Tom Gayner

Tom Gayner

Last Update: 08-11-2016

Number of Stocks: 130
Number of New Stocks: 13

Total Value: $3,794 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 4%

Countries: USA
Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Tom Gayner Watch

  • Tom Gayner Buys Microsoft, Amazon

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio), executive vice president and chief investment officer of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management Inc., Markel's investment subsidiary since December 1990, bought shares in the following stocks in the second quarter.


    The investor acquired 522,000 shares in Liberty Media Corp. (LSXMK) with an impact of 0.42% on the portfolio.

      


  • Tom Gayner's Top 5 2nd Quarter Stock Buys

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) serves as co-CEO of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL), an insurance, reinsurance and investment holding company. On Thursday, he released his second-quarter portfolio, which lists 13 new stocks.


    Markel’s investment segment focuses on long-term returns rather than quarterly variations, but it produced a taxable total investment return of 4.6% for the first half of 2016.

      


  • High Yield and Profitability: Sturm Ruger, Infosys

    Thanks to Gurufocus’ All-In-One Screener, I want to highlight stocks that have a growing dividend yield with sustainable payout ratio. This sustainability is confirmed to long-term company profitability and a very strong financial situation:


    Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) has a dividend yield that during the last five years has grown by 38%. The yield is 1.74% with a payout ratio of 47%. The average ROA of the last five years has been positive, 35.93%, and so has the ROE with an average performance of 60.54%.

      


  • Alphabet (aka Google): A Case Study in Spotting Value Creation

    On June 22, 2015, Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio), co-chief executive officer of specialty insurance underwriter Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL), gave a presentation titled "The Evolution of a Value Investor" during the lunch hour to the employees of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL), parent company of Google, the world’s largest Internet company.


    Gayner began his presentation by summarizing his business background as a certified public accountant and security analyst before taking a position as an investment officer for Markel in 1990. Gayner's 58-minute presentation may be viewed on YouTube and is most insightful and well worth the time.

      


  • Stocks Tom Gayner Has Been Buying in the Last 2 Quarters

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the executive vice president and chief investment officer of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) and President, Markel Gayner Asset Management Inc., the investment subsidiary of Markel since December 1990. He manages a portfolio composed of 75 stocks, several of which have been bought for the last two quarters.


    Apple Inc. (AAPL)

      


  • Gayner Sells Stakes in Courier Companies in 1st Quarter

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) sold out nine existing stakes in his portfolio in the first quarter. His two most noteworthy divestments involved courier companies.


    Gayner sold his 793,500-share stake in United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS), a Sandy Springs, Georgia-based package delivery provider, for an average price of $97.06 per share in what was, by far, the guru’s most significant first-quarter transaction. The divestiture had a -2.07% impact on Gayner’s portfolio.

      


  • Tom Gayner Sells Out of Coach

    Guru Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio), CEO of Markel (NYSE:MKL), sold his 54,000-share stake in Coach Inc. (NYSE:COH) in the first quarter.


    Started in 1941 as a family run workshop in New York City, Coach was a pioneer in leather goods, establishing itself as the original American house of leather during the second half of the 20th century. Its products include women's and men's bags, women's and men's small leather goods, business cases, footwear, wearables including outerwear, watches, weekend and travel accessories, scarves, sunwear, fragrance, jewelry, travel bags and other lifestyle products. Coach operates in two segments, North America and International.

      


  • Undervalued Stocks Gurus Are Buying

    According to GuruFocus' All-in-One Screener, the following are companies with a market cap above $5 billion that are trading with a very low P/S ratio.


    Deere & Co. (DE) is trading at about $82 with a P/S ratio of 0.97 and an estimated P/E multiple of 15.08. The company has a market cap of $25.91 billion and over the last 10 years, the stock has risen by 85%. During the last 52 weeks, the price has been as high as $98.23 and as low as $70.16.

      


  • Bearish Sentiment in Becton Dickinson's Stock

    Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX) is a $33.87 billion market cap company that provides a broad range of medical devices and diagnostic products used in hospitals, doctors' offices, research labs and other settings.


    The med-company is trading at $159.55. Analysts have a consensus $163.53 price target on the stock. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) Finance estimates a one-year target share price at $166.9. Also, investors will be paid a dividend of $2.64 at the end of the year. The dividend yield is 1.65%, which tries to protect the purchasing power. Dividend investors often pay attention to the track record of dividends payments and favorable expectations regarding dividend growth for the next year. This company has paid dividends since 1926; during the past 13 years, the highest yield was 2.44%, the lowest was 1.05%, and the median was 1.77%. Now it is close to a five-year low.

      


  • Looking at the Office Furnishings Industry

    In a previous article, I posted a lecture on value investing given by Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio), co-CEO of Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). Markel is often compared to Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) because it is an insurance company that uses its float to invest in other businesses. A key insight was Gayner’s emphasis on differentiating between spotting value and focusing on creators of value.


    I saw an example of this concept when researching the office furniture industry. Below is the thought process that motivated me to study it.

      


  • CME Group Among Guru Stocks With Growing Yield

    The following are companies with high and growing dividend yields that gurus are buying according to GuruFocus' All-in-One Screener.


    CME Group Inc. (CME) has a trailing dividend yield of 2.15% with a three-year growth rate of 3.70% and a five-year growth rate of 16.80%. The stock is now trading with a trailing 12-month P/E multiple of 25.30 and an estimated forward P/E multiple of 19.38. During the last 12 months, the stock price has dropped by 4%.

      


  • Walt Disney, Union Pacific: Undervalued With Predictable Business

    According to GuruFocus’ All-in-One Screener, the following stocks have a high business predictability rating, and at least five gurus are shareholders in the companies.


    Walt Disney Co. (DIS)

      


  • Tom Gayner Sells Stakes in GE, Walmart, Anheuser-Busch

    The most eye-catching fourth-quarter activity from Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio), president of Markel Gayner Asset Management, involved the sales of stakes in his portfolio, but the guru made some intriguing purchases as well.


    Gayner’s most significant fourth-quarter transaction was the sale of his 2,963,000-share stake in General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE), a Fairfield, Connecticut-based conglomerate, for an average price of $29.73 per share. The deal had a -1.97% impact on Gayner’s portfolio.

      


  • Investors Can Follow Tom Gayner in Harley Davidson

    In the fourth quarter, guru Tom Gayner added to his stake in Harley Davidson Inc. (NYSE:HOG) at an average price of $49.13. The 36% add took the holding to a total of 292,000 shares and represents a 0.09% impact on the portfolio.


    Since that period, Harley Davidson has fallen to a price around $43. For patient investors willing to hold for the longer haul, does this represent an opportunity? Or is HOG on a long-term rocky road?

