Tom Gayner: The Similarities Between Markel & Berkshire

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In his recent interview with GabelliTV, Tom Gayner discussed the similarities between Markel and Berkshire. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

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Gayner: Tactically, just to clarify. So yeah, we have a lot of names and people obviously… Buffett’s talked about the twenty punches and concentration and all that sort of stuff… If you look at the top 20 names, that’s two-thirds of the value of the portfolio. So we have a lot of names because one of the things I like to do, I call them ‘library cards’.

If I own a little bit of a stock, I will think about it more than if I know nothing of a stock. So I’m willing to buy small positions mainly because it just stimulates thought for me that otherwise wouldn’t be the case.

But we do believe in concentrating your bets at high conviction and where you think it matters.

Now, to your point about… So tell me about your equity selection and the private companies. The good news is the same answer. It’s the exact same process. So what we’re looking at is businesses and only businesses, like Buffett talks about, it’s not stocks and trading instruments, its ownership interest in business.

You can watch the entire discussion here:

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Article by The Acquirer’s Multiple.

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Tobias Carlisle is the founder of The Acquirer’s Multiple®. He is also the founder of Acquirers Funds®. The Acquirer’s Multiple® is the valuation ratio used to find attractive takeover candidates.