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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 142 – Aug 2019 > Sohn Monaco Conference 2019

Sohn Monaco Conference 2019

Ideas inspired by ESG, recovery stories, cloud and internet

At the third annual Sohn Monaco Investment Conference, four European, three US and one Asian investment idea(s) were presented by eight fund managers. Two of these have offices in Monaco. The event, held at Monaco Yacht Club, was generously sponsored by Churchill Capital; Compagnie Monégasque de Banque; SSVL; Tavira and Monaco Asset Management. A number of other fund managers, allocators, family offices and other local companies also attended.

Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance & Economy, for the Principality of Monaco, opened the conference by explaining how ESG criteria can be applied to investing without sacrificing returns. Monaco has a green fund for sustainable initiatives inside Monaco and is also carrying out some impact investing outside the principality. This is part of a wider drive for sustainability, which has included CleanEquity Monaco, which HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco cofounded with Mungo Park; a new Global Award for Sustainability and a Global Green Investment Bank.

Two investment ideas presented were growth stories with an ESG angle.

Could a fuel cell maker be on single digit 2022 PE?

Hydrogen is perceived as a very clean and green power source, with no radiation or pollution and it also has 100 times the energy density of lithium. Rapidly growing supply lays the ground for a runway of growth. Odey Asset Management portfolio manager, Adrian Courtenay, has identified Plug Power shares as a key play on the growing use of hydrogen fuel cells for forklift trucks, where the firm’s GenDrive suite of products has a 95% market share. According to Courtenay, the addressable market for forklift trucks is 200 times greater than the current installed base of 23,000 units, while the total market size including delivery vehicles could be 1,000 times greater. He projects that Plug Power could be trading on a single digit multiple of projected 2022 earnings, after stripping out the cash on its balance sheet. Courtenay, who previously worked for the event-driven group at DE Shaw, runs a special situations strategy, which since 2016 has compounded annual returns of between 13% and 27% for different versions of the strategy.

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