Billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Och, who is one of the founders of $25 billion Och Ziff, mucked up a joke he told at an investor conference in June this summer at the wrong time.Based on Bloomberg’s reporting of the event, Och seems to be trying to grow his fund, Och Ziff, larger, perhaps into an institutional investor, which might explain why he would want investors to associate him with Buffett.
During a preamble before discussing his fund’s strategy, he joked:
“Only when the tide goes out will we see who’s wearing their bathing suit.”
Buffett’s joke was actually a lot funnier: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
Och then started speaking about his old-school love of compound interest, which also seems to be a hint that he’d like to attract a much larger audience to Och Ziff:
“The power of compounding is powerful.”
Compound interest is no doubt cool (it made this old lady a surprise millionaire) but it didn’t earn Och Ziff its impressive 23% returns last year.
So it’s no surprise that the shift to seek safer returns comes at a time when Och Ziff seems to be trying to grow, perhaps into an institutional investor. Och’s focus on safer returns gives it away.
“When hedge fund managers get more interested in building an institution instead of maximizing returns, I get nervous,” Rup says. “Institutional investors are more interested in capital preservation than in seeing a hedge fund manager knock the lights out.”
It would also explain why Och would want people to see him share the same sense of humour as Warren Buffet.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.