At Capitalize for Kids, we have needed to pivot to a virtual conference this year as we, and the rest of the world, deal with COVID-19. While this transition has created numerous challenges and required us to engage in an environment that was mostly foreign to us, we were lucky to be well positioned to facilitate these changes. Come October 21-22, 2020, we believe that our supporters, attendees and speakers will agree that we have delivered a best-in-class conference experience and their time and money have been well spent.
While we have been able to make this transition within our operations, for many kids and their families, the dislocation and isolation that have been a central part of the COVID-19 response have created significant mental health difficulties. Prior to the pandemic, many kids’ mental health agencies across Canada were already facing difficulties in delivering sufficient service to meet ongoing demand. The build-up of wait-lists and wait-times was significant, and this has only been exacerbated during COVID. Like our conference, agencies have had to pivot to virtual delivery of services. While this has not been ideal, it has served its purpose reasonably well, given that the alternative of no counselling at all (no in-person counselling sessions) was untenable.
The financial support that all our sponsors and attendees contribute through the 7th Annual Investors Conference is making capital available to support our consulting work and investment into these kids’ mental health organizations. Our work has expanded from three organizations just 2.5 years ago to more than 25 that we have impacted or are currently working with. Our objective is to keep growing our influence across Canada and making everything we learn through these efforts available through case studies that we publish on our website.
Now, let’s get to our speakers. The back half of the first day will be an outstanding and exciting lineup of industry leaders.
October 21, 2020
2:15 PM – KEYNOTE: Ray Dalio & Jonathan Hausman, Bridgewater Associates & OTPP
2:45 PM – Ricky Sandler, Eminence Capital
3:05 PM – Sara Nainzadeh, Centenus Global Management, LP
3:25 PM – Corrado Russo, Timbercreek Asset Management
3:45 PM – KEYNOTE: Jeffrey Gundlach, DoubleLine Capital
Five speakers will come to the stage with two of our keynotes bracketing a best-ideas session.
Ray Dalio and Jonathan Hausman will open the session with a fireside chat – and, yes, we may even have one of those virtual fireplaces situated between them. Ray really needs no introduction but please humour me. He is the founder of Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world. He and his company have had tremendous staying power as he has been operating for more than four decades. While Bridgewater is well known for its strong track record of investment performance over an extremely long period, when you Google search Ray Dalio, he is highlighted as both an American hedge fund manager and philanthropist. Ray and Barbara Dalio signed on to the Giving Pledge in 2011, a year after it was started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. As we go through a tumultuous period of pandemic, U.S. elections, race and class challenges, and equity market disconnection, it will be interesting to hear Ray and Jonathan discuss the future and how Ray believes things will unfold.
Ricky Sandler, founder of Eminence Capital, will be next up. Ricky was educated at the University of Wisconsin with a BBA, graduating with honours. As the CIO of Eminence, Ricky is responsible for managing a team of more than 20 investment professionals and a diversified portfolio across most market sectors. His fund takes a bottom-up, fundamental approach to investing in equities; he notes, “for us, it is no longer good enough to have a quality business and a cheap stock and just think that’s it’s worth more. One of the biggest skills sets that I find in people, and this is maybe a softer skill set, it’s a desire to win above the desire to be right.” We look forward to hearing where Ricky thinks the “right” money is finding a home in the latter stages of 2020.
Sara Nainzadeh is the founder of Centenus Global Management, which she started in 2017 after being a long-time portfolio manager at Millennium Management Partners. Centenus is a bit of a family affair as her sister is the sector expert for consumer stocks, while Sara manages multi-sector portfolios. It’s difficult to write a blog post about Sara since the web reveals little about her background; we’ll have to wait for her pitch on October 21 to better understand what she is thinking regarding putting money to work in these markets.
Corrado Russo is expected to break it up a bit as he focuses on opportunities within the real estate market. Corrado is Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Real Estate Securities for Timbercreek, where he has been for the past decade. Having plied his trade in direct real estate investments and securities, he has seen and managed through some significant volatility in the real estate market. Timbercreek believes that it can identify winners across traditional real estate assets, but feels like their true competitive advantage sits in assets, which might not be typical real estate assets and therefore do not receive the same investor attention. It will be interesting to hear Corrado’s perspective on REITs and real estate in this “lower for longer” interest rate environment, challenging economic growth and changing office dynamics on the back of the pandemic.
Finally, we are delighted to welcome Jeffrey Gundlach to our stage for the first time to close out the afternoon session of our initial day. Jeffrey founded Doubleline Capital in 2010 and is a long-time student of the bond markets. He has been called “The King of Bonds” by Barron’s, “The World’s Greatest Bond Investor” by Business Insider, and a “Bond Savant” by BusinessWeek. Given this hyperbole, you would think that bonds were the only things that Jeffrey paid attention to, but you would be wrong. He has been a drummer in a rock band, an occasional painter, a reciter of poetry and a consumer of crossword puzzles. For many of us in Toronto, we are familiar with the geography of his humble beginnings that started in his hometown of Buffalo. Like our other speakers, we are likely to hear Jeffrey’s views on the Fed’s intervention in the market, the evolution of the market on the back of a pandemic and what is risky today.