It’s all about you

Every day is a big day for kids’ mental health! So why are we hosting our 7th Annual Investors Conference?

From inception, we have focused on engaging the capital markets and working hard to bring those with capital together with those searching for capital and help both create business relationships. Perhaps as importantly is our focus on kids’ mental health and the need to raise funds to back our innovative approach to building more capacity in the market. According to CMHO, as many as one in five children and youth in Ontario will experience some form of mental health problems and over 80% of those children will not receive the treatment they need. Long wait times are cited by 65% of parents seeking help as the primary challenge in accessing care. Finally, the federal government also recognizes that 70% of mental health problems in adults have their onset during childhood or adolescence. We hope that our work with kids’ mental health agencies to build capacity can change these realities. This is why we host this annual conference and why we need your support.

October 22, 2020

11:00 AM – PRIVATE DEBT PANEL:
Ted Goldthorpe, Ted Koenig & Vivian Lau;
BC Partners, Monroe Capital LLC & One Tusk Investment Partners
11:25 AM – Mark Schmehl, Fidelity Investments
11:45 AM – Jennifer Oppold, Alpine Peaks Capital
12:05 AM – Mark Tredgett, Vantage Asset Management
12:25 AM – Jeffrey Smith, Starboard Value

We get the back half of the morning started with a debt panel. It’s great to have Ted Goldthorpe hosting the discussion with Vivian Lau of One Tusk and Ted Koenig of Monroe Capital. As head of BC Partners Credit team, Ted brings a rich depth of experience to the discussion on the credit markets in these unprecedented and uncertain times. We look forward to hearing more about the challenges of price discovery and investing in illiquid markets. Vivian Lau has been named one of Barron’s 100 most influential women in U.S. finance. Like Ted, she spent several years at Goldman Sachs developing her investment talent, prior to joining Serengeti Asset Management and ultimately starting her own firm in 2015 and launching the One Tusk fund in 2016. As the lead portfolio manager of One Tusk, she manages the portfolio to take advantage of event-driven credit and equity opportunities, and we are interested in hearing how COVID-19 has created some unique opportunities across both markets. Finally, Ted Koenig will bring an interesting perspective to the conversation. As the CEO of Monroe Capital, a private credit solution provider in the United States and Canada, Ted will be able to add the private-market perspective to the discussion, with views on evolving debt structures, covenant packages and the need for discipline and vigilance in underwriting during COVID-19.

We are delighted that our best ideas session will get under way with Mark Schmehl from the global investment manager Fidelity Canada. Capitalize for Kids has consistently invited Warren Buffett to our conference, to no avail, and this year we are hosting the self-proclaimed antithesis of Buffett’s approach. The portfolios that Mark builds are backstopped by companies involved in “positive change,” which could encompass the whole industry hitting good times, the product gaining traction or management improving. He is just as likely to be putting money into “crummy industries” and “god-awful companies” that nobody wants to touch as he is to focus on stars and darlings like Shopify. What he especially likes is steady change, not material levels of volatility. With more than $16 billion of AUM under his direction across three funds and a unique approach to the market, it is worthwhile hearing what areas of the market Mark finds attractive.

Like Cliff Asness, Jennifer Oppold focuses on intellectual honesty; she has a background that we would love to access for our own consulting team. Jennifer began working for McKinsey & Company and developed a passion for discovering what makes companies tick. Post a JD/MBA at Harvard, Jennifer cut her investing teeth at Select Equity for 10 years before she founded Alpine Peaks in 2017. The Alpine Peaks’ team focuses on small- to mid-cap companies with strong and growing cash flows. As part of intellectual honesty, they record all their investment decisions to reflect on what they truly got right or wrong. We all know that we can be right for the wrong reasons, and the Alpine Peaks team aims to dissect those reasons. They use financial screens as a starting point, but then Jennifer digs into the industry, finds companies that are well positioned and have a strong strategic vision where management’s compensation is aligned. With the advent of COVID-19, there ought to be more than a few companies screening interesting fundamentals relative to current values. We look forward to hearing Jennifer’s best long or short opportunity.

Mark Tredgett is co-founder of Vantage Asset Management, a Canadian-based investment manager focused on small- and mid-cap equities. The Vantage team runs two portfolios—one, a long/short strategy that is hedged and doesn’t employ leverage, which they believe delivers a lower risk profile than traditional equity funds and, the other, an unhedged version of the first fund that is focused on long-term returns that outperform the Canadian market. With the TSX down 3.7% YTD, we are looking for Mark’s insight on finding long opportunities and hopefully hear where their favourite “shorts” reside.

Jeffrey Smith is a favourite of Capitalize for Kids, and the only speaker in our lineup who has been at all seven of the Investors Conferences. Jeff has been CEO/CIO of Starboard Value since 2011, a firm that takes a fundamental investment approach to investing in undervalued companies. Jeff and Starboard focus their capital on getting involved with undervalued and undermanaged business that are underearning, and then work with management to enhance the operations through an intense focus on the core business. They see their differentiation as being highly operational in their focus, not just passive allocators of capital. We look forward to hearing where Jeff is dedicating his time in these COVID markets and wonder how the US$360 million IPO of the Starboard SPAC is progressing.