Andrew Shapiro is Founder, President and Portfolio Manager of Lawndale Capital Management, an investment advisor that has managed activist hedge funds focused on small- and micro-cap companies for over 23 years, one of the longest periods of experience deploying an activist/relational investment strategy today. Mr. Shapiro’s proactive ownership approach has been effective in directly creating and unlocking shareholder value in Lawndale’s portfolio companies and has contributed to Lawndale’s activist funds often being ranked among the top event-driven and small-cap value funds in peer databases for long-term performance. In addition to leading Lawndale, Mr. Shapiro has also served as a Director or Observer on portfolio company boards and debt and equity bankruptcy committees. Mr. Shapiro is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and, via Lawndale, has been a long-time Sustaining Member of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).
Mr. Shapiro has more than two decades of portfolio management and analytically varied experience from a number of "buy-side" positions, employing a rare combination of credit, legal and equity analytic and workout skills. Prior to founding the Lawndale organization in 1992, Mr. Shapiro managed the workout and restructuring of large portfolios of high-yield bonds, distressed equities and risk arbitrage securities for the Belzberg family's entity, First City Capital. Before joining First City, Mr. Shapiro was involved in numerous highly leveraged corporate acquisition and recapitalization transactions for both Manufacturers Hanover Trust and the Spectrum Group, a private equity firm.
Mr. Shapiro received his JD degree from the UCLA School of Law where he was an Olin Fellow, an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management where he was a Venture Capital Fellow and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he has taught finance courses and frequently guest lectures.
Mr. Shapiro was recently selected to the 2012 NACD Directorship 100, a list of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community. He is often quoted on matters of corporate governance, fiduciary duty and activist investing and has been the subject of several articles, including a Business Week article in 2000 calling him “The Gary Cooper of Governance”. Mr. Shapiro frequent speaks and panels on corporate governance and activist investing issues at a broad range of prestigious forums that include the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of Corporate Directors, American Society of Corporate Secretaries, SEC Advisory Committee on Small Public Companies, and the Director’s education programs of Stanford Law School, UCLA Anderson Grad. School of Mgmt., the Wisconsin Business School and Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, among others. Mr. Shapiro is a Contributing Author at Seeking Alpha.
Mr. Shapiro started Lawndale’s funds in 1993 with only $188,000 under management and through performance and added capital has grown the firm’s managed assets substantially. Lawndale applies a private equity approach through active and relational ownership of public company securities. In most investments, Lawndale plays a constructive relational role by actively working with boards and management teams to help them achieve their strategic and operating goals. In other instances, Lawndale is a direct value-unlocking catalyst, utilizing a range of tools that include aggressively promoting improvements in a company's governance and operational structures, proxy actions, asserting shareowner’s legal rights and taking active roles in restructuring and buyout proposal negotiations..
My background is in governance, valuation, and accounting.
I try to look at stocks as the sum of contractual rights provided by domicile and certificate of incorporation, and am always cautious about the potential for management or controller overreach.
I also spend a lot of time thinking about the limitations of accounting in presenting reality. I'm especially interested in the application of GAAP to make a company a more or less attractive prospect for investment than it actually is.
I'm primarily interested in long-only equities. I try to avoid announced M&A as I no longer like the risk distributions, but M&A will occasionally find me, when a security I own is involved in a control transaction.
I've been a securities analyst, both in and out of large institutions, for a number of years and I hope to continue to do this for the rest of my lifetime.
Founder of the school of Nouveau Shamanic Security Analysis (NSSA).
"He is no longer an analyst"
--- Sean Penn, 1999
"For he is the Kwisatz Haderach"
-- Alia Atreides, Dune, 1985
"He may have been asleep, but that was before you dropped a f*cking plane on his head and woke him up."
--Didi Giancano, Heaven's Prisoners, 1996
Gotham City Research LLC focuses on due diligence-based, special situation investing. As of the publication date of our articles, we may have long or short equity positions in the companies covered. http://www.gothamcityresearch.com
I hold a B.S. in Accounting.
"[T]he function of the margin-of-safety is, in essence, that of rendering unnecessary an accurate estimate of the future. If the margin is a large one, then it is enough to assume that future earnings will not fall far below those of the past in order for an investor to feel sufficiently protected against the vicissitudes of time."
"Needless to say, the analyst must take possible future changes into account, but his primary aim is not so much to profit from them as to guard against them. Broadly speaking, he views the future as a hazard which his conclusions must encounter rather than as the source of his vindication."
"[F]inding the really outstanding companies and staying with them through all fluctuations of a gyrating market proved far more profitable to far more people than did the more colorful practice of trying to buy them cheap and sell them dear…These opportunities did not require purchasing on a particular day at the bottom of a great panic."
Mike Winston, CFA is the founder and Managing Principal of Sutton View Capital LLC, an employee owned hedge fund sponsor and advisor. The firm provides its services to high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions. Sutton View was founded in 2012 and is focused on event-driven and intrinsic value investing.
Mr. Winston received an MBA in Finance and Economics from Columbia Business School in 2005, and a BA in Economics from Cornell University in 1999. At Columbia he completed the school’s program in Value Investing, and while at Cornell studied for a year at the London School of Economics. He began his career in 1999 with Credit Suisse First Boston.
Mr. Winston is a CFA charter holder and a member of the Economic Club of New York.
Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for its investors and then Mr. DeMuth writes about them on StW.