      


  • Tom Gayner Discusses His Evolution as an Investor

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is co-CEO at Markel Corporation, a holding company for insurance, reinsurance, and investment operations around the world. The company has often been compared to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) in the way it operates. Markel is an insurance company that uses a value investing philosophy and invests its float in other businesses. You can see in the graph below how Markel has outperformed Berkshire over the last five years.


    iIhKJtqYW812-HbP_iAKvgdD4dkWBRJ9yfqsav7U

      


  • FedEx Reports Solid Results, but Price Plummets

    Several hedge fund managers initiated new positions in FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), the leader in global express delivery services, in the third quarter and lost ground thanks to a price decline.


    FedEx provides guaranteed domestic and international air express, residential and business ground package delivery, heavy freight and logistics services.

      


  • 2015 Results and Review of Largest Holdings

    This is the fourth year-end portfolio review I’ve written on GuruFocus. I’ll stick with the same disclaimers I’ve used in the past: first, I have no idea how these stocks will do over the next 30, 90, 180 or 365 days; and second, I hope they go lower so I can buy more at attractive prices (I plan on being a net buyer of stocks for a long time). With that, let’s get started.


    As I noted in my 2014 year-end portfolio review (here), I started 2015 with roughly 16% of my portfolio in cash and equivalents (short-term treasuries). While I found a handful of opportunities to put some capital to work, I made reductions elsewhere. In addition, I added some more cash to my portfolio that was relatively meaningful in comparison to the size of my portfolio. As a result, my cash and equivalents balance at the end of 2015 increased marginally, to 22%.

      


  • Value in a Qualitative Sense: A Presentation by Steve Markel, Tom Gayner

    A long-term horizon isn't for everyone. But for Steve Markel and Tom Gayner, it is important.


    In the video below, these two successful managers of Markel discuss how adding an "s" to value is at the core of their business and investing philosophies.

      


  • Tom Gayner Buys Harley-Davidson and JPMorgan in 3rd Quarter

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the executive vice president and chief investment officer of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management Inc. He thinks stock is part of a business, and the business is worth what the present value of the future cash flows are.


    His portfolio is composed of 122 stocks, and the following are the most heavily weighted trades during the third quarter.

      


  • 5-Year Lows: 3D Systems Corp., Atwood Oceanics, Seacor Holdings, Rent-A-Center Inc.

    According to GuruFocus list of five-year lows, these guru stocks have reached their historical low prices: 3D Systems Corp., Atwood Oceanics Inc., Seacor Holdings Inc. and Rent-A-Center Inc.


    3D Systems Corp. (NYSE:DDD) reached $9.01

      


  • Simpson and Greenberg Buy Brookfield Despite Negative Report

    Recently the Probes Reporter wrote a negative report on Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM) calling it "An Unanalyzable Black Box." In the report it discusses several government investigations, lack of disclosures about the investigations and Brookfield Asset Management's financial engineering.


    This comes about 2½ years after the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation "SIRF" wrote a negative report discussing Brookfield Asset Management's history, IFRS accounting practices and other issues. SIRF would write another report six months later in November 2013 further questioning Brookfield Asset Management.

      


  • Marriott and Starwood to Create the World's Largest Hotel Chain

    Marriott International Inc. (MAR) is going to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT) in a deal that will create the world's largest hotel chain. The merger should offer a wider choice of brands to consumers, improve economics for owners and franchisees and increase unit growth.


    Marriott will have great presence in markets outside the United States since the combined company will own or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide.

      


  • Chris Davis, David Dreman Are Bullish on Capital One

    Guru trades


    Chris Davis (Trades, Portfolio), Dodge & Cox, Hotchkis & Wiley and David Dreman (Trades, Portfolio) all added to their positions in Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF), while Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) and Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) initiated new positions. Dodge & Cox now owns over 9% of the company.

      


  • Among Tom Gayner's Largest New Buys, Several Trading Below Earnings Line

    Executive Vice President and CIO of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKLTom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is known for his patience and common sense. Profiled by Jason Zweig in The Wall Street Journal in May, Zweig wrote that Gayner doesn’t hold analyst days or provide guidance on future earnings, which attracts investors who are in for the long term.


    Over the past 15 years, Gayner has had an average annual return of 11.3%, compared to just 4.2% for the S&P 500. During the third quarter, Gayner purchased nine new holdings, of which the following are the five largest new buys. One commonality among several of the largest purchases are that the stocks are trading below the Peter Lynch earnings line, indicating the companies are undervalued.

      


  • Tom Gayner's Holdings Trading Below the Peter Lynch Value

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the executive vice president and chief investment officer of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management Inc., Markel's investment subsidiary since December 1990. From the114 stocks in his portfolio, the following are the holdings that are trading with a wider margin of safety, according to the Peter Lynch Value.


    Graham Holdings Co. (GHC) is trading at $575, and the Peter Lynch value gives the stock a fair price of $1,676.4, giving the stock a margin of safety of 66%.

      


  • Guru Stocks at 52-Week Lows: HSBC Holdings, Unilever, Banco Santander, Duke Energy, Itau Unibanco

    According to GuruFocus list of 52-week lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 52-week lows.


    HSBC Holdings PLC reached the 52-week low of $39.61

      


  • Coach's Opportunity for Growth

    In this article, let's take a look at Coach Inc. (NYSE:COH), a $8.62 billion market cap company, that designs, makes and markets fine accessories for women and men, including handbags, weekend and travel accessories, outerwear, footwear and business cases.


    Opportunity for growth

      


  • A Growing Dividend Deserves Taking a Look at Hasbro

    In this article, let's take a look at Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), a $9.87 billion market cap company, which is a company with a broad portfolio of toys, games and entertainment offerings that includes brands such as Transformers, Playskool, Monopoly and My Little Pony.


    Emerging markets

      


  • A Short Discussion on Executive Compensation

    “I think I’ve been in the top 5 percent of my age cohort almost all my adult life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I have always underestimated that power.”


    -Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio)

      


  • The Evolution Of A Value Investor – Google Talks With Tom Gayner

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) has made a career out of following Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio).


    Not Buffett's brilliance, but his common sense.

      


  • Tom Gayner: "The Evolution of a Value Investor" | Talks at Google

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the CIO of Markel Corp, where he manages the company's investment portfolio. He talks about his journey as an individual and value investor. A recent Wall Street Journal feature on Mr Gayner's investing style mentions: "He has an outstanding investing record. He works only for Markel and doesn’t take outside clients, but every investor can learn from him.You never would know any of this [extraordinary success] from listening to Mr. Gayner. After a good year, most portfolio managers beat their chests even harder than they beat the market; Mr. Gayner’s 2014 report merely said, “our overall equity portfolio earned 18.6%,” without even mentioning that the S&P 500 was up 13.7%.Instead of trying to mimic the inimitable brilliance of Mr. Buffett, maybe more investors should emulate the common sense and patience of Mr. Gayner."


    Here is the link.

      


  • Tom Gayner Increases Position in Monsanto

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Of Markel Corp and President, Markel Gayner Asset Management, Inc., the investment subsidiary of Markel Corp since December of 1990. The assets under management is about $2 billion. Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is a value investor. He has a relatively concentrated portfolio. He believes that he can earn the best returns by concentrating his focus and portfolio in promising areas where he has the best understanding and knowledge.


