News & Views

News & Views

David (Dave) Iben CFA

David Iben is the Lead Portfolio Manager of the Kopernik Global All-Cap and Global Unconstrained strategies, and the Co-Portfolio Manager of the Kopernik International and Global Long-Term Opportunities strategies. He is the Chief Investment Officer, Managing Member, Founder, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Kopernik Global Investors.

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JIG'S UP (Sep 29, 2022)

In his new commentary, Kopernik CIO Dave Iben discusses how, after a four-decade long period when central bankers were idolized, someone has pulled back the curtain and revealed that "the jig is up". Stocks and bonds appear to have entered a bear market, and the economy is stagnating. What is an investor to do in this new paradigm?

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Changes in Latitude (Feb 28, 2022)

Although our CIO’s commentary was planned to be published last week, in light of current world events, we elected to hold it back and to address more pressing matters first. We reiterate that our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people during this troubling time. Like all of you, we continue to monitor events and hope for peace.

In this letter, we have the audacity to give a non-standard view of “Buffett” stocks. Fortuitously, Mr. Buffett issued his annual letter this weekend, lending credence to our belief that he may share the view that now is more of a time for investing in real assets than in the stocks of over-earning consumer brands. In his summary, Mr. Buffett writes about how Berkshire Hathaway was a struggling ‘value’ stock in 1965, having just cumulatively lost money over a nine-year period. Its stock had more than halved. This quintessential deep value stock was the only holding that Warren kept when he unwound his investment partnership in the late 1960s.

Buffett made a point to emphasize (headed ‘Surprise, surprise”) Berkshire’s “Four Giants”: a railroad (BNSF), an utility franchise (BHE), insurance businesses, and – yes – Apple. Three of the four are ‘value’ businesses, two of which are clearly endowed with significant Real Asset holdings. Interestingly, he starts his summary with the fact that Berkshire is the single largest owner/operator of infrastructure in the U.S. It is on their books for $158 BILLION. It was fun to see him end his summary with a reference to “Cousin Jimmy Buffett” who apparently will be selling “party” boats at the Berkshire annual meeting in late April. Apparently, a Berkshire subsidiary is building the boats that Jimmy designed, and Warren is buying one from him. We’ve read that they are long-time friends. Apparently 23andme recently disproved years of conjecture that the two are related.

We hope you enjoy the read.

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Sedona (Sep 2021)

In his new commentary, Kopernik CIO Dave Iben summarizes many of his thoughts on the current inflationary environment and gives examples of how this has benefited value investors. They now figuratively have the wind at their backs.

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29 Palms (Jul 2021)

In his newest commentary, Kopernik’s CIO Dave Iben draws inspiration from Robert Plant and the deserts of Morocco to discuss the Fed’s printing press, the Cantillon effect, and the value Kopernik is finding in scarce, undervalued, useful assets.

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Fear is Good (July 2022)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy, Mark McKinney, compares today’s U.S. market to the tech bubble of the late 1990s and 2000s. He also gives examples of the many “mini bubbles” that have already burst under the surface of the bigger names in the index. Lastly, there are some thoughts on the US Dollar, inflation, and gold.

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Kopernik Perspective: A Differentiated Approach to ESG (July 2022)

In this whitepaper on ESG, Kopernik’s investment research team provides an update to our March 2021 webinar on the same topic. In summary, ESG is important, complex, and nuanced. This whitepaper will give an update on how we think about the current ESG environment, provide examples of the types of ESG risks we are evaluating, and explain how we integrate ESG risk into our valuation process.

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Managing Geopolitical Risk in a Global Portfolio (July 2022)

In this whitepaper, Kopernik’s investment research team builds on our April 2022 webinar about geopolitical risk, breaking down our process and examples of both successes and losses in emerging markets. Evaluating geopolitical risk has always been a key factor in our global investment process. As global crises have made our role as investment manager more crucial than ever, our mission of being independent thought leaders could not be more pertinent.

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The Greater The Suffering, The Greater The Peace (Jan 2022)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy, Mark McKinney, compares the actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the resultant inflation and choppy investment environment to the dangerous aspirations of villains in Hollywood spy films and how Kopernik is actively managing our investments through “the greater suffering.”

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Lord make me green…but not yet (Nov 2021)

In his latest commentary, “Lord make me green…but not yet”, Kopernik Analyst Steve Rosenthal discusses a range of factors that handicap “net-zero” emission pledges around the world. While this ambitious goal will hopefully materialize, there resides a paradox in achieving it at the rate and extent we want/need.

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At What Cost? (Sep 2021)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy Mark McKinney uses Thomas Sowell’s classic question “At what cost?” to articulate potential unintended consequences of finding solutions to current economic challenges.

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The Wall Street Transcript Interview with Dave Iben: Find Better Bargains by Investing Outside the U.S.

Our CIO Dave Iben was recently interviewed by The Wall Street Transcript, where he discussed Kopernik’s investment philosophy and why companies in emerging markets are compelling for investors looking to construct a more diversified portfolio. Read the full interview here.

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Bloomberg Markets: The Close - featuring Alissa Corcoran - September 16, 2022

Our Deputy CIO Alissa Corcoran spoke to Bloomberg TV about global commodities, taking advantage of volatility, and the benefits of value investing. Watch Alissa’s interview here, beginning at 23:50.

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Kopernik Global Investors Call: Investment Implications – Russia/Ukraine Conflict

Update on Russia/Ukraine Exposures (as of August 2, 2022)

Thoughts on the Ukrainian Situation (as of February 24, 2022)

David Iben, CIO & Lead Portfolio Manager and Alissa Corcoran, Deputy CIO & Director of Research discuss the investment implications of the Russia/Ukraine conflict. 

Presentation: Investment Implications – Russia/Ukraine Conflict Presentation

Video Replay: Kopernik Global Investors | Investment Implications - Russia/Ukraine Conflict (Vimeo)

Transcript: Edited Transcript of Investment Implications - Russia/Ukraine Conflict

Note, the discussion took place on Friday, February 25, 2022 at 11 am ET. We continue to monitor developments related to the Russia/Ukraine Conflict.

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Institutional Investor Interview with Dave Iben: Opportunities in Eastern Europe - July 1, 2022

Recently, Kopernik CIO Dave Iben spoke with Institutional Investor for a deep dive on the importance of investing in emerging markets—including Ukraine and Russia—and discussed where exactly to find opportunities in Eastern Europe. Read Dave’s full interview here.

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BNN TV - Featuring Alissa Corcoran - April 27, 2022

Kopernik Deputy CIO Alissa Corcoran appeared on BNN Bloomberg to provide a rundown of investment opportunities in emerging markets and explain how Kopernik evaluates geopolitical risk. You can watch the interview here.

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Financial Times Story featuring Dave Iben - Contrarian fund manager cautions against writing off Russia assets - April 10, 2022

Kopernik's CIO Dave Iben spoke to the Financial Times about why Russian assets still hold value, even in the wake of the war with Ukraine. Read the full feature on the Financial Times website here (Requires login)

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