Investor presents insight, expertise

BAR HARBOR — The author of what “Forbes” magazine called “one of the most important business books in America” will present his views on investing during an intimate conversation at College of the Atlantic July 21.

Will Thorndike, author of “The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success,” will join COA dean of institutional advancement Lynn Boulger for the school’s weekly summertime Coffee and Conversation Series. The talk takes place in the Deering Common Community Center place from 9-10 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

Thorndike, who’s Boston-based Housatonic Partners manages $1 billion, said that he plans to use the event to discuss how the ideas in his book apply to investors.

“For investors, you’re trying to identify CEOs who have certain characteristics and invest with them. Qualitative markers and signals, like how they talk about their business and their approach to running their business,” Thorndike said.

Thorndike, the current chairman of the COA Board of Trustees, spent eight years working on the book, interviewing successful CEOs such as Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, Katherine Graham of The Washington Post Co. and Bill Anders of General Dynamics. Each had outperformed both the S&P 500 and their peer groups, and Thorndike wanted to know why. The answers, detailed in his book, continue to fascinate him.

“The Outsiders” has proven enormously popular with investors, selling 100,000 copies in nine languages since its release in late 2012. Buffett himself praised the book in his company’s 2013 annual report, calling it “an outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.”

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