Photo: Business Insider
Think about the last time you heard something positive about Greece. Really: Think about it.You got nothing, right?
There’s one hedge fund out there that doesn’t care about any of that. George Elliott, the founder of Naftalia Asset Management, is starting the Greek Opportunity Fund, which will only invest in Greek equities, Bloomberg reports.
Elliott, who is half Greek himself, sees the same opportunities in Greece that were in Russia after their 1998 crisis and Argentina after their crash in 2001. That’s the pitch he uses on investors, anyway— like when he visited a family office in London that simply wanted to hear his story.
Not surprisingly, they expressed scepticism.
Elliott, 39, responded by asking a few questions of his own, including whether the executive had invested in Russia after its 1998 currency crisis, in Argentina 10 years ago after the nation defaulted on its debt or in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) in March 2009, when the benchmark plunged to its lowest point in 13 years. Finally, Elliott questioned whether the family office’s investment chief had ever bought shares of Apple (AAPL) Inc. In all cases, the answer was no.
“Then you are not qualified to be discussing Greece with me because you have missed the best investment opportunities over the past 20 years,” Elliott retorted.
The family office, which Elliott is keeping under wraps, ended up investing with him after sending a team to Athens to scope out the situation.
And FYI, Greece aside, Elliott’s returns have been good.
Elliott’s main shipping fund, started in 2004, rose 29 per cent in its first year and gained in the three following years before dropping 26 per cent in 2008 and 20 per cent last year, according to a person briefed on the company’s performance. Hedge funds rose 9 per cent on average in 2004, fell 19 in 2008 and lost 5.3 per cent in 2011, according to Chicago- based Hedge Fund Research Inc.
So that’s something to consider.