The 7th Annual Capitalize for Kids Investors Conference is unique in the philanthropy marketplace in Canada. Our co-founders had the wonderful idea of engaging the investment community to support kids’ mental health. While that isn’t unique, our focus on raising money by helping our partners build their business by bringing together those with capital and those seeking capital is very unique for a charity working in the kids’ mental health vertical. In the seven years we have been operating, we have now raised over $9 million to benefit organizations from SickKids to George Hull, to Yorktown, Kids Help Phone, Strides Toronto and IWK—all great organizations working hard to support kids and their families as they experience mental health challenges. These are just a few of the 27 organizations that have benefitted from the support of Capitalize for Kids consulting and funding. This is support that has been made possible through our conference sponsors, speakers and ticket purchasers.
October 22, 2020
8:00 AM – Erik Shatzker & Amber Kanwar, Bloomberg
8:05 AM – KEYNOTE: Cliff Asness, AQR Capital Management
8:35 AM – Jimmy Levin, Sculptor Capital Management
8:55 AM – Jeannine LiChong, Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd.
9:15 AM – Jordan Jacobs, Radical Ventures
Day two is off to a great start with Bloomberg and BNN personalities Erik Shatzker and Amber Kanwar, and we are delighted that Bloomberg’s team has chosen to support us again in 2020. Cliff Asness will open day two of our conference with a keynote address. A founder of AQR Management – or Applied Quantitative Research in 1998, Cliff has a PhD from University of Chicago and lives by the edict: you must have intellectual honesty. Cliff knows about volatility and staying power as the firm he started with US$1.0 billion in capital soon became US$400 million of capital on the back of the tech bubble experience, but unrelenting client focus and staying power allowed them to recover once the bubble burst. Doing background work on our speakers is entertaining, you get to dig into speaker backgrounds and read about Cliff’s own Top Ten list from the book “20 for 20”. While I will leave it to readers of this blog, to chase down the book found here and go through his Top Ten Peeves. I particularly like Peeve #5, which is actually three peeves in one. “I Would Politely Request People Stop Saying These Things – “it’s a stock picker’s market”; “arbitrage”; and my favourite, “there is a lot of cash on the sidelines.” I will add my own—heard on investor conference calls—“that’s a really good question.” It will be great to hear Cliff’s take on the market and the opportunities that are making themselves visible to the AQR team.
Our best ideas session is expected to be chock-a-block with just that—best ideas. Jimmy Levin is making his third appearance on the C4K stage—he’s the CIO at Sculptor and will be the company’s next CEO in April 2021. He joined the firm in 2006 and has a long history of building portfolios and being prepared to invest in anything, anywhere. At the 2019 conference, Jimmy talked about investing in China and the biggest overhang being the U.S./China trade relationship and being able to anticipate “the next tweet.” The overhang of China was a large concern in 2019 and we are interested to hear if the evolving pandemic and the looming presidential election has altered Sculptor’s views or where else Jimmy Levin sees great opportunities for deploying capital.
Next up is Jeannine LiChong who has a great track record of building wealth at the firms she has been part of. She is now an Executive Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Waratah Capital Advisors—long-time supporters of Capitalize for Kids. Jeannine brings 25 years’ experience in the markets to her stock-picking prowess. As one would expect in a best ideas framework, Jeannine focuses her energy on bottom-up fundamental research and then seeks out organizations with strong and growing cashflow supported by a management team that prudently manages the capital allocation. While there is a lot of noise south of the border as the election cycle reaches a crescendo, it will be interesting to hear how Jeannine believes this plays out for the Canadian market and where investors can position themselves to make money in Canada.
Finally, for this blog post, Jordan Jacobs of Radical Ventures will close out our early morning session. This presentation is likely a bit off the beaten path on what we have heard so far during the conference. The focus for Radical Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on AI/Deep Tech and how it can have a positive impact on our lives. Jordon hosts his own podcast that highlights the intersection of Technology, Economy, Politics and Culture. Observationally, there are many layers of the onion to be peeled to best understand these intersections and their implications for investors and society. We are excited to have Jacob on the agenda and hear more about what he is seeing in the AI marketplace and the influences on our communities.