertainment (formerly Chairman, currently a director), Sun-Rype Products and Humpty Dumpty Snack Foods. Tim is a member of the Board of the University of Victoria Foundation and Board of Governors, Glenlyon Norfolk School. Tim is both a CA and CFA. Kate and Tim live in Victoria BC and have 6 children.

For more on McElvaine Investment Management Ltd., see mcelvaine.com

Robert Robotti, Founder and CIO, Robotti & Company Advisors LLC

Mr. Robotti is the founder and CIO of Robotti & Company Advisors LLC, a registered investment adviser, and president of Robotti & Company LLC, a registered broker-dealer. He started his career as an accountant and CPA, and served as CFO of Gabelli & Company. Building on his exposure to other prominent value investors, Bob founded Robotti & Company in 1983. The firm’s success over time has been due to his and his team’s ability to identify companies trading at a significant discount to intrinsic value. While investing across a wide range of industries, Bob has been particularly active in the energy industry for his entire career. Bob currently serves on the boards of Panhandle Oil & Gas Inc. (NYSE:PHX) and Pulse Seismic Inc. (TSX:PSD). He was a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies, established to examine the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other aspects of the federal securities law. Bob graduated from Bucknell University and holds an MBA from Pace University.

For more on Robotti & Company Advisors LLC, see www.robotti.com

Francis Chou, President, Chou Associates Management Inc.

Mr. Chou is the President of the Toronto-based Chou Associates Management Inc. Mr. Chou, a CFA, ended his formal education at Grade 12. While working as a technician for a phone company in 1981, he started an investment club that would later become the Associates fund. Mr. Chou has operated two of the country’s most successful funds, Chou Associates Fund and Chou RRSP fund, for the last 20 years. In 2005, the Canadian Investment Award named him the fund manager of the decade. His approach is to “find bargains and maintain discipline; if you cannot find bargains stay in cash”. Currently, Mr. Chou manages more than $650 million for investors in his firm and runs the best performing bond fund in North America according to a Wall Street Journal article.

For more on Chou Associates Management Inc., see www.choufunds.com

Thorsten Heins, President & CEO, BlackBerry

Mr. Heins is the President and CEO of BlackBerry, a position to which he was appointed in January 2012. Since then, Thorsten has led the company through the biggest transformation in its history. He has overseen the global launch and rollout of the BlackBerry 10 platform, delivered on a plan that saved more than $1 billion in operating costs and appointed a new executive team. Thorsten previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Product Engineering, overseeing the BlackBerry Smartphone portfolio world-wide. Prior to joining BlackBerry in 2007, Thorsten held several positions in the wireless arena including the Chief Technology Officer of Siemens' Communications Division and several general management positions in Hardware and Software businesses. Thorsten holds a master's degree in Science and Physics from the University of Hannover in Germany. Thorsten also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Inc.

For more on BlackBerry, see www.blackberry.com

Watch Mr. Heins' Speech

Richie Boucher, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Ireland Group

Mr. Boucher was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Ireland Group in February 2009 and has lead the Group through a major recapitalisation, restructuring and rationalisation process maintaining the Bank in private ownership with its core-franchises intact. He was Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland Group’s Retail Division from January 2006 to February 2009 having previously spent two years as Chief Executive – Corporate Banking at Bank of Ireland Group. Prior to joining Bank of Ireland Group in December 2003 Richie held a senior position in the Corporate Division of Royal Bank of Scotland in London having gained extensive experience before that in Retail and in Corporate Banking with the Nat West Group and its Irish Subsidiary Ulster Bank. Richie was born in and educated in Southern Africa and obtained his primary University Degree (a BA Mod Econ Honours) from Trinity College Dublin. He is a past President of both the Irish Banking Federation and the Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

For more on Bank of Ireland Group, see www.bankofireland.com

Chris Fowler, President & CEO, Canadian Western Bank

Mr. Fowler became President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Western Bank (CWB Group) in March 2013, concurrent with his election to the Board of Directors and his appointment as Chair of CWB Group’s Executive Committee. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Fowler served as President and Chief Operating Officer, where he was primarily responsible for banking operations and credit risk management.  Mr. Fowler started his career in commercial and corporate banking in 1985 with Continental Bank of Canada, which was subsequently acquired by Lloyds Bank Canada and then by HSBC Bank Canada. He joined CWB Group in 1991 to assist in building the Bank’s commercial loan portfolio in Vancouver. In 1995, Mr. Fowler moved to Edmonton to join the credit risk management group, where he held progressively senior positions. He was appointed to Executive Vice President, Banking, in 2008, and has also been responsible for the development and implementation of CWB Group's strategic plan. Mr. Fowler has a Master of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

For more on Canadian Western Bank, see www.cwbank.com

Terrence Leon, President & CEO, Leon’s Furniture Limited

Mr. Leon is the President & CEO of Leon’s Furniture Limited. Mr. Leon is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s King’s College and Western’s Law School. He was called to the Bar in 1978 and has been a Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since then. Prior to becoming CEO of the company in  May 2005, Mr. Leon held various positions within Leon’s, and appointed Corporate Counsel in 1984, Vice President, C.F.O. and Secretary of Leon’s Furniture Limited in 1989 (a publicly traded Canadian Corporation) and President of Leon’s Furniture Limited on May 13, 2002. He is married to Mari Josette McCann and together have four children.

For more on Leon’s Furniture Limited, see www.leons.ca

Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited

Mr. Menon is the Managing Director of Thomas Cook (India) Limited, India’s largest integrated travel and travel related services company.  He joined Thomas Cook in 2000 as the Executive Director, responsible for the Foreign Exchange business and stepped up to the position of Managing Director in 2006. In his capacity as the Managing Director, Mr. Menon is a Member on the Board of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd and holds Directorship in the various subsidiary companies of the company. He holds Directorships in four Indian subsidiaries - Travel Corporation (India) Ltd, Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Ltd, Thomas Cook Tours Ltd and Indian Horizon Travel & Tours Ltd.    He is also a Director on four Thomas Cook Mauritius subsidiary companies. Mr. Menon has a varied background having commenced his career in Grindlays Bank and subsequently worked in Citibank, Emirates Bank and in the Financial Services Division of the Aditya Birla Group like Birla Global Finance Limited and Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company.  Mr. Menon completed his MBA from George Washington University, undergraduate degree from American University of Beirut and schooling at the Cathedral and John Cannon School.  He has also participated at the Executive Management Program at Harvard University and INSEAD during his tenure with Thomas Cook. Mr. Menon is a Trustee at PRIDE, a leading NGO (Non-governmental Organization) involved in Health Care in Tribal Areas.

For more on Thomas Cook (India) Limited, see www.thomascook.in