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Alan Brochstein, CFA, was the first investment professional to devote himself to sharing his observations about the cannabis industry from an investor's perspective publicly. He runs 420 Investor, a subscription-based due diligence platform for investors interested in the publicly-traded cannabis stocks and is also the founder of New Cannabis Ventures, a content aggregation site focused on investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
Alan has worked in the securities industry since 1986, primarily with the responsibility for managing investments in institutional environments until he founded AB Analytical Services in 2007 in order to provide independent research and consulting to registered investment advisors. In addition to advising several different hedge funds and investment managers, including Friedberg Investment Management, where he participated as a member of its investment management committee, Alan was also a senior analyst for the independent research firm Management CV. In 2008, he began providing a first-of-its-kind subscription-based service for individual investors, Invest By Model, which offered two different portfolios that investors could replicate in their own accounts for $20 per month. Alan also offered The Analytical Trader at Marketfy, where he used fundamental and technical analysis in a disciplined process to offer specific trade ideas geared towards swing traders.
Alan launched www.420Investor.com in late 2013 as the premier source of information for "Green Rush" investors seeking to capitalize on the proliferation of legalized medical and recreational cannabis. In March 2014, Alan, who is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, began to focus solely on the cannabis sector. He launched www.NewCannabisVentures.com in late 2015.
You can follow Alan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/420investor) or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Invest420). Alan also moderates a large LinkedIn group focused on the cannabis industry, Cannabis Investors & Entrepreneurs (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/6523904)
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 24 years, one of the longest periods of experience deploying an activist/relational investment strategy today. Mr. Shapiro’s engaged 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. He is presently Chairman of the Official Equity Committee in the Premier Exhibitions/RMS Titanic bankruptcy and Board Secretary and Investment Committee Chair of the Mill Valley Library Foundation, on whose board he has served for many years. 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, equity 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 corporate acquisition and recapitalization transactions for both Manufacturers Hanover Trust and the Spectrum Group, a private equity firm.
Mr. Shapiro received dual JD and MBA degrees from UCLA, where he was an Olin Fellow at the UCLA School of Law and a Venture Capital Fellow at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he periodically guest lectures.
Mr. Shapiro was 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 calling him “The Gary Cooper of Governance”. Mr. Shapiro has been a frequent speaker/panelist on corporate governance and activist investing issues to the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of Corporate Directors, Society For Corporate Governance, SEC Advisory Committee on Small Public Companies and the National Investor Relations Institute. Mr. Shapiro is on the faculty of UCLA Anderson’s Corporate Governance/Director Education Program and has presented at the Director’s education programs of Stanford Law School, the Wisconsin Business School and Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, among others. Mr. Shapiro is a Contributing Author to 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.