Tel Aviv panorama.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Investment managers who control $90 billion of assets assembled in Tel Aviv on Wednesday for the city’s first Sohn Conference, which brings investors together to discuss ideas and raise money for charity.
The 19-year-old conference, which has taken place in San Francisco, Honk Kong, London and Toronto, was founded in 1995 by friends and family of Wall Street investor Ira Sohn, who died of cancer at the age of 29.
The conference raises money for various causes, usually pediatric cancer.
But the Tel Aviv conference is donating its proceeds to the Israel Rett Syndrome Foundation’s “Silent Angels.”
“It’s an honor to be here,” said GAM Holding investment director Paul McNamara, who opened the conference.
“Sohn is so famous in the industry; there’s a certain amount of prestige.”
McNamara’s fund focuses on emerging- market investments. He has come to Israel on several occasions to solicit business from local banks, insurance companies and pension funds. His business looks closely at currencies, in particular.
Israel, like Switzerland and the Czech Republic, is a successful, open, advanced economy that is doing well despite tough global economic conditions, McNamara said, and these countries have strong currencies.
The Bank of Israel will likely do whatever it takes to weaken the shekel, he said.
“In Israel, it really is about the shekel, and QE [quantitative easing] and other measures are the only ways to weaken,” McNamara said.
The conference featured investors such as billionaire Paul Singer and Start-Up Nation coauthor Dan Senor.