Until his junior year at Columbia University, Geoffrey Batt had no interest in financial markets. He was a philosophy major whose career goal was to become a professor. Then a chance encounter with a PhD student named Daniel Cloud changed everything. Cloud was pursuing a PhD in philosophy after running a hedge fund called Firebird Management. Unbeknownst to Batt at the time, Firebird Management had been the very first fund to invest in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and had compounded capital at a remarkable rate for 16 years. Initially, the two bonded over their love of philosophy, but when Batt’s student loans fell through and he was forced to leave school temporarily, Cloud offered him a job at a new emerging market hedge fund he was launching called Quantrarian Capital Management.
10Ks quickly replaced Batt’s philosophy texts as Cloud taught him the art and science of investing. Under Cloud’s tutelage, Batt began searching for the next great frontier market and believes he has found it in Iraq where companies are among the fastest growing in the world and yet are also some of the cheapest. At the 2013 Santangel’s Investor Forum, Geoffrey Batt will speak about the gap between reality and perception he sees in Iraq and also share insights on how lessons from frontier investing can be applied to established markets.