We’ll soon see the movie about the recent “story stocks” alleged market manipulating, pump-and-dump saga. The main narrative about the Reddit day trading phenomenon will likely focus on the young, wild, foul-mouthed, silly dudes hyping “meme stonks.” The short-selling hedge funds will be cast as rich, evil, establishment types, bent on crushing GameStop and other weak companies for the sake of profits. You can already visualize Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev fantastically playing the part of the cold-blooded, unfeeling, very pale-looking dracula-type guy who’s only looking out for himself.
There are two other interesting characters that have been overlooked in the press. Richard Mashaal and Brian Gonick are two middle-aged, mild-mannered Canadian guys who run a hedge fund in New York, Senvest, with money seeded by one of the guy’s money-management dads. The little-known shop started buying GameStop shares in September.
The Wall Street Journal reported, “Senvest’s interest in the videogame retailer was piqued by a presentation from the new GameStop chief executive at a consumer investment conference in January 2020.” The duo spoke with management and was impressed that Ryan Cohen, the guy behind Chewy, the online pet-supplies company that became ridiculously successful, took a stake in GameStop and accepted a seat on the board of directors.
Mashaal and Gonick bought shares in GameStop—paying under $10 a share. Beyond their wildest dreams, the social media hype machine, catching the attention of investors, traders and curious lurkers, helped push the stock to over $400 per share. The duo earned a whopping $700 million payday on their investment!
“When it started its march, we thought, something’s percolating here,” said Mashaal. “But we had no idea how crazy this thing was going to get.” GameStop is now Senvest’s most profitable investment. Not too bad, eh?