An investment management event that has arguably become one of Chicago’s biggest is about to pass an important milestone: $10 million raised for Chicago children’s charities over eight years.

Invest for Kids, started by investment professionals Ron Levin and Ben Kovler in 2009, has become a not-to-be-missed event for many of their Chicago peers, and even some outside the city. With support from industry heavyweights like Equity Group Investments Chairman Sam Zell and GCM Grosvenor CEO Michael Sacks, that’s not a huge surprise. The eighth annual gathering is tomorrow….READ MORE

If you want an optimistic take on the U.S. and world economies, don’t look to Sam Zell.

Speaking at an investment conference today, the billionaire Chicago investor suggested a recession may be on the horizon, decried the demographics of aging Europe and made it clear he thinks there’s not much upside left in commercial real estate. Yet Zell is high on Latin America, where he’s had more hits than misses investing in real estate… READ MORE

The top real estate executive at the world’s biggest property owner likes downtown Chicago, and not just because he’s a local boy.

Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group, is bullish on the city for the same reason many investors are: Big companies like McDonald’s, ConAgra and Kraft Heinz are moving their headquarters here, along with thousands of jobs.

“If you step back and look at the big picture… READ MORE

…1,100 investors gathered in Chicago’s Harris Theater for the annual Invest for Kids conference to glean investment ideas from a potpourri of hedge fund managers and other gurus. The investment performance over the conference’s prior six years has been pretty good (17.5% a year versus the Standard & Poor’s 500’s annual return of 14.1%). And the audience at the charity event gets managers’ best ideas without paying hedge fund fees, all for the $1,000 price of admission.

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Today, shareholders of Keurig Green Mountain GMCR, (GMCR) woke up to a nice 75% pop in the value of their shares.

… Most interesting, you could have participated in this huge winner too.

Just last month, at “The Invest for Kids Chicago” hedge fund conference, Ricky Sandler of the $6.5 billion hedge fund, Eminence Capital, made a detailed presentation on why he thought Keurig Green Mountain was worth $85 to $100 a share. The stock was selling for around $50 at the time and Eminence owned $195,000,000 worth — the largest hedge fund owner of the stock…FULL ARTICLE HERE – Forbes.com

“Invest for Kids flips the usual fundraiser format: it’s light on socializing and heavy on programming. The programming takes the form of investment tips from the industry’s elite, dispensed in saturated 15 minute presentations over four hours…Over the years, the format remained the same with some important adjustments. A big one this year: adding more women to the event.”

“It was a record turnout of over 1200 for Chicago’s Invest For Kids charity event, a testament, perhaps, to investors’ thirst for new ideas in today’s frothy stock market…this year’s event provided plenty of star power and grist for the mill with occasional touches of dark humor.”

“Chicago real estate tycoon Sam Zell isn’t big on U.S. investments at the moment…He was one of the nine high-profile professional investment managers gathered in Chicago to offer snippets of advice at the sixth annual Invest for Kids Conference. The event draws different big names every year, but Mr. Zell’s input is a constant.”

“This year’s Invest for Kids conference at the Harris Theater will still offer investors the chance to listen to industry titans promote a stock — at a cover charge of $1,000. But co-founders Ron Levin … and Ben Kovler… are pulling more and more of their headliners away from the lectern and putting them in chairs for interviews that offer a greater chance for surprise. They’re also welcoming more women to the stage and into the audience.”

“In Chicago, the fifth annual Invest For Kids Investment Conference, which benefits a number of local philanthropies, took place on Tuesday at the Harris Theater. Featured speakers including Trian Fund Management’s Nelson Peltz, Avenue Capital Group’s Marc Lasry, and Kingdon Capital Management’s Mark Kingdon helped swell the group’s coffers by a million dollars from 1,000 attendees. It’s money well spent in more than one way: Last year’s selections have risen 61% since, easily topping the 30% increase in the S&P 500.”

“As seasoned players in the investment industry, Ron Levin and Ben Kovler are familiar with long-term investments. Five years ago, they decided to invest in a different kind of long-term opportunity: Chicago’s youth…Kovler says the speakers at the event are the conference’s “secret sauce. If you’re an investment manager, it’s like going to the All-Star game and seeing Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Byrd,” he said.”

“Real estate mogul Sam Zell says the U.S. real estate market is healthy, but he’s got some specific views on where to make the best bets. Mr. Zell, speaking yesterday in Chicago at the Invest for Kids charity event, says he doesn’t foresee a “rising-tide market” where all real estate investors will benefit.”