    Last quarter, Tom increased his position in Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) by buying 59,000 shares. He currently holds 154,000 shares of the company. The following chart shows his holding history in Monsanto.

      


  • Tom Gayner Buys 4 New Stocks in First Quarter

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) manages the investing side of Markel Corp, a specialty insurance and financial holding company. A value investor, he looks at each stock as a piece of a business.  


  • Tom Gayner's Stocks trading at Low P/E

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Of Markel Corp and President, Markel Gayner Asset Management, Inc., the investment subsidiary Of Markel Corp since December of 1990. The asset under management is about $4 billion, is composed of 107 stocks and the stocks that are trading with the lower P/E are Graham Holdings Co (GHC), Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FRFHF), National Oilwell Varco Inc (NOV), Travelers Companies Inc (TRV), Nicholas Financial Inc (NICK) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)


    Graham Holdings Co (GHC)

      


  • BlackRock: A Fair-Value Giant with Predictable Earnings

    It’s perhaps fitting that the company that claims to be the world’s biggest asset manager - $4.7 trillion worth of assets - also has a lofty share price, in the $350s.


    However, we investors don’t care so much about the the relative share price so much as the valuation and direction. Given that we found BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) in the Buffett Munger screener at GuruFocus, we have would expect that the company is at least fairly-valued, and has predictable earnings; that, in turn, should pull the stock price up.

      


  • Berkshire Hathaway: an 80 cent dollar?

    “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.”


    - John Maynard Keynes

      


  • Markel CIO Tom Gayner Buys Deere & Co, Unilever, Schlumberger, Sells Berkshire Hathaway, Teva, Brown & Brown

    Markel CIO Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) just reported his fourth quarter portfolio. Mr. Gayner said that he has the luxury of not selling stocks as Markel rarely needed money from its investment arm. But Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) sold most of his Berkshire Class A position, which he has owned for years.  


  • A Look at Tom Gayner's New Buys

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) is the Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Of Markel Corp and President of Markel Gayner Asset Management, Inc., the investment subsidiary of Markel Corp since December 1990. He thinks stock is part of a business and the business is worth what the present value of the future cash flows are. "We operate with a margin of safety in the investment portfolio." he has said. He has a relatively concentrated portfolio. He believes that he can earn the best returns by concentrating his focus and portfolio in promising areas where he has the best understanding and knowledge.


    His portfolio is composed of 107 stocks with a total value of $3,790 million. 24.1% of shares are in Financial Services, 22.2% in Consumer Cyclical and 17.6% are from the Consumer Defensive sector.

      


  • Markel CIO Tom Gayner Buys Deere, Unilever, Marsh & McLennan, Sells Teva, International Game, Northern Trust

    Markel CIO Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) Buys Deere, Unilever, Marsh & McLennan, Sells Teva, International Game, Northern Trust

    Markel Corp (NYSE:MKL) CIO Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) just reported his third quarter portfolio. Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) likes high quality companies at reasonable valuations. Once he buys, he rarely sells. This is his portfolio update for the third quarter of 2014.  


  • A Stock Whose Trading Price Accurately Reflects its Intrinsic Value

    In this article, let´s consider General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), a $256.07 billion market cap that has a trailing P/E ratio that indicates the stock is relatively undervalued (PE 20.0x vs Industry Median 22.5x). So now let´s see some drivers of this company, which sells products ranging from jet engines and gas turbines to consumer appliances, railroad locomotives and medical equipment.


    Key drivers

      


  • Reasons to Consider Marriott in Your Portfolio

    In this article, let's take a look at Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), a $17.93 billion market cap company, which operates more than 3,500 hotels and 600,000 rooms in more than 50 countries.


    Business model

      


  • A Global Leader in the Cleaning and Sanitation Industry

    In this article, let's take a look at Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL), a $33.12 billion market cap company that is a leading worldwide marketer of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services for foodservice, food processing, hospitality, health care, industrial and oil and gas markets.


    Strategic acquisitions

      


  • Hasbro: I Insist on This Funny Stock

    In this article, let´s see one of the most important financial ratios applying to stockholders, the best measure of performance for a firm's management: the Return on Equity (ROE), and we are going to analyze it in the case Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS)


    ROE is calculated as net income applicable to common shares divided by the average book value of common equity: ROE = Net Income / Av. Book Value

      


  • Why Don’t You Have a Little Fun in your Portfolio?

    In this article, let's take a look at Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), a $6.87 billion market cap company, which is a company with a broad portfolio of toys, games and entertainment offerings includes brands such as Transformers, Playskool, Monopoly and My Little Pony.


    Business Model

      


  • Tom Gayner: Identifying Great Capital Allocators

    Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) gave a presentation at the Value Investor Conference. The topic of his presentation is “Finding Great Capital Allocators.” Below are my notes:


    Mr. Gayner started with quoting from his most recent quarterly memo to board: “Over the years, we've consistently discussed the core parts of our investment process, our searching for profitable businesses with good return on capital, run by honest and intelligent management teams with great reinvestment opportunities with capital allocation discipline, at fair prices.”

      


  • Analysis of Guru Companies - Tom Gayner, Markel Corp

    Of the guru companies discussed, Tom Gayner of Markel (MKL) is the last one of the series. Previously I have written about Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio)’s Icahn Enterprises (IEP), Ian Cumming (Trades, Portfolio)’s Leucadia National (LUK), Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio)’s Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH)(FRFHF), and Jim Tisch’s Loews Corp (L).


    The Guru

      


  • Markel (MKL): A Compounding Machine

    Our financial goals are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.” – Markel 2013 Annual Report


    Markel is an outstanding business currently in its 85th year of operations. It is an excellent insurance company with a history of underwriting profits. It is also a superb investment company with a history of above average investment returns. Markel had an outstanding year in 2013, basically doubling the size of its insurance business and investment portfolio in an acquisition that the market hasn’t seemed to fully value yet. I think the shares are priced not just fairly — but cheaply — at a valuation level where investors have the chance to partner with one of the great long term compounding machines of the past three decades and achieve investment results for a long period of time that will at least equal — and possibly exceed the comprehensive returns on equity and growth in book value that the business achieves.

      


  • Markel Corporation's 2013 Letter to Shareholders

    2013



    To Our Business Partners

      


  • Tom Gayner Top 3 Picks for the Quarter

    Markel is an insurance company that is investing the premiums it collects in the stock market in the same vein as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B). Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) has been the head of the asset management division and the chief investment officer since 2004. He has a bottom up value investment approach and has been described as very conservative in his choices, focusing first of all on not losing capital.


    Here are his top three buys for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013:

      


  • 5-Year Lows: Athlon Energy Inc., Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., Brookfield Property Partners LP, Chamber Street Properties

    According to GuruFocus list of five-year lows, these Guru stocks have reached their five-year lows: Athlon Energy Inc., Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., Brookfield Property Partners LP and Chamber Street Properties.


