14th Annual Value Investor Conference - Omaha

Date: Thursday and Friday, May 4 and 5, 2017
Location: University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business, Mammel Hall

Presenter Bios:

Omaha Value Dinner
Value Investor Conference Dinner:
Keynote Speaker: Chuck Akre, Jr., Akre Capital

Rupal J. Bhansali
Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer,
Global Equities Portfolio Manager Ariel Investments
Topic: “The Case for Contrarian Intrinsic Value Investing
Key Takeaways: The power and payoff of non-consensus thinking in investing, what investors should insist upon—and not settle for, and that price is not value.
Rupal Bhansali Bio

Rupal Bhansali is the portfolio manager for Ariel’s international and global all cap strategies, spanning developed and emerging markets, and overseeing the entire research effort for these offerings.

Rupal has 25 years of industry experience and 20 years of managing portfolios using a time-tested investment process of contrarian value investing in global equity markets. She found a kindred spirit in Ariel when she joined the firm in 2011, where her investment philosophy of applying independent thinking and owning high-conviction, concentrated portfolios coincided with the firm's philosophy. Rupal believes her team's best risk-adjusted returns have come from marching to its own tune and applying an investment process that pays equal attention to both risk and return management. In selecting investments, Rupal practices contrarian value investing with an intrinsic value lens, not a statistical or relative value approach.

The 5-star Overall Morningstar Rating™ for Ariel International Fund and the 5-star Overall Morningstar Rating™ for Ariel Global Fund are just the latest examples of the power of this approach and evidence of what may be possible when a great team implements a proven investment process inside a like-minded firm.

In 2009, Forbes International Investment Report named her a "Global Guru", and in 2015, Barron's called her a "Global Contrarian."

At the 13th Annual Value Investor Conference, Rupal will be speaking about The Case for Contrarian Intrinsic Value Investing. Specifically, the power and payoff of non-consensus thinking in investing, what investors should insist upon—and not settle for, and that price is not value.

Tom Gayner
President and CIO, Markel Corporation
Topic: "Drinks"


Tom Gayner

Tom Gayner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Of Markel Corp and President, Markel Gayner Asset Management, Inc., the investment subsidiary Of Markel Corp since December of 1990. The asset under management is about $2 billion.

To read more about Mr. Gayner, please click here.



Aswath Damodaran
Author, Professor of Finance - Stern School of Business, New York University

Key Takeaways:
1. That the pricing and value processes are driven by different forces and can yield different numbers for the same company.
2. If you are truly an investor, you play the value game but you are at the mercy of the pricing game.
3. Most “value” investors neither care about “value" nor are they “investors”.
Aswath Damoaran

Aswath Damodaran is a professor of finance and David Margolis teaching fellow at the Stern School of Business at New York University. He teaches the corporate finance and equity valuation courses in the MBA program. He received his MBA and PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles. His research interests lie in valuation, portfolio management, and applied corporate finance. He has been published in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Review of Financial Studies. He has written three books on equity valuation (Damodaran on Valuation, Investment Valuation, and The Dark Side of Valuation) and two on corporate finance (Corporate Finance: Theory and Practice, Applied Corporate Finance: A User's Manual). He has coedited a book on investment management with Peter Bernstein (Investment Management) and has written a book on investment philosophies (Investment Philosophies). His newest book on portfolio management is titled Investment Fables and was published in 2004. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1984 to 1986, where he received the Earl Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award in 1985. He has been at NYU since 1986 and received the Stern School of Business Excellence in Teaching Award (awarded by the graduating class) in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2001, and 2007, and was the youngest winner of the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award (in 1990). He was profiled in Business Week as one of the top 12 business school professors in the United States in 1994.

To read more about Mr. Damodaran, click here.


