More 'Value Investing Congress' ideas, from Willis to Wausau

Jeffrey Ubben, ValueAct Capital
Source: CNBC

The Value Investing Congress wrapped up Tuesday in New York City, but not before additional money managers added some new stock recommendations.

(Read more: Top picks from the Value Investing Congress)

ValueAct's Ubben: reinsurer Willis undervalued

Jeffrey Ubben of $11 billion activist investor ValueAct Capital recommended buying global reinsurance company Willis Group, saying the flat earnings that characterized the last five years are set to pick up.

Ubben noted that the company's North American and emerging markets businesses were growing again; new leadership under recent CEO appointment Dominic Casserley was positive; and cash flow was accelerating. He said the company has "strong positioning" in a growing industry and that recent entrants in the reinsurance business like hedge funds were "less sophisticated" than Willis (SAC Capital Advisors and Greenlight Capital are examples of hedge fund firms who have launched reinsurance arms).

Ubben declined to comment on one of ValueAct's highest profile investments, Microsoft. "We are excited to be working with them," he said slyly in response to a question from the audience about his firm's $2 billion investment. "I can't really talk...because we are in the middle of stuff."

(Read more: Microsoft's $40 billion buy back)

Starboard's Jeffrey Smith: I love toilet paper

Jeffrey Smith of $1.5 billion activist investor Starboard Value continued his effort to extract value out of Wausau Paper Corp. Smith, who has been engaged with the company since 2011 and has seats on the board, said the tissue maker was running a solid business but still had significant improvements it could make.

Smith detailed several examples of cutting overhead costs and growing market share. He said the company had enough cash to buy back up to $100 million of its stock.

He called the company's tissues—which includes unbranded toilet paper and other specialty tissue for offices—a "gem" and a "beautiful, beautiful" business. Smith said Wausau could go "up market" with premier toilet paper thanks to a new production machine and new recycling techniques.

Smith said Wausau Paper is "under followed, under levered, under valued." He urged the company to rebrand itself as the pure play tissue maker it has become since Starboard invested, not the paper-centric or Wisconsin-based business the legacy name incorrectly implies.

The stock jumped following Smith's comment to around $12.5 a share, up from $11.9.