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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 124 - July 2017 > Contrarian & Aligned

Contrarian & Aligned

SENVEST MANAGEMENT’S 20 YEARS
Richard Mashaal, Founder, CEO and co-CIO, Brian Gonick, co-CIO and Robert Katz, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager

Many hedge fund managers have spent much or all of their working lives on a figurative “Wall Street,” whereas Senvest’s founding partner started out on “Main Street” – running operating companies. The summer of 1969 saw the US put a man on the moon but today’s Chairman and President of Toronto Stock Exchange listed Senvest Capital [SEC: TSE], Victor Mashaal, had just started to see Canadian retailers attaching his high tech tags to apparel. He had acquired the exclusive Canadian distribution rights to new anti-shoplifting technology developed by Sensormatics Electronics Corp. Later he moved into one of the first pay-TV channels in Canada.

Meanwhile, his son, Senvest Management founder, CEO and co-CIO, Richard Mashaal, graduated from Wharton and after a stint of investment banking he earned joint MBA/International Relations graduate degrees from The University of Chicago. The younger Mashaal then joined the family business in 1989. In the generational transition from father to son, Richard spearheaded the effort to sell the operating units and morphed the vehicle into a merchant bank and investor with three verticals: real estate, private equity and public equity. He soon found the last was his favourite and in 1994 resolved to focus almost exclusively on investing in public securities. Senvest Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Robert Katz, was the first hire in 1993. After investing the public company’s capital for a few years, Senvest Management was ready to open to external capital in 1997 and started its flagship fund, Senvest Partners, with $5 million. Fast forward 20-years and now Senvest Management runs $1.3 billion. A significant chunk of the growth has come from the magic of compounding. What has never changed is the huge degree of alignment of interests: almost 60% of the assets belong to the partners, staff, managers and their family vehicles, with the largest being Senvest Capital. This aligns the managers’ interests with those of investors. The firm’s capital has grown more through investment performance than from funds raised or the fees earned on external capital. Mashaal is ready for a dual runway of growth from performance and inflows. He aspires to join the ranks of legendary investors such as Warren Buffett, George Soros, Julian Robertson and Stanley Druckenmiller.

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Informing the Hedge Fund Community. With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry.
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