    Athlon Energy Inc. (NYSE:ATHL) Reached the Five-Year Low of $29.04

      


  • Tom Gayner Buys BlackRock, Mosaic, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Sells CarMax, Leucadia

    Renowned value investor Tom Gayner just reported his second quarter portfolio. Mr. Gayner is the CIO of insurer Markel Corp (MKL), manages the company’s investment portfolio. To understand more how Tom Gayner invests, please read Tom Gayner's Interview with GuruFocus .

    Tom Gayner buys BlackRock Inc, Mosaic Co, Synalloy Corporation, Eni SpA, Chevron Corp, Liberty Media Corporation, Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group LP, Apollo Global Management LLC, KKR & Co LP, Google, Inc., Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Inc., Apollo Group Inc, ONEOK, Inc., Amazon.com Inc, Core Laboratories N.V., Copart, Inc., Ross Stores, Inc., sells Union First Market Bankshares Corp, Plum Creek Timber Co Inc, Leucadia National Corporation, CarMax, Inc., Sysco Corporation, Fidelity National Financial Inc., Washington REIT during the 3-months ended 09/30/2013, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp.  


  • Tom Gayner Reports 5 Stock Buys in Quarter 3

    Tom Gayner, president and CIO of insurer Markel Corp, reported adding five stocks to his portfolio in the third quarter: Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS), Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO), Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE:POT), Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL) and Copart Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT).

    Markel (NYSE:MKL) is a Virginia-based specialty insurer and holding company where Gayner has managed investments since 1990. Gayner employs a value approach to stock selection, evaluating individual companies based on factors such as profitability, return on capital, management, reinvestment dynamics, capital management and valuation, according to the company’s 2012 investor letter.  


  • Tom Gayner’s 5 Biggest New Buys

    Tom Gayner, who manages the float of insurance company Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL), discussed the key to beating the market over the past 20 years in the company’s 2012 shareholder letter: “We’ve simply looked at individual companies, one at a time, and asked ourselves a few questions. By considering four basic types of questions about individual companies and securities we try to develop enough confidence to make a decision.” The four questions are:

    1) Is this a profitable business with good returns on capital without using too much debt?  


  • Markel’s Tom Gayner Buys UnitedHealth, Synalloy, Liberty Media, Sells EOG, Sysco

    Renowned value investor Tom Gayner just reported his second quarter portfolio. Mr. Gayner is the CIO of insurer Markel Corp (NYSE:MKL), manages the company’s investment portfolio. To understand more how Tom Gayner invests, please read Tom Gayner's Interview with GuruFocus.

    Tom Gayner buys UnitedHealth Group Inc, Synalloy Corporation, Liberty Media Corporation, Chevron Corp, National Oilwell Varco, Inc., Google, Inc etc. during the 3-months ended 06/30/2013, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. As of 06/30/2013, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp owns 107 stocks with a total value of $2.8 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.  


  • Three Categories of Risk to Keep in Mind When Investing

    Warren Buffett said there are just two rules of investing:
    • No. 1: Don't lose money.
    • No. 2: Don't forget rule No. 1.
    That's a tongue-in-cheek, oft-used phrase, but worth remembering at all times. But it raises the question: How exactly do you "not lose money?"  


  • Markel (MKL) Is a Compounding Machine

    A couple weeks back I wrote a quick post on Tom Gayner, who is an outstanding investor and head of Markel (NYSE:MKL), one of my favorite companies in America. Markel is a well run insurance company that has been compounding shareholder equity consistently at about 16% per year over the past 20 years. MKL operates with a similar business model to that of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B)
    • Write insurance policies to collect premiums
    • Invest the float
    Insurance companies make money in those two main categories: underwriting profits and investment profits. Many insurance companies actually lose money writing insurance, but make money on investments. It’s very difficult for insurance companies to produce consistent underwriting profits. The best insurance companies are profitable over time in both their underwriting and their investments.  


  • Notes from the Markel Breakfast Meeting Held During the Berkshire Hathaway AGM

    Every year value investing favorite Markel (NYSE:MKL) holds a meeting of its own on the Sunday of the Berkshire Hathaway AGM.

    This allows shareholders and followers of Markel who happen to be in attendance at the Berkshire meeting to also stop in and hear what Tom Gayner and Steve Markel have to say.  


  • Markel CIO Tom Gayner Buys Buys UnitedHealth, Liberty Media, Google, Moody's, MasterCard

    Markel Corp (NYSE:MKL) CIO Tom Gayner just reported first quarter portfolio. Usually he has a low turnover with his portfolio. But over the last quarter he bought a lot of new stocks in health care and technology. He buys UnitedHealth Group, Liberty Media, Google., WellPoint, etc, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp.

    GuruFocus just had an interview with Mr. Gayner. To learn more about how Mr. Gayner invests, please read Answers from Tom Gayner's Interview with GuruFocus.  


  • Markel Manager Tom Gayner Interview with GuruFocus in Omaha

    GuruFocus interviewed Tom Gayner on Friday in Omaha. A former accountant, Gayner has been delivering market-beating returns managing $2 billion in float as the CIO of insurance company Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL), which he joined in 1990.

    Holly LaFon: Do you want to talk a little about your top holding? What is it that you like about CarMax (NYSE:KMX)?  


  • Tom Gayner's 4 Main Investment Principles

    I've been doing some research this week on insurance as there are a number of stocks in this industry on my watch list. Yesterday I went through the Value Line list of life insurers, many of which are selling well below book value. I'll be taking a look at a few of these in more detail soon.

    Of course, insurance is a business that Warren Buffett has used as a foundation at Berkshire Hathaway to build his investment fortune. But there is a far lesser known investor who runs a similar company that would tremendously benefit any value investor studying his thoughts and ideas. Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) is run by Tom Gayner, a superinvestor who uses value investing strategies combined with insurance float to build wealth for himself and his shareholders.  


  • Ask a Guru: Tom Russo, Tom Gayner and David Rolfe

    GuruFocus will be attending the 10th Annual Value Investor Conference in Omaha on Thursday and Friday, May 2 and 3, and talking to some of your favorite investors – Tom Russo, Tom Gayner and David Rolfe. We will also ask them some reader questions. If you have anything about investing you would like to ask them, submit them in the comments section below. We’ll pose the questions at the conference and post the answers on the site.

    About the Investors  


  • Tom Gayner, Markel Corp Comment on Investing Process and 20% Equity Return

    This is the excerpt of the investment section of the 2012 Annual Report of Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL), where Tom Gayner is chief investment officer. The complete report is available here.

    2. We earned excellent returns on our investment portfolio  


  • Tom Gayner – Slow to Sell, but Selling UBSH

    Tom Gayner, president and chief investment officer at Markel Corp. (MKL) and president of its subsidiary Markel Corp, continues to shed Union First Market Bankshares (NASDAQ:UBSH) in his third reduction this month, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. On Feb. 15, the typical long-term holder Gayner reduced another 1.69% of Union First Market Bankshares Corp (NASDAQ:UBSH) at the average price of $17.76 that day, as reported in the latest insider filings.

