Doug Burton has opened an office for Memphis-based Southeastern Asset Management in Sydney.

The $31 billion asset manager has one New Zealand and two Australian customers who have given $1.4 billion to Southeastern.

The firm typically buys stocks that trade at a 40 per cent discount to their intrinsic worth, often taking stakes of as much as 5 per cent in a company. It sells the shares it acquires as the stock gets close to 100 per cent of its value.

Burton did not offer any historical returns of Southeastern funds. He says 2011 was a difficult year.

“We’re high conviction – and that means high conviction,” says Burton. “At stock-picking sessions, our analysts are often asked whether they’d put all their worth into one name”

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