John Paulson founded Paulson & Co in 1994. He has since grown his fund to $29 billion, aided largely by the $5 billion he made by betting on gold in 2010 and the small fortune he made a few years prior by betting against subprime mortgages. Paulson tends to choose macro-themed investments.
John Thiessen, founded Vertex One Asset Management, in 1998. Thiessen uses a bilateral approach to manage his fund, combining event-driven strategies with value and growth positions. For instance, he specifically seeks out stocks that are trading at price to value metrics one-third or more lower their competitors.
So, what do these two fund managers have in common? They are both ranked amongst the Wall Street Journal's top 50 hedge funds in 2007. Vertex is ranked 46th, while Paulson is ranked 9th. They also have several positions in common.
The largest position they share is AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (NYSE:AU). Paulson has a $1.68 billion position in the company after decreasing his stake in the company by 3% in the second quarter. Thiessen holds an $87 million position in the company. He increased his position in AU by 7% last quarter. AU has a market cap of $15.77 billion with a price to earnings ratio of 19.31. It recently traded at $41.03 a share. Jean-Marie Eveillard, First Eagle Investment Management is also a fan.
The pair is equally bullish about Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C). Paulson has $1.4 billion position in the company. Thiessen owns a smaller position in the company, at $2.2 million. Citigroup is popular with several funds. For instance, Bruce Berkowitz bought a position valued at $1.1 billion last quarter (see more on Berkowitz's top picks).
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:HIG) is also popular with Paulson and Thiessen. Thiessen owns a $7.6 million position in the company while Paulson holds a stake worth $1.07 billion. Both decreased their positions in the company during the second quarter, by 6 and 8% respectively. HIG is currently trading at $17.73 and has a market cap of $7.9 billion. HIG is also a favorite of Larry Robbins, Glenview Capital.
Both Thiessen and Paulson are bullish about Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC). Thiessen holds $6.2 million in the company. Paulson has a $942.8 million position after increasing his stake by 64% in WFC. The company is currently trading at $24.78 and has a $130 billion market cap. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, has a $9.88 billion stake in WFC (see Warren Buffett's top picks).
The pair is also bullish about another financial company, Suntrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI). Paulson has an $829 million position while Thiessen holds a $1.3 million position in the company. STI recently traded at $18.68 and has a market cap of $10 billion. Ken Griffin is also bullish about this financial stock.
Paulson and Thiessen are also fans of Lubrizol Corp (LZ). Paulson has a position valued at $733 million while Thiessen carries $10.2 million in LZ. LZ is a new position for Thiessen. He bought in during the second quarter 2011. While his position in LZ is still sizable, Paulson decreased his position by 9% in the second quarter. Alpine Associates' Robert Emil Zoellner is also pursuing this merger arbitrage play.
Both Paulson and Thiessen hold positions in Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). Paulson holds $662 million after decreasing his position by 51% last quarter. Thiessen holds a smaller position at $996,000. BAC is popular with several funds, including Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme.
The Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE:WY) is also a favorite of Paulson and Thiessen. Paulson has a $655 million position in the company after decreasing his stake slightly in the second quarter. Thiessen a much smaller position at just $27,000. WY is a favorite of Eveillard, as well as Martin Whitman of Third Avenue Management (read about Whitman's top picks).
Disclosure: I am long C.