    Gayner now owns 2,495,997 shares of UBSH. Since the trade, UBSH stock price has gone up 1.91%. In February alone, Markel Corp, a 10 percent owner, has sold 128,484 UBSH shares to date.  


  • Markel’s Tom Gayner Buys Alliance Holdings, Moody's, Norfolk Southern, Sells Sysco, Vodafone

    As the CIO of Markel Corp, Tom Gayner has the luxury that most money managers don’t have: he never has to face redemption pressure. He certainly takes this advantage to almost its extreme, as he rarely sells stocks. With this buy and hold strategy, he has built great track record at Markel. To understand more about Mr. Gayner, read his interview with GuruFocus.

    Tom Gayner buys Alliance Holdings, Moody's, Norfolk Southern, Nike, Peabody Energy Corporation, Hasbro, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Expeditors International of Washington, Inc., sells Union First Market Bankshares Corp, Sysco Corporation, Vodafone Group PLC during the 3-months ended 12/31/2012, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. As of 12/31/2012, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp owns 102 stocks with a total value of $2.4 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.  


  • Long-Term Holder Tom Gayner Reports 5 New Positions

    Tom Gayner, president and chief investment manager of the float at Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) and president of its subsidiary Markel Corp, bought five new stocks in the fourth quarter: Liberty Media Corp. (LMCB), Bunge Ltd. (NYSE:BG), Arch Coal (ACI), Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP) and Quaterra Resources Inc. (QMM).

    The companies that Gayner invests in are typically characterized by profitability, good returns on capital, talented and honest management, reinvestment opportunities, capital discipline and fair prices.  


  • The Markel-Alterra Combo, and Remembering Gayner’s Lowdown on Evaluating Insurance Stocks

    It has been about a week since the two insurance companies announced an acquisition agreement where Guru Tom Gayner’s Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) will adopt Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:ALTE)’s majority stake.

    As Markel’s stock has been entering negative territory in the past week since the revealing of the news (its stock is down by 0.33 percent Thursday morning), it is apparent that widespread doubt still lingers about the acquisition.  


  • Markel Corp. Makes Fifth UBSH Stake Reduction

    Tom Gayner’s Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. has reported its fifth miniscule share reduction to its Union First Market Bank (NASDAQ:UBSH) stake. Its two latest transactions were reported Dec. 10 and 11 on GuruFocus Real Time Picks, costing the investment company 0.29 percent and 0.15 percent of its stake, respectively.

    Markel first acquired Union First Market Bank in the first quarter of 2010, starting off with 3.5 million shares, at an average price of $13.09. The company did not touch its shares, however, until this year, when it made its first reduction of Union in November.  


  • Tom Gayner Continues Tiny Reductions of Union First Market Bankshares

    Tom Gayner, of Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp., has shed less than 1 percent of his shares of Union First Market Bankshares as of Nov. 27, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. The reduction, totaling 0.42 percent of his current shares, is the third time he decreased his stake after first introducing the stock to his portfolio in the first quarter of 2010.

    With a market cap of $374.5 million, Union First Market Bankshares Corp. is the holding company for Union First Market Bank, as well as non-bank affiliates such as Union Investment Services Inc., Union Mortgage Group Inc. and Union Insurance Group Inc.  


  • Tom Gayner’s Top Q3 Buys – AHGP, BTU, MAT, NSC, PG

    Investor Tom Gayner reported buying nine new stocks in the third quarter, of which most were basic resources and industrial goods and services companies and none exceeded 1% of the equity portfolio he manages for insurance company Markel Corp. The portfolio consists of $8.8 billion at June 30, with 25% invested in equity securities, up from 21% at year-end 2011.

    Gayner outlined his simple stock selection strategy in Markel’s 2011 investor letter: “We continued to follow our historical and unchanging four-point discipline of seeking profitable businesses with good returns on capital, led by honest and talented managers, with reinvestment opportunities and capital discipline, at fair prices.”  


  • Tom Gayner’s Top Sells for the Third Quarter: WU, VAC, MO

    Tom Gayner, chief investment officer of financial holding company, Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL), has updated his portfolio for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, introducing nine companies to his portfolio, adding to current shares of seven stocks, reducing one stock and completely selling all of his shares of 12 companies – a total of 29 transactions.

    Gayner’s portfolio has an equity value of $2.34 billion and contains 98 stocks. Gayner invests in stocks based on the worth of its present value of future cash flows. He also sums up what he looks for in any investment under four qualities: 1) a profitable business, 2) a solid management team, 3) good reinvestment opportunities such as positive returns on capital, and lastly, 4) a fair or better purchase.  


  • Markel’s Tom Gayner Reduces Union First Market Bankshares after Strong Gains

    Tom Gayner, chief investment officer of insurance company Markel Corp., has shed 1.72 percent of his holding of Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH) by selling 60,222 shares in the first week of November, GuruFocus Real Time Picks reports. At an average price of close to $15.50 per share, the transaction was worth approximately $933 million in total.

    Gayner, a value investor with a market-beating long-term track record, keeps his core formula for stock selection simple.  


  • Latest Picks from Markel’s Tom Gayner: Buys ADM, ART, BRK.A, DELL, MON, HAS, BRP

    Markel Corp’s Tom Gayner just reported his last portfolio. He has added to a lot of positions in the portfolio of Markel Corp (MKL). He buys Archer Daniels Midland Company, Artio Global Investors Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Walgreen Company, Schlumberger Limited., Oracle Corporation, Dell Inc., Monsanto Company, Carbo Ceramics Inc., Hasbro, Inc. etc during the 3-months ended 06/30/2012, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. As of 06/30/2012, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp owns 101 stocks with a total value of $2.2 billion. To understand how Tom Gayner invests, please read Answers from Tom Gayner's Interview with GuruFocus.

    These are the details of the buys and sells.  


  • Weekly Guru Bargains Highlights: DCI, ANF, FWLT, JNPR, CRR

    According to GuruFocus updates, these stocks have declined the most since Gurus have bought.

    Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE:DCI): Down 49% Since Columbia Wanger Bought In the Quarter Ended on 2012-03-31  


  • Tom Gayner Interview from Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

    Tom Gayner, CIO of Markel Corp (NYSE:MKL) was at Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting when Yahoo Breakout caught up with him. Here is an interview of Tom Gayner discussing value investing, his portfolio and Berkshire Hathaway

    Here is the video:  


  • Markel Corp Q1 Portfolio Update: Buys CFX, ADM, ART, CRR, CLMS, BBSI, YUM

    Markel Corp just reported its first quarter portfolio. The portfolio was managed by renowned value investor Tom Gayner. The equity portfolio of Markel Corp has outperformed the S&P 500 in seven out of the last 10 years. Up to the end of 2011, it had a 10-year cumulative gain of 79%. In the same period, the S&P500 gained 35%.