“Ron Levin and Ben Kovler had been to several Ira Sohn conferences in New York when they decided their hometown of Chicago needed something similar.”

“On Oct. 29, two groups in the Chicago area will end the day a little richer. The first group: the 1,000 or so people expected to attend the fifth annual Invest for Kids conference…….
The second group:seven local nonprofits that serve underprivileged kids. Each will walk away with a grant of at least $150,000.”

“Creating and measuring impact is the name of the game,” says 34-year-old philanthropist Ben Kovler as he describes Invest For Kids (IFK), Chicago’s Investable Ideas Conference. Kovler founded IFK with Ron Levin five years ago. Creating and measuring IFK’s impact—social, financial and professional—is a labor of love for both men.“

“We wanted to give readers a head’s up that the fourth annual Invest For Kids Chicago conference is coming up on November 7th in Chicago. Tons of big name hedge fund managers will present their latest investment ideas and 100% of the money raised goes directly to children’s charities so if you’re in the Midwest it’s definitely worth attending.”

“The atmosphere was less than salubrious for the Invest for Kids conference in Chicago, which is modeled on the Ira Sohn Research Conference in New York and brings together some of the top U.S. money managers to proffer their best investment ideas, with conference proceeds going to charity.”

“A luxury home builder. A hardware chain. A plus-size clothing retailer. Those were some of the companies getting shoutouts on Wednesday as nearly a dozen of the country’s top money managers shared their best investment ideas for 2012 at a fund-raiser for children’s charities in Chicago.”

“Yesterday at Invest For Kids Chicago, numerous high profile hedge fund managers shared their latest investment ideas. The event had 800 attendees and raised $1.1 million (100% of the proceeds went to charities benefiting children).”

“Sam Zell recently gave a presentation at “Invest for Kids Chicago” where he touted investments in Brazil. Zell said that globalization means that the gap between emerging markets and the West is closing.”

“The third annual Invest for Kids event raised more than $1 million for seven Chicago-area children’s charities, according to spokeswoman Molly Bett Kovler, including the Illinois Education Foundation, Open Books, the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund and the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation,” reports Reuters. Almost a dozen of the top hedge fund managers in the business were there, sharing their best investment ideas with the roughly 800 attendees to the event.”

“The third annual Invest for Kids event raised more than $1 million for seven Chicago-area children’s charities, according to spokeswoman Molly Bett Kovler, including the Illinois Education Foundation, Open Books, the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund and the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation,” reports Reuters. Almost a dozen of the top hedge fund managers in the business were there, sharing their best investment ideas with the roughly 800 attendees to the event.”

“Last year, investors who put an equal amount of money — say $100 —in each stock recommended at the Invest for Kids conference produced a portfolio that was up 17%, Mr. Kovler said. All of the nearly $1 million raised will be given to seven non-profits that help kids.”

“750 attendees collectively contributed more than $1 million for children’s charities. In return, they got lots of stock picks and other investment ideas from some prominent money managers.”

“Invest For Kids, which benefits seven different groups that focus exclusively on providing services and programs to children in Chicagoland.”

“Invest For Kids is modeled after the Ira Sohn Conference and features prominent hedge fund managers presenting their latest investment ideas to benefit local children in Chicago. Last year the event sold out and raised $800,000. 100% of the money raised directly benefits children via local charities so it’s a great cause.”

“There’s a new fund-raiser in town that features a rock-star panel of business names and a 100% return to five area children’s charities.”

“Chicago real estate tycoon Sam Zell isn’t big on U.S. investments at the moment…He was one of the nine high-profile professional investment managers gathered in Chicago to offer snippets of advice at the sixth annual Invest for Kids Conference. The event draws different big names every year, but Mr. Zell’s input is a constant.”

“Invest for Kids flips the usual fundraiser format: it’s light on socializing and heavy on programming. The programming takes the form of investment tips from the industry’s elite, dispensed in saturated 15 minute presentations over four hours…Over the years, the format remained the same with some important adjustments. A big one this year: adding more women to the event.”

“It was a record turnout of over 1200 for Chicago’s Invest For Kids charity event, a testament, perhaps, to investors’ thirst for new ideas in today’s frothy stock market…this year’s event provided plenty of star power and grist for the mill with occasional touches of dark humor.”