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Posts Tagged ‘Greenstone Value Opportunity Fund’

Distressed Debt Investing has a first-class interview with the Greenstone Value Opportunity Fund. The story of the launch of Greenstone is worth the price of admission alone:

Talk a little bit about your background. How did the two of you come together to launch Greenstone?

Tim has worked his entire career in the financial services industry. He spent over 11 years on the sell-side at a boutique investment bank helping raise capital for small and micro-cap public companies. During that time, he helped raise over $300 million in almost 50 different transactions. The great thing about being at a single-office boutique was the amazing breadth of experience he received while there. At some point during his tenure, he was an analyst, investment banker, institutional salesman, trader, compliance officer, and head bottle washer. More recently, prior to joining me to launch Greenstone, Tim was with a buy-side hedge fund with around $75 million in assets. Again here, the breadth of experience included all aspects of running a small fund: portfolio management, trading, CFO, investor relations, etc. In addition to the operational expertise that he brings to the table, he has essentially spent the last 15 years or so analyzing capital structures, negotiating deals with management, and investing and trading micro, small and medium-cap stocks. I was born and raised in New Zealand, and started investing as a 16 year old after reading my first Warren Buffett book. It was from that point on I knew I would be an investor in public markets. It was my dream to come to the United States, and work on Wall Street. Originally I thought Wall Street was the place to be, until I took a job offer in Dallas, and spent 7 years on the buy and sell side, investing and raising money for public companies. The story of how I actually got from New Zealand to Dallas is humorous to some. . When I arrived stateside I had a total of $400 on me, so I negotiated to buy a car and a mattress for $175. I still remember driving that Mazda 323 down the road with a mattress strapped to the roof and no air conditioning. I eventually sold that car two years later for more than $175. I still remember those lean times, and it keeps me motivated.

Our careers eventually overlapped for about 2 years at the small investment bank I mentioned earlier, and we became great friends. Not only did we become friends, but we spent a great deal of time, both during our tenure together and after Tim left to move over to the buy-side, discussing investment outlooks, philosophy, trading styles, etc. We came to realize that we shared two things in common: similar personalities and similar investment styles. We are both highly competitive, brutally honest people who are motivated to succeed. We know we can trust each other to do the right thing, and you may as well not go into business with someone if there isn’t 100% trust. There will be ups and downs, times of pressure, and you have to know that your partner is there completely there for you. It’s also about humility and intellectual honesty. As we constantly reevaluate our positions, say when a position moves against us, we ask ourselves: Are we early, or are we wrong? Is this conviction or pigheadedness? We are not afraid to say we made a mistake.

Click here to read the remainder of the interview.

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