Glenn Greenberg Portfolio Uncovered: Top Holdings and Strategies

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Jacob Wolinsky
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Glenn Greenberg, founder of Brave Warriors Advisors is currently holding a $4.71 billion worth portfolio. He started his investment journey back in 1984 when he partnered up with John Shapiro in founding Chieftain Capital Management. In 2009 he founded Brave Warriors and has a focus on value investing. Glenn Greenberg’s Portfolio has 34 holdings and most of it is concentrated in the finance sector with a 79% stake.

His portfolio is well-diversified and the biggest holding in it is Anthem Inc. Like several other holdings in his portfolio this is an insurance-based company. Other notable holdings include Apollo Global Management, Primerica, and Fidelity National Financial Inc.

His career in both Brave Warriors and Chieftain Capital was followed with strong returns. He almost always managed to outperform the S&P 500. He rarely gives interviews and keeps a low profile, but we managed to get some info about his investment style and his biggest wins and losses.

Glenn Greenberg: Recent Portfolio Holdings

Glenn Greenberg in Q3 2023 bought 2.38 million shares in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS). This company offers financial services, including checking and savings accounts, personal loans, home equity loans, student loans, and credit cards. It also works as an online bank.

When Greenberg invested in this holding, his share was worth $237 million. Today, the value of this holding is $232 million with a loss of 2%. The value of the stock has fallen from $99.32 to $97.33.

Also worth mentioning is his recent investment into the Louisiana Pacific Corp (NYSE:LPX). Greenberg bought 231.070 shares valued at $12.77 million and this holding takes 0.32% of the portfolio.

Key Holdings

  • Anthem Inc (NTSE:ELV) with 16.9% of the portfolio

This health insurance provider takes the 1st place as the biggest holding in Greenberg’s portfolio. Since he first bought their stocks back in Q3 2019 he traded them 16 times. The investment stake cost him $492 million, while the value of his share is at a reported $785 million. This holding generated solid returns in a 60% margin.

  • Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) with 14.4% of the portfolio

Greenberg’s investment into this private equity firm is in the range of $419 million, making it the 2nd largest holding in the portfolio. He started investing two years ago when he bought 2.51 million shares. He has been stacking up this holding until the start of 2023 when he made his first sale. Greenberg’s position in the company is currently valued at $672 million. The price of stocks in the company rose during 2023 from $63.79 to $93.19.

  • Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:PRI) with 10.3% of the portfolio

Another company handling insurance is a big part of Greenberg’s portfolio. He currently owns 2.12 million shares which is 6.13% of all outstanding Primerica shares. When Greenberg started stacking up this holding in 2011, the value of shares was at $20.75 and today the value has grown to $226.58. This investment proved to be very lucrative since he netted gains of 354%.

  • Fidelity National Financial Inc (NYSE:FNF) with 9.97% of the portfolio

An American provider of title insurance is the 4th largest holding in Greenberg’s portfolio, which is valued at $464 million. His total investment into this company is $431 million, resulting in a gain of 7.6% so far.

  • F&G Annuities & Life Inc (NYSE:FG) with 6.27% of the portfolio

F&G a provider of annuities, life insurance, and pension buyout services based in Iowa is a relatively new holding. Greenberg started investing in Q4 2022 when he bought 6.03 million shares at $19.76. The price of shares jumped to the current $43.66, and the value of his stake rose from $132 million to $292 million. In the short term, this holding is proving to be a good investment, netting a gain of 121% so far.

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) with 6.08% of the portfolio

This holding is already a steady part of Greenberg’s portfolio from Q3 2014. He traded stocks of the largest of the Big Four banks 36 times. The total stake in this investment cost him $117 million, while the current value is at $283. This has proven to be a very lucrative holding bringing long-term profits. It netted Greenberg a gain of 142%. The stock price rose during 2023 from $134.10 to $170.10.

  • Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) with 5.63% of the portfolio

The 3td largest vehicle automotive dealership in the United States is the 7th largest holding in Greenberg’s portfolio. His total investment was $265 million, while its current value is $262 million. He has been trading Lithia stocks for two years, resulting in a minimal current loss of 1%.

