Blue Harbour's Robbins: Value investing will make a comeback

    • Blue Harbour Group CEO Cliff Robbins says value investing will benefit from tax reform and the repatriation of overseas profits.
    • "Normally when you get to this part of the cycle, where the disparity in valuations between growth stocks and value stocks is as wide as it is today, accompanied by rising interesting rates, normally there's a shift where value comes in favor," he says.
    Cliff Robbins, founder Blue Harbor Group
    Adam Jeffery | CNBC
    Cliff Robbins, founder Blue Harbor Group

    Blue Harbour Group CEO Cliff Robbins believes value investing will thrive in the next two years.

    "Last several years have been a tough place for value investors ... I think that's going to change," he said in an interview with CNBC's David Faber on "Squawk on the Street" Tuesday. "Normally when you get to this part of the cycle, where the disparity in valuations between growth stocks and value stocks is as wide as it is today, accompanied by rising interest rates, normally there's a shift where value comes in favor."

    Robbins said tax reform will benefit value stocks as the lower rates will enable firms to invest more in their businesses. He also cited the repatriation of overseas profits as a tail wind for companies.

    "A lot of that money is coming across to the U.S. to make acquisitions," he said. "I'm optimistic about the opportunity set I see over the next couple of years."

    Robbins also revealed Tuesday that his firm is one of the largest investors in Open Text, a maker of enterprise software based in Canada.

    The activist investor appeared from the sidelines of 13D Monitor's Annual Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York City.

    Robbins is founder and chief executive officer of Blue Harbour Group L.P. Previously he was a partner at major private equity firms such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and General Atlantic.