This article is excerpted from a letter by MOI Global instructor Rudi van Niekerk, founder and principal manager of Desert Lion Capital in Cape Town, South Africa.
Each of us holds our own unique image of what it means to be a good spouse, good parent, good person, and good investor… as it should be. Here, I want to dwell on my definition of a great investor.
What is that image that I’m holding in my mind? What am I aspiring to? I’m not in the habit of wasting time – not yours and not mine – so I wouldn’t expand upon this topic if I didn’t think it warranted meditation.
Desert Lion has a one-man investment committee, which we view as one of our structural advantages. If I were considering whether it is a good idea to invest in Desert Lion, my focus would be very much on the paramount question of what this one-man believes it takes to be a “great investor”.
Forget the pitch decks. The next few paragraphs could constitute 80% of your decision-making process and due diligence. View it as a negative filter. You might agree with what I say. But if there is anything in here that you do not agree with, better to move on. Job done.
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Disclosures: This letter (the “Letter”) has been prepared solely for use by potential investors in Desert Lion Capital Fund I, LP (the “Fund”), which is managed by Desert Lion Capital Investment Management, LP (together with its affiliates, “Desert Lion Capital”), and shall be maintained in strict confidence. The recipient agrees that the contents of this Letter are confidential, the disclosure of which is likely to cause substantial and irreparable competitive harm to Desert Lion Capital and or its investment vehicles and their respective affiliates. Any reproduction or distribution of this Letter, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Desert Lion Capital is prohibited. The information set forth herein does not purport to be complete and no obligation to update or otherwise revise such information is being assumed. Other events that were not taken into account may occur and may significantly affect the analysis. Any assumptions should not be construed to be indicative of the actual events that will occur. This Letter shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy which may be made only at the time a qualified offeree receives a private placement memorandum describing the offering and related subscription agreement. Nothing contained herein constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. All information contained in this Letter is qualified in its entirety by information contained in the Fund’s confidential private placement memorandum. An investor should consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. This and other important information about the Fund can be found in the Fund’s offering memorandum. Please read the confidential private placement memorandum carefully before investing. The information in this Letter is only current as of the date indicated, and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made or can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information in the Letter. Some of the statements presented herein may contain constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Although Desert Lion Capital believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, Desert Lion Capital can give no assurance that such expectations will be attained and therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. Desert Lion Capital undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements appearing in this Letter. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. Diversification does not assure a profit or guarantee against loss in declining markets. Investors should consider their investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the underlying funds before investing. The views, opinions, and assumptions expressed in this Letter are as of the date of this Letter, are subject to change without notice, may not come to pass and do not represent a recommendation or offer of any particular security, strategy or investment. The Letter does not purport to contain all of the information that may be required to evaluate the matters discussed therein. It is not intended to be a risk disclosure document. Further, the Letter is not intended to provide recommendations, and should not be relied upon for tax, accounting, legal or business advice. The persons to whom this document has been delivered are encouraged to ask questions of and receive answers from Desert Lion Capital and to obtain any additional information they deem necessary concerning the matters described herein. None of the information contained herein has been filed or will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, any regulator under any state securities laws or any other governmental or self-regulatory authority. No governmental authority has passed or will pass on the merits of this offering or the adequacy of this document. Any representation to the contrary is unlawful. References to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (“MXEF”) and the FTSE/JSE All Share Index (JSE alpha code “ALSH” or JSE index code “J203”) are based on published results and, although obtained from sources believed to be accurate, have not been independently verified. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is referred to only because it represents an index typically used to gauge the general performance of the midcap and large caps in global emerging equity markets in more than two dozen emerging market countries including South Africa, China, India, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and others. The returns for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index include realized and unrealized gains and losses plus reinvested dividends but do not include fees, commissions and/or markups. The FTSE/JSE All Share Index is referred to only because it represents an index typically used to gauge the general performance of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as a whole. The returns of the FTSE/JSE All Share Index include realized and unrealized gains and losses, but do not include the reinvestment of dividends, and do not include fees, commissions and/or markups. The use of these indices is not meant to be indicative of the asset composition, volatility or strategy of the portfolio of securities held by the Fund. The Fund’s portfolio may or may not include securities which comprise the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the FTSE/JSE All Share Index, will hold considerably fewer than the number of different securities which comprise the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the FTSE/JSE All Share Index and engages or may engage in Fund strategies not employed by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the FTSE/JSE All Share Index including, without limitation, short selling and utilizing leverage. As such, an investment in the Fund should be considered riskier than an investment in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the FTSE/JSE All Share Index. Furthermore, indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.
About The Author: Rudi van Niekerk
Rudi van Niekerk manages the Desert Lion Capital Fund. He is South African and resides in Cape Town. Desert Lion Capital specializes in small and mid cap opportunities in overlooked segments of the South African market. The investment strategy is opportunistic and follows a fundamental, value-oriented approach. The fund is US Delaware domiciled and formed specifically to serve US and other non-South African investors. Rudi is also the manager of Guscora Investments, a permanent capital vehicle incorporated for South African investors with a similar investment approach. Previously he founded and managed Magnum Opus, an investment partnership for mostly family and friends which delivered impressive returns during its lifetime. He has extensive experience in private equity and serves on the boards of several unlisted companies. Rudi holds a Bachelor of Commerce and MBA degrees from the University of Stellenbosch and is a CFA Charterholder.
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