It’s been five years to the month since 29-year-old Fahmi Quadir shook Wall Street by betting against Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Having identified the company as most likely engaging in fraud, Quadir’s bet paid off when Valeant’s sky-high share price lost 90% of its value in less than a year.
“It’s incredible to think how much has changed and how much my life has changed in that time,” she says in the latest Opto Sessions. “It really was a serendipitous event, for me to become a short-seller and then go on to launch my own firm.”
Safkhet Capital — the fund Quadir founded six months after she had cashed out her iconic short — holds a unique position amid Wall Street. The women-run, short-only fund has become known for high conviction bets and a penchant for investigating corporate fraud – and winning out when it’s exposed.
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When German fintech firm Wirecard [WDI] revealed that $2bn in cash had gone missing from its business earlier this month, Quadir’s bet was validated, having allocated a quarter of Safkhet’s capital to shorting the firm since last year.
“Short selling [fits] into my world view and values system,” she explains. “You have to be good at asking questions, you need to be good at listening. I really see myself as an observer, and that allows me to better understand the world around me and the companies I’m investigating. You also have to have a really high pain threshold.”
Listen to the full interview and many more like it, on Opto Sessions.