Jeff Auxier

In an era where the experience of many fund managers is just 5 years, Jeff Auxier offers his clients a 30 year record of performance, a seasoned perspective on every market bump and bubble, a passion for research, and an unprecedented devotion to “eating his own cooking”. That record includes serving as Sr. Portfolio Manager for Smith Barney where he created a business model that demanded higher levels of accountability to investors. He has earned national awards and recognitions for performance and “integrity, knowledge and commitment.” Jeff founded and manages the Auxier Focus Fund. (Courtesy Auxier Asset Management)

To read more about Jeff Auxier, please click here.


Dr. Fred Kiel

In Return on Character (2015, Harvard Business Review Press), Fred Kiel, Ph.D., and the KRW Research Institute share the first hard evidence linking the character of senior leadership to profitability. Their groundbreaking work is raising the bar on expectations around both individual and organizational performance.

In a seven-year study of executive teams at Fortune 500 companies, privately held firms, and nonprofits, Fred and team show how a CEO and senior leadership team’s character impacts the bottom line (nearly 5x greater returns), reduces risk, and engages the workforce (26% greater level of workforce engagement).

Executive teams and corporate boards worldwide are now leveraging the predictive analytic tools that have evolved from this research. For more than 30 years, Fred has guided Fortune 500 companies in their journey to accelerate business success through principled leadership. The foundation of KRW International’s model is a rigorous data-gathering and customized development process designed to provide transformative insight and growth.

Fred is co-founder of KRW International, coauthor of the influential book, Moral Intelligence 2.0 (2011, Financial Times Press), and a speaker of the popular TEDxTalk, “Psychopaths in the C-Suite.” Fred believes in a world where leadership character is fundamental to business education programs and performance evaluation processes ... a world where “Who” a leader is receives as much attention as “What” the leader is trained to do because it results in greater value for all.

For additional information, links and publications by Dr. Fred Kiel, click here to open PDF.

Charles Brandes

For more information Mr. Brandes: please click here.

Tren Griffin
Author, Senior Director, Microsoft
Topic: “Charlie Munger: Evolving Value Investing beyond Cigar Butts.”
Tren Griffin

Author of Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor, released in September 2015.  To read Mr. Griffin's views on "the market, tech, and everything else", please click here.



Dr. Michael van Biema
Author, Founder and Managing Partner, van Biema Value Partners
Topic: “Concentrated Investing: Strategies of the World's Greatest Concentrated Value Investors”
Dr. van Biema

Dr. Michael van Biema is the Founder, and Managing Partner at van Biema Value Partners, LLC, since 2004.  Michael was a faculty of Columbia Business School from 1992 to 2004 where he taught MBA programs in general corporate finance, capital markets, securities analysis, value investing, and entrepreneurial finance.  He was a Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Dr. van Biema received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University and a B.A. from Princeton University in Electrical Engineering.  He is the co-author of the book “Value Investing from Graham to Buffett and Beyond” (Wiley).

Roger Lowenstein
Author, Director, Sequoia Fund
Q & A Leader
Topic: "A Conversation with Charles Brandes by Roger Lowenstein"
Roger Lowenstein

Roger Lowenstein is an American financial journalist and writer. He graduated from Cornell University and reported for the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade, including two years writing its "Heard on the Street" column from 1989 to 1991. Mr. Lowenstein is also a director of the Sequoia Fund.
His father, Louis Lowenstein, was an attorney and Columbia University law professor who wrote books and articles critical of the American financial industry.
Roger Lowenstein's latest book, America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve (The Penguin Press) was released on October 20, 2015.

Read more information about Mr. Lowenstein.

François Rochon
CEO, Chief Investment Officer, Giverny Capital (Canada)
Topic:“The Art of Investing”
Francois Rachon

François Rochon was educated as an engineer at the École Polytechnique of Montreal. After graduating with his Masters Degree (in Science), he worked as a researcher and network engineer for INRS-Telecom and Teleglobe Canada.

Following his lifelong passion for investing, he decided to focus his career on professional money management. After managing family accounts between 1993 and 1996, he joined Montrusco & Associates as an analyst and was then promoted to Portfolio Manager. At Montrusco, Francois managed US accounts totaling more than $250 million.