  • United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) with 5.14% of the portfolio

Greenberg has been investing in the world’s largest equipment rental company since Q1 2022. Then he invested $134 million, buying 246 thousand shares at $326.52 per share. The price of shares rose to current $572.03, and with well-timed trades, Greenberg netted a gain of 78%. Also, he currently owns most company stocks.

  • One Main Holdings Inc (NYSE:OMF) with 5.13% of the portfolio

One Main Holdings, an Indiana-based holding company is another company where Greenberg owns most of the shares. He currently owns 5.3 million shares which takes 4.5% of all outstanding company shares. His stake cost $213 million, while the current value is $230 netting a small gain of 12%.

  • Raymond James Financial Inc (NYSE:RJF) with 5.13% of the portfolio

The 10th largest holding in Greenberg’s portfolio is another company from the financial sector. He currently owns 2.14 million shares valued at $239 million. He invested in this holding $129 million, so Greenberg currently netted an 85% gain.

Sector Focus

The majority of Greenberg’s investments are tightly grouped into three sectors:

  1. Finance – 79.2% of the portfolio or $3.69 billion
  2. Real Estate – 12.5% of the portfolio or $581 million
  3. Consumer Discretionary – 7.2% of the portfolio or $336 million.

Glenn Greenberg Background

Glenn Greenberg was born in New York in 1947. His father was a famous baseball player Hank Greenberg. He came from a family of Romanian Jewish immigrants and he has one brother and a sister.

He studied English at Yale and New York University. After his studies he teamed up with John Shapiro and in 1984 they co-founded Chieftain Capital Management. The company delivered impressive results, often outperforming the S&P 500. They worked together for 25 years when in 2009 Greenberg decided to open up his company. He named it Brave Warrior Advisors.

Glenn Greenberg’s Investment Philosophy

Glenn Greenberg is well-known as a value investor whose core principle is finding inexpensive companies. But, unlike most value investors who looked for a 10%-12% discount on future profits, he looked for 20%. This works as a hedge against potential market downturns, or in cases when he misjudged the company.

He saw that in case that his approach and his predictions were too optimistic he would still end up earning money. His other core principle was the tight concentration of the portfolio. He used it during his Chieftain Capital Management days and continued with Brave Warrior Advisors. His holdings rarely take less than 5% of the portfolio, and he usually holds up to 10 companies.

From his recent trading maneuvers, we can see that he is still holding up to his value investing principles. Greenberg is focused on companies that offer long-term competitive advantage and consistent capital returns.

While analyzing the companies he is looking for those that demonstrate a high return on invested capital (ROIC). This shows how efficiently the company uses its strengths and resources to generate profits.

Since he is in core a value investor his investments are long-term. He is not paying great attention to short-term market swings and holds shares for the long run.

Glenn Greenberg Portfolio Performance Analysis

In the beginning, when he worked with his partner John Shapiro, things started badly. In the first couple of months, he lost about 20% of the starting capital, but he ended the first year with a surplus.

During his work in Chieftain Capital Management, the fund annually generated 18% returns, when compared to 12% returns of the market. That followed a massive surge in assets under management. In 1984 the figure was $43 million, and in 2009 it climbed to $3 billion.

While working in the Brave Warriors Advisors the fund had its ups and downs, but on average it annually returned 16% from 2009.

Risk Management

Like most value investors the main problem of Greenberg’s portfolio is high concentration in a small number of holdings. In Greenberg’s case that is amplified by keeping his investments in a couple of sectors.

To address this issue he resolves to due diligence. Greenberg pays a great deal to fundamental analysis and employs position sizing. Although his portfolio is small in numbers he is focused on not allowing a holding or two to take up the majority of the portfolio.

Finding companies with competitive advantages, growth potential, and high ROIC works as a hedge against bad investments. By investing in cheap but potentially good companies, he gets a chance to generate massive profits. On the other hand, he aims to buy cheap, which works as a risk management strategy. Even if he loses, he doesn’t lose much.

