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Oct 14, 2021

Jeff Gramm is the Founder and Portfolio Manager at Bandera Partners, an investment firm focused on special situation and activist investing. Jeff is also the author of Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism. This episode includes a deep dive into capital allocation, shareholder governance and activist investing. It also recounts great stories from Popeyes, Joint Corp (JYNT), PAR Technology (PAR), Donnelley Financial (DFIN) and Denny’s (DENN).


To learn more about Jeff please follow him @jeff_gramm on Twitter. To learn more about Richard or to request a transcript of the podcast please visit


To order a copy of Jeff’s book please use this link here.


Show Notes:

(1:08) Background and introduction from Jeff. He talks about Columbia Business School and taking Joel Greenblatt’s class.

(03:06) Getting an MBA at Columbia and the value investing program. Figuring things out. Mario Gabelli and Seth Klarman.

(05:45) Jeff’s most difficult classes at Columbia.

(06:30) Working at HBV Capital post MBA. Looking at bankruptcies. Denny’s investment and filing 13Ds.

(10:13) The ‘ins and outs’ of filing a 13D.

(16:43) Position tracking and Popeyes Investment. How to trim a portfolio holding. Cheryl Bachelder. 

(19:36) The Power of Anchoring stock investments. Management’s ability to create long-term value. Overcoming mental exercise of looking at portfolio every day.

(21:37) JYNT Twitter Spaces with Edwin Dorsey @stockjabber

(23:27) DFIN, DENN, JYNT and Popeyes going over the similarities and differences.

(25:39) Speaking to other investors about portfolio holdings. Hearing the Bear Cases.

(26:47) Investor fatigue on special situations and how it can sometimes create massive opportunities. Discussing 5+ year incremental returns chart posted by Dennis Hong.

(30:37) Idea Generation Process and Wishful Thinking versus Fundamental Reality.

(33:13) The Benefits and Dangers of speaking to company management.

(34:14) Jeff has been on six company board of directors and he gives a brief overview of what it entails.

(38:08) Talking about the role of a board of directors. Star Group Investment (SGU)

(39:11) Public Company Annual Meetings. What you can learn and how it benefits investors.

(41:22) Other Activist Investors.

(42:38) Executive Compensation. Jeff delves into his contrarian thoughts. Performance over optics.