WaveStone shorts on season’s greetings Centro’s Andrew Scott may have cost a lot of people a lot of money – just ask anyone who invested in UBS GAM’s property securities fund – but the fallen shopping centre magnate would have received at least one Christmas card. It’s the least that Ian Harding, cofounder of Australian equity long/short manager WaveStone Capital, could have done following his prescient decision to short Centro when it was flying high at $7.50 per share in September 2007, and subsequently closing out the position around 55 cents. “People keep telling me I must be the only member of the Andrew Scott fan club,” Harding says, although he points out he’s also done all right out of Eddie Groves after shorting ABC Learning at $3.50.
Industry’s easy ride gets lost There are various special interest groups within the financial services industry, including groups which get together because of their hobbies, such as motor bike riding. The best-known of the industry biker events is the worthwhile Corners for Kids charity ride organised each year by IFSA, with stalwart Brian Thomas of Perennial normally riding point. Another, less well-organised, group of bikers gets together two or three times a year for a few days riding around NSW – largely in circles – looking for the perfect road. Recently this group travelled from Richmond, to Oberon, to Boorowa, Tumut, Cooma, Narooma, Kangaroo Valley and home over three days. That is, some of the group travelled to those lovely towns. Others travelled to Canberra via Cooma on one day, another travelled to Canberra via Boorowa on another day. Some headed for Albury and turned back in the eye of a storm. Some stayed in Tumut while others didn’t. Some stopped in Kangaroo Valley; others waited patiently for them in nearby Mittagong. In fact, only at two brief moments during the trip – at the start at Richmond and at lunch in Cooma on day two – was the group all together. Map-reading is not their strong point. The 11 riders on the latest trip included: Barry Rafe, former actuary and current philosophy student; Ian Knox, founder of Paragem dealer services company; Lance Brockway, who heads operations at the GESB super fund; David McMahon, former consultant and current trustee of Funds SA; HillRoss planner John Darwin; planner educator John Prowse; Praemium UK director David Harrison and Greg Bright, publisher of this magazine.