"I love combining disparate ideas to create something that didn’t exist before. I’ve been fortunate to be part of some of the great inflection points and innovations of my generation. My life’s work is to bring together people and ideas to support a more productive, holistic, and just world"
- Ray Garman
Seeing that the renewable energy utilizes legacy systems from the carbon economy, Garman and his team at Sol Renewables Incorporated ("SRI") develop, EarthBonds™, a proprietary process to analyze and unlock value in the renewable energy market.
Analyzing more than 4,900 assets, Garman and the team form SRI to test the Interactive Knowledge Operating Network (“IKON) logic in the renewable energy sector. SRI builds a platform to acquire and manage renewable assets in 2022.
Building on the experiences of combining companies and people, Garman invents IKON. distributed, remote management through the internet needs safe spaces in which to interact, with processes that support people in ways very different from the traditional work environment. IKON’s collaborative decision-making process is in testing in multiple industries using structured and unstructured data for decision making that adds alpha.
Seeing the power of content expanded from cable tv, Garman opens Combine-X to build a platform with remote connectivity and OTT technology to create a management community for collaborative operations. Focusing the first portfolio on superfoods, he led the acquisition of 7 small superfood companies to bring local products to national markets.
Responding to several legendary social activists’ requests to help their non-profits expand impact, Garman invented a unique compression algorithm and developed online content platforms to leverage physical world events. This "over-the-top" internet content distribution platform eventually would broadcast more than 1,000 synchronous and asynchronous live event programs from 3 continents.
When asked how to build momentum for an historic brand looking to grow in a connected, internet world wide web, Garman developed an opportunity to use fan-contributed content through a video upload process before YouTube became YouTube.
Building on his Long – Media/Publishing Asia call, Garman and his team acquire, modify, and sell a CRM company to an internet company based in India. Garman expands content, distribution, and technology portfolios in China, India, Singapore, and Australia.
More than just an outsourcing play, Asia-generated content is unique and a growing segment. Garman’s long call results in investments in a range of content development and “maker” economy assets, helping to drive the success of HSBC portfolios under Garman’s care.
One of the early investors to recognize that Samsung Electronics would become more than just a chip company, Garman went long Samsung Preferred with a hedge fund investment group to unlock value through a series of arbitrage trades designed to surface the inefficiency of the Samsung equity stack.
One of the first “foreign investors” to make a presentation at the Annual Meeting, Garman’s heavy overweight in Samsung Electronics recognized the potential growth of this now iconic, diversified, worldwide brand.
Accessibility to markets opens the mainland and the Asian recovery picks up steam. Garman helps open PMA, one of Asia’s first hedge funds which sold in 4 years.
Recognizing nimble, performance-based, absolute-return funds would have substantive advantages over long-only funds, Garman developed portfolio screens and metric programs for absolute-return use in Asian markets. The platform was a central component used to start one of Asia’s first hedge funds.
As technology goes mobile, Garman asks: "Will Moore's Law always apply?” Garman believes there is a point when hardware will no longer limit practical applications in an internet connected world.
Moving to Asia, Garman works for HSBC Asset Management running it’s Asia ex-Japan, TMT portfolio. Promoted three times in 2 years to become Head of Sectors, Asia ex-Japan, Garman operates his portfolios with a heavy Asia overweight.
“Asia will be much more than just hardware.”
– Ray Garman
MSCI Pacific ex-Japan
(October 25, 2001 – May 1, 2008)
Following PCCW, Garman recognizes “smart” phones are ubiquitous in Hong Kong but don’t exist in the U.S. Garman adapts his online market technology for smart phone accessibility to use in infrastructure challenged environments, including the U.S.
Fillmore Mercantile ("FMI") portfolios increase investments in Asia and Garman backs it up by moving there in 2001.
Garman recommends a major U.S. state pension investor, and all FMI portfolios sell the internet bubble and buy yield ahead of the crash. Garman deploys online market technology to secure future rights to “on the field” commodities.
Garman creates The Magical Fox Box, an early data management and telemetry monitoring system for structured and unstructured data – deployed in several variations, including the live event, convention, and automobile sectors.
Magical Fox ("MFI") builds early online transaction processing, lockboxes, commodities, and financial instrument trading applications and platforms using straight-through-settlement in portfolio and client businesses.