    Tom Gayner likes to buy high quality companies at reasonable prices. In GuruFocus interview with Mr. Gayner, he provided his great insight on how to invest in insurance companies.  


  • The Best Yielding Stock Buys of Thomas Gayner (Markel Asset Management)

    Thomas Gayner Markel Asset Management Fourth-Quarter 2011 Fund Investing Strategies By Dividend Yield – Stock Capital, Investment. Here is a current overview of the best yielding buys of Thomas Gayner, portfolio manager at Markel Asset Management. Within the fourth quarter of 2011, he bought 35 stocks of which 31 pay dividends with six yielding over 3 percent. The best yielding stock and the only high-yield equity was Calumet Specialty Products (NASDAQ:CLMT). Gayner increased the position by 3.64 percent. The whole position has no significant influence to his portfolio.

    Here is a full portfolio update of Thomas S. Gayner’s - Markel Asset Management portfolio movements as of the fourth quarter of 2011 (Dec. 31, 2011). In total, he held 97 stocks with a total portfolio worth USD1,895,525,000.  


  • The Washington Post is not as cheap as you think.

    The stock is officially one of the ten most hated stocks in the US. These stocks have more than 35% of analysts rating them “sell”. The opinion of analysts notwithstanding, Mason Hawkins, Tom Russo, Ruane Cunniff, Chris Davis, Tom Gayner , Charles de Vaulx and Warren Buffett own shares of the company.  


  • Tom Gayner's Top Dividend Stocks: WRE, NSH, MO, FII, EPD

    Tom Gayner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Markel Corp. and he also presides over Markel Gayner Asset Management, Inc., a subsidiary of the first. He has been in such position since 1990.

    Before starting working in the financial environment, Gayner earned a degree from Mcintire School of Commerce, University of Virginia.  


  • Tom Gayner of Markel Corp Buys FII, MSFT, TEVA, COF, V, XOM

    Tom Gayner of Markel Corp just reported his fourth quarter portfolio. During GuruFocus interview with Mr. Gayner, he said that the place he is finding a lot of values are large cap multinational companies. Those are exactly what he bought during the fourth quarter of 2011. As of 12/31/2011, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp owns 97 stocks with a total value of $1.9 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells that have the impact to portfolio of more than .1%.

    We have converted our interview with Markel CIO Tom Gayner into our first issue of Guru Investor Digest. Please feel free to download and distribute it to anyone who might be interested. Here is the PDF download link for this issue of Guru Investor Insight . in the interview, Mr. Gayner shared his view on some of his largest holdings including CarMax, Berkshire Hathaway, Fairfax Financial etc.  


  • Guru Investor Digest: Interview with Tom Gayner

    We have converted our interview with Markel CIO Tom Gayner into our first issue of Guru Investor Digest. Please feel free to download and distribute it to anyone who might be interested.

    Here is the PDF download link.  


  • Top Holdings from Tom Gayner

    "I tend to be a pretty slow seller. There's two reasons I would sell something, let’s start with that: A) I made a mistake, it was wrong, and that usually involves some sort of character judgment I made about the management, being disappointed in some sort of tainted investing that seems inconsistent with what I wanted to see. Or secondly, and this is a little bit true right now, there are ideas that are just less compelling than a new idea that you might have and you need some money to pay for what you're buying. Generally speaking, it's not just a matter of the fact that I don't like to sell, but actually there's huge tax efficiencies for Markel for us to be able to buy and hold something for a long period of time."

    Tom Gayner serves as executive vice president and chief investment officer Of Markel Corp and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management Inc., the investment subsidiary of Markel Corp since December of 1990.  


  • Answers from Tom Gayner's Interview with GuruFocus

    Tom Gayner, a renowned valued investor, is president and chief investment officer of Markel Corp and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management, the investment subsidiary of Markel Corp., since 1990. He manages about $2 billion.

    Update:
    This interview is now in our first issue of Guru Investor Digest. Download the PDF here.  


  • Markel’s Gayner Buys INTC, ORCL, BUD, FII, TEVA, V, XOM, MSFT

    Markel Corp’s CIO Tom Gayner rarely sells stocks. He doesn’t need to as his company continues to generate good float and cash flows to cover the insurance needs. Like many other value investors, he likes tech now. He added to his positions in large tech companies such as Intel, Oracle etc. to understand more about how Tom Gayner invests, please read:

    Markel CIO Tom Gayner's Address to Value Investing Conference May 2011  


  • Tom Gayner Keeps Buying WMT, UPS, ADP, BUD, TEVA, MSFT and Keeps Selling DEO, DIS, GE, NVO, FNF

    Thomas Gayner has been the head of Markel Gayner Asset Management (Markel’s investment division) since 1990, and he has been also chief investment officer of Markel since 2004. His assets under management are about $2 billion.

    Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs. Tom S. Gayner is its chief investment officer and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management, the investment subsidiary of Markel Corp. Markel operates in excess and surplus lines, specialty admitted, and London markets. Markel Service was formed to be a separate, nationwide service organization to take care of both the direct and reinsured business of American Fidelity & Casualty. Now, with $1.98 billion in gross written premiums and $105 million yearly in net income, it's one of the biggest companies in the property & casualty insurance industry.  


  • Tom Gayner's Q&A at May 2011 Value Investor Conference

    This is Markel (NYSE:MKL) CIO Tom Gayner’s Q&A Session from the 8th Annual Value Investor Conference in May 2011, in Omaha, right before the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway. The upcoming 9th Annual Value Investor Conference will be held May 3 – 4, 2012, again in Omaha. The conference is organized by Bob Miles, author of several books including "The Warren Buffett CEO: Secrets of the Berkshire Hathaway Managers."

    GuruFocus also published Gayner's speech to the Value Investor Conference, which preceded the below Q&A session.  


  • Markel CIO Tom Gayner's Address to Value Investing Conference May 2011

    Below is Tom Gayner's talk at the 8th Annual Value Investing Conference held in May 2011 in Omaha, just prior to the Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) annual meeting. The upcoming 9th Annual Value Investor Conference will be held May 3 – 4, 2012, again in Omaha. The conference is organized by Bob Miles, author of several books including "The Warren Buffett CEO: Secrets of the Berkshire Hathaway Managers."

    Tom Gayner is also taking questions from GuruFocus readers this month. To learn more about him and submit an investing question, go here.  


  • GuruFocus Reader Q&A with Guru Investor Tom Gayner

    This month, we are excited that investment guru Tom Gayner has agreed to take questions from GuruFocus readers. Tom is president and chief investment officer of Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). Markel Corp. is an international property and casualty insurance holding company with a $328 book value. Tom invests the company’s $2 billion float.

    To ask Tom your own investing question, post it in the comments section below. We will send all of the questions to him and post his responses shortly.  


  • Guru Stocks at 52-Week Lows: NSRGY, TM, PEP, AMX, BUD

    Last week’s top five guru stocks that reached their 52-week lows were Nestle (NSRGY), Toyota (NYSE:TM), Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), American Express (NYSE:AMX) and AnheuserBusch Inbev (NYSE:BUD). According to GuruFocus list of 52-week lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 52-week lows.

