We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Weinrich, portfolio manager of the Pala Fund based in Hong Kong. The fund, seeded in 2012 by Chinese asset manager China Everbright Limited, focuses on value plus catalyst equities in Asia. Adam has considerable experience investing in equities and credit globally, having previously held senior positions at JANA Partners and Basswood Partners in the U.S.
MOI Global: Please tell us about how you became interested in value investing.
Adam Weinrich: I have no quaint anecdotes about receiving Berkshire shares from an uncle when I was 8, or buying stocks with paper route money when I was 12. My first career ambition was to be a Buddhist monk. I changed my mind when I decided that reincarnation was nonsense and celibacy even more silly. But the experience made me very interested in understanding how the world works and, in particular, the transition from poverty to wealth in numerous Asian countries. Like many, I had my initial training in an investment banking program, where I quickly realized I want to be compensated for being right (i.e. picking securities) rather than being persuasive (i.e. advising CFOs). That led to working at two different hedge funds in New York – Basswood and JANA – where I learned a great deal from some experienced value investors.
I think events have had the biggest influence on my investment thinking. Important ones include visiting South Korea in 1998 during the Asian Financial Crisis; watching the internet bubble pop; watching China rise in the 2000s; anticipating and profiting from the subprime crisis; seeing the world economy bounce back after U.S. QE and the EU sovereign crisis.
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