- Gramercy is contributing 100,000 barrels of oil a day to Mexico
- Gramercy Funds Management has $5.6 billion in AUM
- Robert has 32 years of investment experience dedicated to emerging markets with a specialization in distressed opportunistic credit strategy
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show in our continued coverage of the Greenwich Economic Forum. I’m Matt Bird broadcasting worldwide from Greenwich, Connecticut. My next guest is Robert Koenigsberger, the managing partner of Gramercy Fund management. Welcome to the show. You just came off a panel with Dr. Mohamed El-Erian. Tell our audience a little bit about some of the key takeaways.
Robert Koenigsberger – CIO/Managing Partner, Gramercy Funds Management: 00:25
Yeah, thanks for asking. So the panel today was really about emerging markets, what’s going on in emerging markets and bringing two perspectives, kind of a top down perspective, which Mohamed tends to bring to the table. And he did as well. And my perspective kind of problems up, you know, what does it mean from emerging markets investment perspective. And we kind of spent the half hour just kind of unpacking what is emerging markets, what are the opportunities and what are the risks and how to navigate those.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:49
How do the public private partnerships play an important role in economic development both locally and regionally?
Robert Koenigsberger – CIO/Managing Partner, Gramercy Funds Management: 00:58
Like I just use the word top down, right? And so I think there’s this opportunity when you had the public and private for that kind of the top down from the public to come down in the bottoms up and each side brings something unique to the table. And so the bottoms up gets to take advantage of the information from the top down and vice versa. And when people collaborate, good things happen.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:16
You know, yesterday you guys have the governor you had the mayor of Greenwich. You had Steve Case, Chuck Davis, Byron Allen a lot of thought leaders all descending here at the forum. What were some of the big takeaways for you yesterday?
Robert Koenigsberger – CIO/Managing Partner, Gramercy Funds Management: 01:41
Yeah, well, one of the impressive thing that all these people come to Greenwich. It’s fantastic. What I really liked about yesterday’s, you know, there’s only so many conferences one could attend a year. There was amazing content. You’re right, there’s great people, the great content, great conversations and different perspectives and some had some pretty heavy, weighty topics and others took the other side, you know, like hearing Steve Case, talking about the investments that he’s doing and kind for BC. It was a good counter to some of the concerns that were brought up earlier in the day. So for me as a manager, I mean I’d love to come to tell my story. I’d love to come hear other people’s stories and this is a great opportunity.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 02:05
You know, we covered the World Economic Forum and I could tell you that there are a lot of familiar faces here. Surprisingly I’ve attended the event. How do you see this event involving in the next five years?
Robert Koenigsberger – CIO/Managing Partner, Gramercy Funds Management: 02:22
Look, I mean, I think they’re off to a great start in this way. We got involved this year as is one of the sponsors limits, you know, I think they’re going to continue to grow. The content is going to continue to be able to cascade that content and it’s going to continue to show how important this region to the world or the management of assets globally.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 02:36
So speaking of assets and management what can we expect next for Gramercy?
Robert Koenigsberger – CIO/Managing Partner, Gramercy Funds Management: 02:41
We’re evolving our platform, our emerging markets assets with the asset classes evolved. I’ve been doing emerging markets for 32 years. I like to say I’ve been doing it since before it merged, you know, and so as the asset classes evolved, we’ve evolved our platform. Part of what we talked about on the panel is you have to dis-aggregate emerging markets. So as you dis-aggregate into different return streams. That’s the way that we have parallel created our platform. So we’ll continue to bring the best and brightest minds. And that’s why I’m so excited to be working with Mohamed the best and brightest minds. We’re going to continue to think about top down and bottoms up and where to continue to come to our investors with the best risk reward in your work, your markets in any given time. And what I really love about the opportunity today is to take all the assets, the multi-asset approach, start with a blank piece of paper and not push things on investors, but start with this blank piece of paper and have a conversation about how we can use the different return streams to it has to portfolios. That’s the future for us.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 03:04
So offline, we had a little chat, you were telling me about a great use case of how you guys deployed funds on your national key. Tell our audience a little bit about that.
Robert Koenigsberger – CIO/Managing Partner, Gramercy Funds Management: 03:41
I just had a town hall with our employees last Friday and I really wanted to unpack what it is that we do and at the end of the day it’s the why. Why do we exist, what’s our purpose? And it’s really easy to just think of a project by a name or an investor by their name. At the end of the day, I want to unpack who the pension funds they’ve been doing business for. You know, who are their retirees, what are the benefits that we owed? You know, that’s our purpose, right? And at the same time, we take their capital, we’re a conduit and we invest in projects. And I wanted to unpack those projects and say, for example, we recently did a loan to a company in Turkey. We saved $1,000, pardon me, we saved a thousand jobs with that loan. We created 1200 do we build a medical school a little from here in Greenwich, Connecticut, or in Mexico today. One of the biggest priorities in the Mexican government is the stabilization and creation of oil through lending vehicle that we have. You know, we’re, we’re probably contributing a hundred thousand barrels a day. In Mexico, relatively small asset management firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. So that was the message I had for my people is like, we’re calling to it. There’s a purpose here. We are investors. They need us on that wall and we want to have an impact with what we’re doing with that capital.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 04:23
There’s something to be said about doing good while making money. Robert, listen, thank so much for your time and your amazing. Everybody Robert Koenigsberger, a managing partner at Gramercy Funds Management and we’re going to be right back with our next guest. You’re not going to go away. Special thanks out through our affiliate partners, ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS. Right back after these messages. Don’t go away.