In December 1998, Francois founded Giverny Capital in order to offer investment management services to clients based on his investment philosophy of owning outstanding companies for the long term.

Read more information about Mr. Rochon.

Anna Nikolayevsky
Founder and Chief Investment Officer - Axel Capital Management
Topic: “Global Macro: Drinking Upstream From the Herd”
Anna Nikolayevsky

Anna Nikolayevsky is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Axel Capital Management, an SEC registered alternatives investment Advisory firm specializing in long/short fundamentally driven equity investments.

Prior to founding Axel, Ms. Nikolayevsky was a generalist analyst at Zweig-DiMenna Associates and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. She holds a BS from the Leonard Stern School of Business at New York University in Economics and International Business, and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.

Anna is a 2009 recipient of Institutional Investor's Rising Stars of Hedge Funds award. Under her leadership in 2010, Axel received a Lipper Hedge Fund Award for North American Hedge Fund: Best Long/Short Equity Fund over the past 3 years. In 2011, Anna was named one of 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds by Ernst & Young LLP.

Anna serves as a trustee on the board of The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where she sits on the Investment and Finance committees. Anna is also a member of the Economic Club of New York.

Charlie Munger Summit
Keynote Speaker: Chuck Akre
Managing Member, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer Akre Capital Management
Topic: "What Are We After With Our Investment Strategy?”
Chuck Akre

Charles T. "Chuck" Akre, Jr. has been in the securities business since 1968. For the first twenty one years, he was associated with the NYSE firm Johnston, Lemon & Co. in several executive capacities. He founded Akre Capital Management in 1989 and relocated the business to Middleburg, Virginia, in 2002, where it still resides.

For more information on Mr. Akre, please click here.


Susie Buffett

To read more about Ms. Buffett and the Sherwood foundation, please click here.


Peter Buffett

To read more about Mr. Buffett, please click here.


Susie Buffett

Kristin Williams spent the past 22 years as a public servant and nonprofit manager, with roles including Communications Assistant to former Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson, Legislative Aide to Senator Elaine Stuhr, Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Health and Human Services System and Communications and Marketing Director for the Nebraska Hospital Association.

After receiving dual master's degrees in social work and public administration from UNO in 2002, Williams spent several years managing workforce development programs for women, before becoming the Director of Development and Marketing for the YWCA Omaha. Williams joined the Sherwood Foundation in September 2006, where she has developed a diverse portfolio focusing primarily on child welfare, family economic well-being, and social and racial justice.

Williams is responsible for facilitating the establishment of numerous statewide and community change initiatives the areas of budget and tax policy, after school programs, older youth transitioning from foster care, poverty alleviation, mental and behavioral health, and neighborhood revitalization. Nationally, she serves on the Youth in Transition Funders Network and is co-Chair of the Foster Care Work Group. She also serves on several area nonprofit boards and advisory committees.


To watch a video interview "A Chat with Kristin Williams", please click here.

(Bio courtesy UNO College of Public Affairs & Community Service)


Jessie Rasmussen

Jessie Rasmussen joined the Buffett Early Childhood Fund in 2007, and her entire professional career has focused on improving outcomes for children and families. For more than 20 years, Rasmussen was an early childhood education teacher and administrator, then spent the next 20 years in state government, first as a Nebraska state senator and then as the state human services director in both Nebraska and Iowa. She served as the early childhood policy director for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and played an instrumental role in the development and successful passage of early childhood legislation in 2006 that established a $60 million early childhood endowment, funded through a public and private partnership. She is a board member of Educare. 


Sara Boyd

Sara Boyd has been with the Omaha Community Foundation since 2000 and currently serves as President and CEO. She is an active member of several professional associations and has served on and led various regional and national conference planning committees. Ms. Boyd is a longtime volunteer in the community and currently serves in a leadership role on the board or in an advisory capacity to five nonprofit organizations. She is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate and has her MBA from the University of Chicago. She and her husband have three children.


