Analyst Note| Brett Horn |
We think Markel is a solid franchise with a number of attractive qualities, but the "mini-Berkshire" narrative that surrounds the company is misleading. We will maintain our $1,310 fair value estimate and no-moat rating. Starting with the positives: CEO Tom Gayner has a record of outperforming the S&P 500 using an investing philosophy similar to that employed by Morningstar and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett. Through Markel Ventures, the company appears to be acquiring moaty noninsurance operations at good prices. Finally, the company has materially outperformed the overall industry in terms of underwriting profitability.