Thank You Nochi, Thank You Ido

Greetings to Clal Insurance investment committee chairman Ido Dissentchik. I read yesterday that you are asking everyone to thank Nochi Dankner for "bringing us a rare investment opportunity." To thank Dankner, the chairman of IDB and its controlling shareholder, for allowing Clal to make a massive investment in the new fund he's raising with his maintenance partners in the Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

My name is Moshe Cohen, and I am the marketing manager at a heater factory in Maalot. Right now, during the hot summer days, work is a little slack, so I have time to read the discerning remarks of investment professionals as experienced as yourself, Dissentchik. The truth is that as soon as I saw your public offer yesterday, I wanted to join in the thanksgiving. After all, an investment of $125 million in one shot doesn't come every day.

You have no idea how delighted I am to have the privilege of being a member of Clal Insurance, a company that Dankner controls for the purpose of bringing us such rare investment opportunities. The problem is, I read in the paper that Dankner is selling Clal Insurance and so I'm a little concerned. I would just ask that if possible you arrange it with him so that even after the sale, he doesn't forget about us with his opportunities.

Actually, I would also like to thank you, Dissentchik, for giving us, the members, the opportunity to take advantage of the rare opportunity Dankner has brought us. Despite the wagging tongues, I would like to tell you that I am quite sure, Dissentchik, that you were not appointed to so essential a role just because of your friendship with Nochi Dankner. Clearly your appointment to this professional post also has no connection to the fact that you had a seat on the board of Bank Hapoalim, the very same puppet board of directors whose member agreed to everything Nochi Dankner did when he was chairman.

I also wanted to tell you that I understand your desire to retain the privileged information of your investments, and therefore would clearly not be "able to reveal the internal discussions held" about that same huge investment by the committee you chair. Therefore I believe you that, "as someone dealing with investments in the world at large," you don't know of any investment as rare as this. I am convinced that the fund managers presented you all with their strategic plan and their track record over the years, and that you know how they will behave in the next crunch, as well as during the next market peak.

As in the heater business, there's bound to be competition in your line, and you get lots of offers - and that only a few that are of special quality, like the one Dankner presented, merit a positive response. That's why there is no doubt that you examined the offer irrespective of the fact that Dankner both controls and owns a share of the fund, and you're sure this investment will contribute something to the returns Clal Insurance will yield us in the coming years.

It's good that you've brought the matter of this rare investment up right now, because every year at around this season, a little before the end of the year, I and my fellow managers in the factory consider our continued association with Clal Insurance. This year we read in the paper that the Ministry of Finance came to the conclusion that managed funds had defrauded their members over the years and that it's much better and cheaper to save in a pension fund. The truth is that until today every time we decided to transfer - we despaired and gave up the plan. Managed funds are like Hotel California, you can check out any time you like - but you can never leave.

I don't understand investments like you do, but I do understand people a little, and I'm glad that because of us and our money Dankner will be able to.