Notable Successes

Through his long career, he had a good hunch for buying undervalued companies, and later selling them at significant profits. His crucial early career major wins, while he was a part of the Chieftain Capital Management, were:

  • Cablevision Systems. This regional cable operator had potential that no one else saw before Greenberg. He decided to invest, and soon after the company branched out and grew. Later it was sold to Vodafone and Greenberg earned a substantial profit
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance. Greenberg always had a preference for insurance companies. He built up his experience in the field and that helped him to notice the potential of this company. After his investment company and its market share continued to grow resulting in massive profits
  • AutoZone. Besides insurance, Greenberg shows great passion for the automotive industry. He discovered a potential in AutoZone, an auto parts retail company. His investment helped them reach their full potential, bringing Greenberg solid returns.

In recent times, Greenberg’s leadership guided Brave Warrior Advisors LLC to several sound investment decisions. Some of these holdings are still active parts of his portfolio, showing his focus on the long-term investment horizon.

  • Elevance Health. Greenberg’s early investment in this healthcare service provider yielded good results. In years the company made solid acquisitions that raised their value.
  • Primerica Inc. One of the examples of a good hunch is this financial service company. Since he invested in it, the share value increased 10 times resulting in more than 350% gain. This company is still a major part of his portfolio
  • Apollo Global Management. He saw two major benefits in this company – a way to diversify his portfolio and a very good management team. Although this is a relatively new investment it is already bringing solid returns.

Notable Failures

Investment is not an exact science, and there is no magic formula that brings positive results. With that being said, Greenberg did have his share of bad investments throughout his career. But from his example, we can learn that with hard work and experience comes results. Some of the major failures during his Chieftain Capital career were:

  • Xerox. He invested in a short position believing in the turnaround. He was proved wrong since the share value rebounded causing major losses for the Chieftain Capital
  • Washington Mutual. Another short bet against this mortgage lender backfired. The financial crisis led to the government seizure of the company leading to substantial losses for Greenberg and his investors.

Take A Look At The Failure of Washington Mutual: 

During his career in Chieftain Capital, he often tried to time the market and predict short-term movements. This approach several times led to missed opportunities and losses for the company.

After Greenberg split with his partner John Shapiro he restarted his career at Brave Warrior Advisors LLC. During that period there were several years of high volatility in the market. This brought its share of risks that even an investment veteran like Greenberg could avoid.

  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Greenberg noticed this pharmaceutical company due to its aggressive acquisition strategy. He thought that it could result in improved business results, but several accounting scandals resulted in a drop in performance. When all this factored in, his total investment lost its initial tempo and resulted in losses
  • Sears Holdings. He believed that this once retail giant could turn around. He bought shares at a major discount and said that the company has the fundamental strength to become profitable. But, he was proven wrong, when a later company filed for bankruptcy which wiped out his whole investment.

What we can note from Greenberg’s investment philosophy is that it can amplify both gains and losses. Highly concentrated portfolios are good when an investor has all the relevant information regarding the company and the industry landscape, but in case of unforeseen events, it can lead to major issues.

FAQs

Who Is the Founder of Brave Warrior Advisors?

The founder of Brave Warrior Advisors is Glenn Greenberg. After 25 years of partnership with John Shapiro, the two decided to go their separate ways, and he founded the company in 2009.

Final Thoughts

To invest like Gleen Greenberg you need to possess a hunch for identifying massively undervalued companies that deep down have real value. This approach demands solid knowledge of the industry, market, and current trends.

Besides value investing, his core principles are a high concentration of portfolio and long-term investing horizon. Throughout his career, he found several hidden gems that brought massive returns to the funds he managed, but since his overall risky strategy, he also had his share of failures.

Currently, the majority of his portfolio is concentrated in the finance sector, with a focus on the insurance industry. Besides that, he prefers investing in automotive and pharmaceutical companies. In the last year, his hedge fund generated solid returns in the range of 24.31%. The reported value of assets under management also rose during 2023, from a reported $3.173 billion in Q1 to $4.66 billion in Q4.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of HedgeFundAlpha (formerly ValueWalk Premium), a popular value investing and hedge fund focused intelligence service. Prior to founding the company, Jacob worked as an equity analyst focused on small caps. Jacob lives with his wife and five kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)hedgefundalpha.com FD: I do not purchase any equities to avoid conflict of interest and any insider information. I only purchase broad-based ETFs and mutual funds.