    Nestle S A Reg (NSRGY) Reached the 52-Week Low of $54.37  


  • Tom Gayner Of Markel Corp Reports Q2 Portfolio: Buys ORCL, LEN, BRP, TEVA, INTC, BUD, ABT, MSFT, MCF, WU

    Tom Gayner at Market Corp reported his Q2 portfolio. Gayner buys Oracle Corp., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Intel Corp., Anheuserbusch Inbev Sa/nv, Abbott Laboratories, Microsoft Corp., Contango Oil & Gas Co., Western Union, Lennar Corp., Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., sells Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, Forest City Enterprises Inc. Cl A during the 3-months ended 06/30/2011, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. As of 06/30/2011, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp owns 85 stocks with a total value of $1.9 billion.

    Mr. Gayner said that he is very blessed that he does not have the redemption problems that most fund managers have. Therefore he can hold his favorite stocks forever and he rarely sell stocks.  


  • Markel Corp (MKL) - Conservative Value

    Value investors have always had a love affair with insurance companies, dating all the way back to Ben Graham and Geico. Warren Buffett, the world’s best known, best liked and most often quoted investor is well known for his numerous insurance industry investments and his amazing ability to allocate the float provided by Berkshire’s insurance subsidiaries. Buffett has gone on the record for saying (obviously I’m paraphrasing) that Berkshire was one of his biggest investing mistakes, and that if he had it to do over again he would buy a small insurance company and go from there.

    The people at Markel (NYSE:MKL), a holding company not dissimilar to Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), have taken that information to heart. In fact, MKL might be the company most like Berkshire (they even have a $230 million equity investment in BRK). The heart of their business, perhaps to an even greater extent than Berkshire, is insurance.  


  • Markel’s Gayner Buys BUD, BRK.A, XOM, EOG, EPD, ABH, KMB; Sells GE, FCE.A, PPD, CMCSA

    Tom Gayner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Of Markel Corp and President, Markel Gayner Asset Management, Inc., the investment subsidiary Of Markel Corp. Markel Gayner Asset Management just reported their 4th quarter portfolio. As of 12/31/2010, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp owns 82 stocks with a total value of $1.8 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.

    Most value investors are quite familiar with Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) which is essentially a younger, smaller version of Berkshire Hathaway. The company is very well run both on the insurance side and on the investment side of the business. According to recent comment from Gayner, they had a fantastic year on equity side, up 20% vs 15% on S&P. Up 6.2% over the last 5 years vs 2.1%, up 7.6% for last 10 years vs 1.1%.  


  • Checking in on Markel Corp. (MKL) - Notes from the Q4 2010 Conference Call

    Most value investors are quite familiar with Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL) which is essentially a younger, smaller version of Berkshire Hathaway. The company is very well run both on the insurance side and on the investment side of the business. I like to follow them for two reasons. One is whether now is a good time to be investing in Markel or other companies in their industry. The other is to listen to what Tom Gayner is currently investing in and what he is avoiding. They had their Q4 2010 earnings call earlier this week and I made the following notes. Combined ratio Combined ratio was 97% for 2010 compared to 95% in 2009. (Anything under 100% means they are effectively being paid to manage their float) Book Value Growth Net income to shareholders of $267 million, vs $202 million in 2009. Book value per share increased 16% to a $326 per share at December 31, 2010, an all-time high. (continuation of long term low to mid teen percentage growth in book value, current share price is $410) Gayner Comments on Investment Results Wonderful year on our investment operation. The total portfolio return was 8.1% or 7.9% after conversion of our results to U.S. dollar. Fixed income deposits, we earned 5.4% in total return, which matches the coupon from the portfolio. Exactly what should happen overtime. They work hard to avoid credit losses and do not aggressively trade the portfolio trying to be a superior guesser of the future direction of interest rates of. Simply match liabilities from the insurance side against the portfolio of high quality fixed income. But also applies common sense, which continues to suggest that rates are headed higher so continue to maintain bond maturities at a lower level in our insurance book. Thereby accepting lower current income for protection against rising rates and lower bond prices. Fantastic year on equity side, up 20% vs 15% on S&P. Up 6.2% over the last 5 years vs 2.1%, up 7.6% for last 10 years vs 1.1%. Equities are 54% of shareholder equity. Markel Ventures Group Gayner had mentioned how insurance and investing were the first two engines of growth for Market. The third is the Markel Ventures group which represents a slow steady move into controlling interests of non-insurance business (like Buffett does). Expect $250mil of revenue from this group in 2011 and expect at least double digits of this to turn into cash flow. (I certainly like the idea of a solid core group of businesses providing cash flow that is outside of insurance. What bothers me a bit is how you assess Markel's ability to manage such a group of companies. Not everyone is Buffett who is clearly in most cases a very astute judge of managers. And when your background is insurance, you are going to have to rely fully on the managers of the businesses you acquire.) Gayner on Munipal Bonds In response to whether Markel would be moving away from muni bonds because of credit quality concerns. - Half the fixed portfolio is in munis which is about $3bil which is equal to shareholder equity - That muni portfolio is made up of the top of the food chain - They have a 10% rule which means never have more than 10% in one state - Even if they have 10% in one state they won't ever have 10% in one specific bond (ie. They might own bonds on LAX and the City of Los Angeles and the City of San Fran etc) - His personal belief is that even in a nightmare situation you aren't looking at zeros for those bonds but rather a restructuring that lowers the interest rate but still involves a full return of principal - Comfortable with all of the risk management steps they have (clearly though they do have a lot of exposure with muni holdings equaling shareholder equity) Gayner On What Investment Areas He Currently Finds Attractive - Same place as he has for a few years and that is global blue chip brand name companies - Had a really good 2010 despite not being invested in smaller caps but was instead in high quality - Thinks commodities might sprint ahead this year but he isn't chasing as Markel are marathoners not sprinters - Will continue to put new money into the best franchises in the world if prices stay the same .Back in the summer Gayner was quite vocal in his presented remarks about a likely bond bubble: Here are his comments:"If you are tuned into the financial markets these days, it seems like deflation is the headline story of our time. As is almost always the case, the genesis for the headlines is true, true especially if you're looking in the rearview mirror of recent hard data, as opposed to the unclear, unknowable and imprecise future.All across the globe, we face persistent unemployment issues, the ongoing deleveraging of the economy, increased savings rates and new labor pools from the developing world, which are creating more in the way of global supply than demand.All of these factors create pressure on prices and worries about deflation. These facts and worries can be seen clearly in the low levels of inflation expectations and interest rates. I don't hear bondholders talking about things like the fact that Disney just raised the admission price and the tuition and medical bills among others continue to rise.A one-year treasury now offers a yield to investors of approximately 0.3%. You can get almost 10 times that if you commit money for 10 years, since the 10-year yield is almost 3%. Neither one of those rates is acceptable to us.The popular idea of investing in bonds today strikes me as about the same as the chance of Dow 36000 a decade ago. The arguments were well-reasoned and seemed plausible at the time. A bull market can make you believe some incredible things. Today the multi-decade bull market has been in bonds, not equities and I think that similar incredible ideas are out and about in the financial markets. I don't think that committing our capital for returns of roughly 3% is a good idea that will stand the test of time.In 1904, the New York City subway system opened with a fare of $0.05. The fare stayed the same 44 years until 1948. Over the next 62 years, prices increased regularly and now stand at $2.15. Investing in long-term fixed income instruments at today's interest rates makes sense if you think the coming decades will see the subway fare remain at $2.15 or thereabouts.Personally, I'll take the over bet and invest your capital reflecting this view. We're not interested in locking up our capital for such low nominal returns. We maintain the fixed income holdings we must to match and protect our policy holders. Beyond that, we keep cash and fixed income in order to have the option of investing differently as market conditions change and different opportunities present themselves."The logic is hard to argue with. Of course as always, the timing of the change in sentiment is impossible to predict." The general message from the call on the insurance side is that they are growing tired of the soft pricing market, but that they will stick to their disciplined approach. On the investment side Gayner (like Jeremy Grantham) believes that the best quality companies in the world are still on sale. He also is avoiding any longer duration bonds as much as possible. Here is a link to the most recent SEC filing for the Markel equity portfolio:http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1096343/000119312510257867/0001193125-10-257867.txt  


