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Ben Graham Centre's 2024 Value Investing Conference

Apr 10, 2024 • 7:45 am - 4:45 pm

Ritz Carlton, Main Ballroom, 181 Wellington St. W., Toronto, ON

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The Ben Graham Centre for Value Investing at the Ivey Business School, Western University, held its annual Value Investing Conference on April 10, 2024, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Embracing Benjamin Graham's Legacy
The mission of the Conference was to pay tribute to the pioneering work of Benjamin Graham by upholding the timeless principles of value investing. We committed to empowering participants with insights into the diverse methods employed by practitioners and nurtured academic research and study in the area of value investing.

Learning and Networking Opportunities
No matter if you're an individual investor, a seasoned professional, or an executive in the investment management or financial services industries, our Conference provided a platform to explore, discuss, and deliberate on the principles, practices, and diverse applications of value investing on a global scale. It was a unique opportunity to engage and connect with experts and enthusiasts alike, sharing knowledge and experiences.

Value Investing in a Global Context
We believe in value investing as a universal concept. As we gathered in Toronto, investors from around the world united to explore its vast potential and discussed how it resonated across different markets and cultures.

Media Coverage

“Looking for value stock? Some lessons from the masters”
The Globe and Mail, April 21, 2024.

"Jason Zweig: “Mr. Market is moody, but he is not a moron”"
PenderFund Capital Management Ltd. Blog, April 30, 2024.

"Benjamin Graham's lesson for modern markets" Blog, May 7, 2024.

"Ben Graham Centre's 2024 Value Investing Conference"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 10, 2024.

"Patient Capital's Samantha McLemore on Why Classic Value Investing is Dead"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 10, 2024.

"Ajit Dayal: Quantum Advisors on Value Investing in India"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 15, 2024.

"David Samra: Lessons from Resilient Companies"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 10, 2024.

"Q&A: Ajit Dayal, Samantha McLemore and David Samra"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 15, 2024.

"Jason Zweig: What Can We Learn from Ben Graham that Still Matters"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 16, 2024.

"Mohnish Pabrai: Circle the Wagons"
Hedge Fund Alpha Media Coverage, April 10, 2024.

Lineup, Videos and Slides

Conference Organizer and Chair

Dr. George Athanassakos, Founder & Managing Director, Ben Graham Chair in Value Investing, Ivey Business School
Topic: Defining Risk: It All Depends on Your Investing Horizon

In his opening remarks, among other things, Dr. Athanassakos expressed his frustration with academics who have paid little attention to value investing and stock picking over the years and thus lack a basic understanding of what value investing is. As Dr. Athanassakos explained, an area of significant misunderstanding is the way risk is defined. Finance academics define risk as volatility, whereas value investors define risk as the probability that adverse outcomes in the future will permanently impair the cash flow potential of a business leading to permanent (long run) impairment of capital. What is the right definition of risk? He referred to recent research by Javier Estrada of IESE Business School in Spain who concludes that “Investors should learn about the detrimental impact of reacting to short term volatility and focus on the end game instead”.  Estrada showed that in the US, the mean terminal wealth of investing in stocks over a 10, 20 and 30 year period is 59%, 146% and 299% higher than investing in bonds. In Canada, the corresponding figures are, 41%, 88% and 131%.  For the world markets, they are 49%, 116% and 231%, respectively.  It is true that the volatility of terminal wealth across all holding periods is found to be higher for stocks than bonds in every market examined and thus stocks are riskier when risk is measured by volatility. But, interestingly enough, the higher volatility of terminal wealth from stocks is mostly on the upside. Stocks have both higher upside and more limited downside than bonds. Why then are stocks viewed as riskier than bonds?  It may be the wide acceptance of volatility as a measure of risk at universities and academia’s influence on the CFA program. Dr. Athanassakos covers these concepts in great depth in his recently published book “Value Investing: From Theory to Practice”.

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View link to Book

Dr. Athanassakos proudly welcomed the panel of professional value investors Samantha McLemore, Ajit Dayal, David Samra, Scott Barbee, Graeme Forster and Mohnish Pabrai, who spoke about value investing around the world and told the conference how they put theory into practice in their own portfolios in a global setting. He was also delighted to have as keynote speakers at the Conference Andi Kerenxhi (President, Ubineer Corp.), Jason Zweig (Investing and Personal Finance Columnist, The WSJ) and Fokion Karavias (CEO, Eurobank) who will gave conference attendees a view of the world which is different from our everyday norm.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Athanassakos thanked all speakers, generous sponsors and contributors and expressed his gratitude to all those who attended from all over the world.

Morning Keynote Speaker

Presenter: Andi Kerenxhi, President, Ubineer Corp., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Topic: The Future of Fundamental Analysis: Can Humans and Machines Co-Exist? 

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Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Presenter: Jason Zweig, Investing and Personal-Finance Columnist, The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York, USA
Topic: "The Intelligent Investor": 75 Years Young. What Can We Learn from Graham that Still Matters?

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Afternoon Keynote Speaker

Presenter: Fokion Karavias, Chief Executive Officer, Eurobank SA, Athens, Greece
Topic: Eurobank: A Turnaround Story

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Value Investor Session

Presenter: Samantha McLemore, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Patient Capital Management, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The Rumored Death of Value Investing: Complete Fabrication or Grains of Truth?

PowerPoint Presentation

Presenter: Ajit Dayal, Founder, Quantum Advisors India, India 
Topic: Certainty in an Uncertain World: The Magic of Value Investing

PowerPoint Presentation Not Available

Presenter: David Samra, Managing Director & Lead Portfolio Manager, Artisan Partners International Value Team, Artisan Partners, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Topic: Accelerating Value: Lessons from Resilient Companies

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Presenter: Scott Barbee, President and Portfolio Manager, Aegis Financial Corporation, McLean, Virginia, USA
Topic: A View From the Trenches

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Presenter: Graeme Forster, Portfolio Manager, Orbis Investments, Bermuda
Topic: The Success Ratio of Superhuman Investors

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Presenter: Mohnish Pabrai, Managing Partner, Pabrai Investment Funds, Austin, Texas, USA
Topic: Circle the Wagons

PowerPoint Presentation Not Available

Conference Photo Gallery









Thank you to our Donors

We would like to thank our donors for their generous support. Platinum Donors: Burgundy Asset Management Ltd., Orbis Investment Management Ltd.Robotti & Company Advisors, and Turtle Creek Asset Management Inc. Gold Donors: The Center for the Advancement of Value Investing Education. Silver Donors: Sionna Investment Managers, and Tweedy, Browne Company LLC.

A group of sponsor logos including Burgundy, Orbis, Robotti, Turtle Creek, CAVIE, Sionna, and Tweedy, Browne Company