FMI portfolio company FT&T changes the live event industry again by selling the first major event tickets online. FMI introduces online bar-coded tickets with anti-scalping features, creating the first platform for online transactions using personal account logins delivered through a digital VPN.
Providing a tool to analyze structured and unstructured data, Garman invented securitization protocols to value live event ticket sales and recorded content which were applied to worldwide entertainment tours and sales of music catalogues through the issuance of securities such as, among others, the “Bowie Bonds”.
FMI acquires rights to kiosk ticketing system. Garman and his team change the live event ticketing business forever by becoming the first to put bar codes on event tickets.
Set a record for fastest sell out of a show: 54,000 tickets in 21 minutes – Pearl Jam, San Francisco Sept. 24, 1995.
FMI opens Rancho Sante Fe Travel (“RSFT”), one of the first online travel, ticket, touring, and specialty travel companies. RSFT ultimately provides service to a wide range of musical, entertainment, and e touring productions world-wide.
Garman conceives and develops a magnet program for Philadelphia High School students who are “at risk”, had left school, or are otherwise interested in entrepreneurship. Over 2 years, Garman and his team develop a pedagogy that is spun out to launch one of Philadelphia’s first charter schools, the World Communications High School (“WCHS”). Though the school would eventually take a different direction, and Garman would no longer be involved, WCHS operates for more than 20 years before closing.
Doubling down on the internet, Garman tells his clients that content through “the cloud” is the way of the future. “Online gaming will become the future of gaming, replacing disk-based systems.”
– Ray Garman
Garman spends many hours trying to convince “savvy investors” that people will use the internet for credit card transactions. FMI develops proof-of-concept database software to capture "fans of bands", eventually collecting more than a million music fans, with online purchase capabilities. Garman sees a world where bands and fans, communities, and people, use the internet to gather, to engage, and to buy, sell, and trade.
After Berners-Lee and with the introduction of Mosaic, Garman focuses FMI on the future of the web. Growing out of the work at Linc InterNet Co (“LINC”), Garman creates Magical Fox (“MFI”) to uniquely tie together the development of software, multi-media, and integrated network systems.
“In the past, the industry trend has been to develop these three components in virtual isolation of one another. Fillmore Mercantile's direction, in contrast, is to create a dynamic organization that creatively integrates these crucial parts from the ground up to provide a flexible, efficient one-stop-shop for our clients.” – Ray Garman
Still an obscure and off the radar asset class for most investors, FMI opens a Private Equity Portfolio. In the space of a few years, Garman leads the opening of companies for web development, online event ticketing, travel services, and builds internet tools to be used by startups, Fortune 500’s, and governments.
Garman’s trading market technology forms the basis to buyout a "super foods" commodities brokerage company focusing on nuts, seeds, and oils. In support of the acquisition, and to provide access to growers worldwide, Garman creates a satellite-enabled, portable, commodities trade kiosk for use with growers in Asia, Africa, India, and other infrastructure-challenged environments.
FMI opens early internet innovator Linc InterNet Co (“LINC”) which eventually becomes award winning web pioneer Magical Fox. FMI launches Horse & Buggy Productions to create web content, and the ARPANET to Internet transition begins.
While working with the NY Cotton Exchange, Garman watches the Marlboro Index signal a decline in the weeks before the 1987 market crash. Visiting the CME on the Thursday before the crash, Garman tells his clients, "Sell this market now!".
Believing investment allocation would expand beyond traditional asset classes, Garman begins the Fillmore Arts & Antiquities (“FA&A”) which eventually holds investments in original artworks in all mediums including canvas, analog, and digital. Over the next 10 years, Garman and his colleagues develop, produce, and host a range of content creation through live, recorded, and experienced art, helping to launch New York’s iconic Knitting Factory and Nuyorican Poets Café.
While attending Haverford College, Garman creates the Marlboro Index to measure cross-border value and relative value for countries with uncorrelated currencies such as the USSR, China, and others. Opening Fillmore Mercantile Incorporated (“FMI”), he begins to use the Marlboro Index for a range of consulting and co-development projects with, among others, Equitable Capital, and international investors. FMI would eventually grow to 9 offices, on 4 continents.