Guy Spier

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Guy Selmar Spier
Guy Spier, Chief Executive Officer, Aquamarine Capital.jpg
Born (1966-02-04) February 4, 1966 (age 52)
ResidenceZurich, Switzerland
NationalitySouth African, Israeli, German
EducationCity of London Freemen's School, Ashtead, Surrey
Alma materOxford University
Harvard Business School
OccupationInvestor, Aquamarine Fund, Author

Guy Spier (born February 4, 1966) is a Zurich-based investor and author of a book on investing entitled The Education of a Value Investor.[1] He is well known for bidding US$650,100 with Mohnish Pabrai for a charity lunch with Warren Buffett June 25, 2008.[2] In 2009, he was featured in "the Checklist Manifesto", by Atul Gawande regarding his use of checklists as part of his investment process.[3]

Education[edit]

Spier was educated in England at the City of London Freemen's School, followed by Brasenose College at the University of Oxford, from which he gained a First Class degree in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics).[4] The former British Prime Minister David Cameron was among his contemporaries at Brasenose.[4] Spier completed his MBA at the Harvard Business School, class of 1993 with Mark Pincus, Chris Hohn and Sherry Coutu.

Life and career[edit]

From 1988 - 1990, Spier worked with David Pitt-Watson at Braxton Associates, which later became Deloitte Consulting. In 1991, he was an intern at the European Commission in Brussels.[4]

Spier manages the Aquamarine Fund, an investment partnership inspired by, and styled after Warren Buffett's 1950s investment partnerships. He is also an occasional financial commentator in the media.[5]

Investment Style: Value and Activist Investing[edit]

Spier follows closely Warren Buffett's principles on Value Investing and capital allocation. However, he also admits that Value Investing has changed over time, as the popularity of style means that generally fewer opportunities become available to investors. Ideas that will work would still be around, but the successful value investor of today has to look further and sometimes think outside the box.[6]

Farmer Mac, Allied Capital and Eliot Spitzer[edit]

In 2003, Spier became the target, along with David Einhorn, Bill Ackman, and Whitney Tilson, of investigations by Eliot Spitzer,[7] then the New York Attorney General, as well as by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding short sales of Farmer Mac, MBIA corp and Allied Capital. The melt down of these companies during the late-2000s financial crisis vindicated[8] their short thesis and was the subject of books by Ackman[9] and Einhorn.[10]

Horsehead Holding[edit]

In 2016 Spier, along with Phil Town and Matthew Peterson successfully petitioned Judge Sontchi at the Delaware Court of Bankruptcy to form an official committee of equity holders of Horsehead Corporation - which had filed for bankruptcy earlier that year.[11]

Philanthropy[edit]

Spier served as the chair and founder of the Weizmann Science and Business Club. He is a member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board and also serves on advisory boards of Value Conferences; and of Zurich Minds.

Guy Spier and former President of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk in discussion at the Horasis 2013 Annual Meeting

From 2007 to 2009, Spier served on the Advisory Board of the Dakshana Foundation.

In spring 2010, Spier with Peter Hogenkamp and Tim Dührkoop co-founded TEDxZurich.

In 2017 Spier joined the newly formed board of the Swiss Friends of Oxford University [12]

Personal life[edit]

Spier lives in Zurich with his wife and three children. He is related to the Lazard banking family through his great great grandmother, Johanna Lazard.[13] He is a former resident of Tuxedo Park, New York, the village constructed by Pierre Lorillard in the late 1800s, where he lived in the Bruce Price Cottage. He is a member of Entrepreneurs' Organization and of the Young Presidents Organization.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spier, Guy. The Education of a Value Investor. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 1137278811.
  2. ^ "My $650,100 Lunch with Warren Buffett". Time. June 30, 2008.
  3. ^ "Book Review: 'The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right".
  4. ^ a b c Catherine Mayer (September 11, 2008). "David Cameron: UK's Next Leader?". Time Magazine.
  5. ^ "Guy Spier says no reason to be scared of US financials". Washington Post. October 31, 2011.
  6. ^ "Guy Spier: How Value Investing has changed -- new strategies of successful value investors - Opalesque TV". www.opalesque.tv. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  7. ^ "The Hedge Fund Witch Hunt: Eliot Spitzer's latest investigation is pursuing the wrong guys". Slate Magazine. Feb 13, 2003.
  8. ^ "MBIA falls 13% after Moody's cuts rating Two-notch downgrade was more than some expected; Ambac cut to Aa". MarketWatch. June 20, 2008.
  9. ^ Christine Richard. Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff.
  10. ^ Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long, Short Story, David Einhorn: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470073942.html
  11. ^ "Horsehead Shareholders win court fight".
  12. ^ https://www.campaign.ox.ac.uk/news/swiss-friends-opens-for-business
  13. ^ "Descendents of Wolf Speyer Spier, Merzhausen" (PDF).

External links[edit]