The former right-hand man of Carl Icahn, Keith Meister of Corvex Management has become a feared activist in his own right since starting up his own hedge fund in 2011 with the help of $250 million in seed capital from George Soros.
Some of Meister’s recent activist targets have included Centurylink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL), where he successfully advocated for Jeff Storey to take over as CEO following that company’s merger with Level 3, and Energen Corporation (NYSE:EGN), where he won two board seats in March and then tag teamed the company with old pal Icahn in May as he pushed for a sale of the company, which was eventually successful.
In a recent interview on CNBC, Meister encouraged investors to stick to what they know and invest for the long-term, warning that quantitative models are going to steamroll over stock traders who don’t have some kind of edge when it comes to making their investment decisions. Meister also praised President Trump’s trade war with China, calling it a necessary move that had been avoided for too long. Meister sees a “fundamental-based period of winners and losers” resulting from the trade war, which he believes will eventually result in a deal.
In Q3, Corvex Management’s 13F portfolio rose by just under 5% in value to $2.18 billion after the fund added nine new holdings to its portfolio and sold out of seven former positions. Meister was looking to consumer discretionary stocks to weather the trade war storm, as they rose by 11 percentage points to 17.45% weighting in Corvex’s 13F portfolio. On the other hand, there were noteworthy declines in the fund’s exposure to tech, finance, and communications stocks.
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On the next page we’ll look at three stocks Meister was bullish on heading into the holiday quarter, as well as two that he was selling off shares of.