Monday, May 21, 2007

Timothy Collins, Tim Collins

I am currently reading the book "Saving the Sun" about the
story of the revival of Shinshei Bank. Part Two of the book
focused on Timothy Collins. After reading it, I am liking this
man more.
I first heard of Timothy Collins when Marty Whitman told me about him
in his Yale class, which I had the fortune of auditing. I found out
later that Third Avenue Value Fund owned shares of RHJI International. Tim
turned around Shinshei Bank, one of the biggest banks in the world.
I went to Belgium to visit with the office of RHJ International. Arnaud
Denis, RHJI's investor relations, told me about this book.
Let me put an excerpt from the book,
"In the late 1980s, Collins gave up the investing banking game to work out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He was a Baptist and sometimes wondered whether chasing money on Wall Street really fitted in with his Christian faith. For six weeks he worked in a Sudanese refugee camp and toyed with the idea of doing charity work full-time or even entering the church. "I don't go to church every week but I think my family's religion and my belief are an important part of my view of the world," he later explained.
His friend and fellow Christian, the financier Richard Rainwater, persuaded him otherwise. "God didn't make you a poet or an opera singer or a six-foot-eleven center," Rainwater told him. "But you are pretty good at doing this[business.]" So Collins decided instead to donate a large proportion of his earnings to charity and reemerged on Wall Street..."
Classy guy, good ethics. In my investing process, when I find good management, I feel it is my job to tell the story of this man so that the world can be a better place if capital were entrusted with him. Imagine if Warren Buffett was more well known back in 1950s and he compounded his wealth to much higher than it is now. And he donated that entire amount to charity! Now, that's value creation!