Tom Gayner

Tom Gayner

Last Update: 2014-08-08

Number of Stocks: 105
Number of New Stocks: 8

Total Value: $3,507 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 5%

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

Tom Gayner Watch

  • 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


    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:


  • 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., 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. (MOS), Apollo Global Management LLC (APO), Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT), Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) and Copart Inc. (CPRT).

    Markel (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. (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 (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.  

  • 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 (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 (BRK.A)(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 (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 (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. (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 (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 (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.  

  • 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. (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 (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 (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. (MKL) and president of its subsidiary Markel Corp, bought five new stocks in the fourth quarter: Liberty Media Corp. (LMCB), Bunge Ltd. (BG), Arch Coal (ACI), Resolute Forest Products (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. (MKL) will adopt Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd. (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 (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.  

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