In US for Berkshire Hathaway AGM, value investor Parag Parikh dies in car crash

He has written two best-selling books on behavioural finance and practised its principles vigorously in his investing approach

Nazim Khan May 04, 2015 10:51:38 IST
In US for Berkshire Hathaway AGM, value investor Parag Parikh dies in car crash

Renowned value investor Parag Parikh was killed in a car accident in Omaha, Nebraska, in the US Sunday, where he was attending the annual shareholder meeting of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Corporation.

Media reports from the US said Parikh was the backseat passenger of a car that collided with a pick-up. The car was being driven by Rajeev Thakkar, chief investment officer at PPFAS asset management company founded by Parikh in 2013.

Parikh's wife was also critically injured in the crash and is being treated. Thakkar, along with another employee of the AMC, escaped with non life-threatening injuries.

Thakkar shared news of Parikh's demise on Twitter yesterday. Parikh entered financial markets in 1979 and built up a successful stock-broking business whose portfolio management schemes were known for their superlative performance and value investing bent.

In US for Berkshire Hathaway AGM value investor Parag Parikh dies in car crash

Parag Parikh's PPFAS AMC ran a mid-sized equity scheme that was known to seeking value outside the country. Image from Facebook

He became a keen student of the field of behavioural finance after he attended a course in Harvard on it, he once told this writer in an interview.

He later wrote two best-selling books on the subject and practised the principles of behavioural finance vigorously in his investing approach. Known for his candid demeanour and a general disdain towards most asset managers (who he said chased too much hot money, often to their clients' detriment), Parikh recently launched a mutual fund scheme and shuttered his broking business.

His PPFAS AMC ran a solitary mid-sized equity scheme that was known to not fear seeking value outside the country (such as by investing in stocks like US-listed Google and 3M).

The fund has had a middling run so far. But in line with his belief that equities were a long-term investment, Parikh had during the fund's launch put up a bold disclaimer in its prospectus saying investors with only a minimum five-year horizon need invest.

The AMC also sought to raise disclosure standards in the Indian fund business by adopting the skin-in-the-game principle: its promoters, portfolio managers and employees became the first to disclose how much of their own money they were investing in the scheme they ran.

Parikh's fund did not hold Berkshire shares (he possibly held them in his personal capacity), which are required for one to be able to attend the corporation's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, where Buffett hosts investors, to his wit and investment wisdom.

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