  • Markel's Tom Gayner's Stays With Star Capital Allocators; Top Picks: KMX, BRK.A, FRFHF, BAM, DEO

    Tom Gayner manages the investment portfolio of insurance company Markel Corp (MKL). Since its IPO in 1986 and through the end of 2009, the company had grown the book value per share at a compound annual rate of 21.2%. This compares favorably to the growth of the S&P 500 of 9.3% over the same period, according to the company’s 2009 Annual Report.

    Markel Corp. (MKL), Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) are three insurance companies that managed to grow their book value at fast clips long terms. The three companies share a similar business model: a successful insurance operation that generates premium (“float”) and a savvy asset allocator who can turn a pile of money into a larger pile over the course of decades. The investment portfolios of the three companies are managed by Tom Gayner, Prem Watsa, and Warren Buffett respectively. GuruFocus tracks their equity investment activities. You can click on their names to see the details.  


  • Markel’ Gayner Buys National Oilwell Varco, Nestle, Exxon Mobil, WalMart, Charles Schwab, Sells Forest City

    This is the Q3 portfolio update for Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. The portfolio is run by Markel’s CIO Tom Gayner.

    As a deep value investor, it seems that Mr. Gayner find opportunities in large caps, as most of his new purchases are in mega caps like Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft Corp. etc.  


  • Markel’s Tom Gayner With Strong Warning on Bond Bubble

    I’ve written several times about the high profile investors publicly suggesting that the very highest quality American companies are bargains at current prices. Here are a few of them:  


  • Markel Corp. Buys Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Prepaid Legal Services Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., Sells Cintas Corp., Comcast Corp.

    Markel Corp. CIO Tom Gayner manages the company’s equity portfolio. This is the Q2 update of the buys and sells during the second quarter.

    Tome Gayner seek to invest in profitable companies, with honest management at reasonable prices. He tends to hold his investments over the long term. Over the past 10 years, Mr. Gayner has achieved an cumulative gain of 110%, while the market is negative in the same period.  


  • Markel's Tom Gayner Top Holdings: CarMax Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Fairfax Financial Holdings, DIAGEO plc, Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

    Tom Gayner manages the investment portfolio of insurance company Markel Corp (NYSE:MKL). Since its IPO in 1986 and through the end of 2009, the company had grown the book value per share at a compound annual rate of 21.2%. This compares favorably to the growth of the S&P 500 of 9.3% over the same period, according to the company’s 2009 Annual Report.

    Markel Corp. (NYSE:MKL), Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF) and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) are three insurance companies that managed to grow their book value at fast clips long terms. The three companies share a similar business model: a successful insurance operation that generates premium (“float”) and a savvy asset allocator who can turn a pile of money into a larger pile over the course of decades. The investment portfolios of the three companies are managed by Tom Gayner, Prem Watsa, and Warren Buffett respectively. GuruFocus tracks their equity investment activities. You can click on their names to see the details.  


  • Markel Corp. Buys Union Bankshares Corp., Anheuserbusch Companies Inc., EOG Resources Inc., Sells Aflac Inc., CME Group Inc., Manpower Inc.

    Insurance company Markel Corp.’s investment portfolio is run by Tom Gayner, it CIO. Mr. Gayner believes that he can earn the best returns by concentrating his focus and portfolio in promising areas where he has the best understanding and knowledge. This is the Q1 portfolio update.

    Tom Gayner buys Union Bankshares Corp., Anheuserbusch Companies Inc., Eog Resources Inc., Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.p., Air Products And Chemicals Inc., sells Aflac Inc., Cme Group Inc Cl A, Manpower Inc., The Mcgrawhill Companies Inc., Sap Aktiengesellschaft, Sl Green Realty Corp. during the 3-months ended 03/31/2010, according to the most recent filings of his investment company, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. Tom Gayner owns 77 stocks with a total value of $1.6 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.  


  • 2010 Markel Corp. Annual Meeting Notes

    The notes just keep on coming. Here are my notes from the 2010 Markel Annual Meeting in Omaha that was held the day after the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. Both Tom Gayner and Steve Markel shared a lot of wisdom with those who were in attendance. For those of you who could not make it, enjoy the notes.

    Also, stay tuned for notes from:  


  • Ideas Buffett and Gayner Share: CocaCola, American Express, CarMax, Procter&Gamble, WalMart, General Electric, Johnson&Johnson, UPS, Home Depot, ExxonMobil, NIKE, Lowe's, Costco

    Like Warren Buffett and Prem Watsa, Tom Gayner also manages investments for an insurance company – Markel Corp. What’s different here is that Gayner does not own a controlling stake of the company, so he does not generate as much publicity as the other two. However, the basic scheme of fortune making is the same: with an insurance operation that produces ever-growing float and an investment operation that produces enviable investment returns, and after a couple of decades of above-average growth, an empire is built.

    Markel Corp. does pretty much what Berkshire Hathaway does, except with a smaller balance sheet, smaller insurance operation, and fewer and smaller non-insurance operations. Past twenty-plus years have been phenomenal for the company: since 1986, book value per share grew at a compound annual rate of 21.2%, as compared to S&P 500’s 9.3% over the period.  


Add Notes, Comments

If you want to ask a question or report a bug, please create a support ticket.


Get WordPress Plugins for easy affiliate links on Stock Tickers and Guru Names | Earn affiliate commissions by embedding GuruFocus Charts
GuruFocus Affiliate Program: Earn up to $400 per referral. ( Learn More)