Rohit Sehgal, 62, vice president and chief investment strategist, Dundee Wealth Management, claims he once raised $40 million in 2 minutes. And that claim is completely believable because his track record is the stuff stock market mythologies are made of. In early 2007, some bankers called Sehgal to consider investing in the Calgary-based Athabasca Oil Corporation. Sehgal okayed $10 million.
Then, the company found out it was sitting on about 7 billion barrels of oil, which made his investment worth $200 million. ‘Rohit has been raising the bar for growth margins in Canada for more than 35 years,’ said David Goodman, president and CEO, Dundee Wealth Management, last year. ‘Under his lead- ership we are setting up new standards for investment excellence in Canada and around the world.’ It’s not just his boss that’s been showering kudos on Sehgal. ‘In early 2008, his [Sehgal’s] fund was rated by Barron’s magazine as the number two hedge fund in the world over the three preceding years, with a market-crushing 60 percent annualized return,’ writes Bob Thompson, who has interviewed a dozen stock market super- stars of Canada, including Sehgal. What is the secret of his success? “You have to be passionate about what you are doing. You have to be dedicated. You have to have a certain drive, certain personality, and certain ambi- tion. Sometimes, you get a break, an opportu- nity that comes at the right point. That’s all part of it.”
More important for him as a money manager is “an environment which allows you to do your best. For me that means un-bureaucratic. I would never be able to survive in a bureaucrat- ic environment!” Those in the know in the stock market world say research is Sehgal’s secret weapon. “You have to be ahead of the herd,” he laughs. “I am informed by the amount of research I do but at the same time, I know what I am looking for, which sharpens the analysis. I try to look at the right places and look at the right indicators. Much of my attention is focused on the big picture, because I believe the big picture offers a lot of signals to the investor.” And he certainly can look at the big picture; he is credited to have started looking to India and China before investors on Bay Street could probably even pronounce ‘Mumbai’. But the world of global finance has seen seismic changes in the last year. “Right now we are all feeling a little bit humbled,” Sehgal con- cedes. “It is very difficult to hold up past achievements and the recognition that sometimes accompanies that success as any- thing other than what they are — past achievements. We are facing something today that we have never faced before in terms of the market’s performance. Patience and calm are watchwords at a time like this.” He has recently bought a home in Goa, India and he report- edly wants to raise money to build a school for underprivileged children. Goodman, however, reportedly said he ‘can’t envision Sehgal’ quitting the business.
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