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Darden hosts investment conference

Business leaders discuss trends in investment

The Darden School hosted the seventh annual University of Virginia Investing Conference on Thursday and Friday. The conference was focused on investing in innovative fields and companies.

“The objective of the conference was to bring thoughtful leaders from the world of practice to share their views on where they see innovation playing an important role in the economy,” said Kenneth Eades, interim academic director for Darden's Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management. “Asset managers want to know about these new companies — which ones look the most promising and which ones are perhaps too risky to merit investment.”

This year’s conference was broken into three broad industries for investing: digital health care, energy and technology. Each field featured a panel as well as a keynote address, and the conference featured two keynote speakers to discuss investing more broadly.

Kyle Bass headlined the group of speakers. Bass is the founder and principal of Hayman Capital Management, LP and a member of the advisory group for the Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management at the Darden School.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chapter IV Investors W. Barnes Hauptfuhrer was another featured speaker at the conference.

“I wanted to be responsive to [Darden Dean Robert Bruner’s] ask and his goal of building an Asset Management program and reputation at Darden,” Hauptfuhrer said.

Hauptfuhrer talked about shale oil, and how it has benefitted America through the creation of jobs and reduced gas prices and heating bills.

“The shale boom has been a real stimulus to our economy and it is quickly reducing our reliance on foreign oil, … a very good thing,” he said.

Other panelists included Nancy Lazar, a partner at the consulting firm Cornerstone Macro and Robert J. Hugin, chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene Corporation. There were 15 total speakers.