1. Is it possible to get "informed consent" in philanthropy? [Warren Buffett's suggestion was to use giant resources to do what government and private sector can not do. With the mandate to experiment and be bold along with the general idea that philanthropists work with the most vulnerable, what responsibility do we have to the client if/when our social experiments fail, perhaps another way to ask is--Is it possible to "do no harm" when engaging in philanthropy?]
2. What does it mean to valid and replicable? [Any good experiment can be replicated, but who is responsible to do the additional testing? Where is peer review? Is it responsible philanthropy to "scale" your own project?]
3. Where is the "what doesn't work" clearinghouse? [Sharing what works with other philanthropists is important, but so is knowing what doesn't. Outside of the public humiliation of newspaper articles, how do we keep others from making the same mistakes?]

Katie Weitz

Dr. Katie Weitz is a champion of good for the Omaha community. She serves on the boards of several Omaha non-profits including FilmStreams, Girls Inc., Building Bright Futures and the Weitz Family Foundation. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


Angela Eikenberry

Dr. Angela Eikenberry's research has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Her book, Giving Circles: Philanthropy, Voluntary Association, Democracy (Indiana University Press) won CASE’s 2010 John Grenzebach Research Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy. She was recently awarded a 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research on giving circles in the UK, affiliated with the University of Birmingham Third Sector Research Centre.


Steve Jordon

Steve Jordon covers the people and businesses in banking, insurance and finance, including Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett, and writes about a wide range of related topics, from front porches to the economy to business ethics. He's a a native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, a graduate of Bellevue High School and University of Nebraska, and has written for The World-Herald since 1967. He is the author of The Oracle & Omaha, How Warren Buffett and His Hometown Shaped Each Other.


Robert P Miles

Robert P. Miles is an internationally acclaimed keynote presenter, author and distinguished authority on Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.

Pursued by journalists and media moguls on just about each and every move that Mr. Buffett makes, Robert is not only a long term shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway [nyse: BRKa/BRKb], he has had the great honor of getting to know Warren Buffett, the man and the remarkable wealth-building strategist.

He is the author of 3 books, has created assorted audio and video programs, and has appeared on many radio and television programs on five continents, including NPR, CNN, CNN International, CNBC, FOX Business, Channel News Asia, Sky Business News, Shanghai Today, CNBC Asia, CNBC Africa and Bloomberg TV. His Buffett CEO book was featured as a special on National Public Television's Nightly Business Report.

As the writer of the top-selling books, The Warren Buffett CEO: Secrets From the Berkshire Hathaway Managers  and 101 Reasons To Own the World's Greatest Investment: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway [Wiley], Robert has relentlessly followed his passion and found great success in doing so. 

He is the author and presenter of Warren Buffett Wealth: Principles and Practical Methods Used by the World’s Greatest Investor[Wiley (book) and Nightingale (audio)]. He is host of the Buffett CEO Talk video series, conversations with the Berkshire Hathaway managers filmed before live studio audiences and broadcast on public television.

Many of his live keynotes, along with his hardcover and paperback books have been translated into assorted foreign languages, including Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese.

Known for his subtle wit and entertaining stories, this author without borders has shared his valuable insights, strategies, philosophies, and anecdotes with enthusiastic audiences throughout the world.

For more than a decade, Miles has given hundreds of live presentations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia in 15 countries, over 45 cities and 12 universities.

Miles is the founder and host of the original Value Investor Conference held each year immediately preceding the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Attendees from all 6 continents enjoy this unique retreat style forum featuring presentations from Warren Buffett CEOs, global investment managers and best-selling authors. 

In the fall of 2011, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Robert Miles created the curriculum and began teaching a graduate Executive MBA course based on his worldwide lectures and titled The Genius of Warren Buffett: The Science of Investing and the Art of Managing. This one of a kind program includes a distinguished speaker series, multiple valuation case studies of actual businesses and stocks purchased by Warren Buffett, and for the final exam, student presentations of businesses they think would best fit into the Berkshire family of businesses.

Miles is a graduate of the University of Michigan Business School and resides in Tampa, Florida.

Read more detailed information about Mr. Miles here.