CIBC ATLANTIC TRUST PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGEMENT
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SENIOR INVESTMENT ANALYST
What’s top of your to-do list right now?
We continue to evaluate the liquid alternative asset classes with regard to both asset allocation and manager selection. Recently, it has become both a challenging and frustrating space, which has led us to remain patient and methodical in our research and decision-making. In addition, I continue to navigate through the evolving arena of sustainable and impact investing. I believe this is an area with a tremendous amount of potential and will become increasingly relevant in the years to come.
What is keeping you awake at night (work wise)?
The changing landscape of our industry is something constantly on my mind ⎯ in particular, how it is transitioning from an industry created and controlled by one generation and shifting to a distinctively different generation. So much of what we do, and how we do it, was developed by a generation that has begun to move on, while the next group primed to take over has a drastically different ideology and approach. It is both exciting and daunting, with an abundance of opportunity and risk.
What was your best-selling fund last year?
We have seen the most activity in what we describe as ‘enhanced yield,’ or income-producing asset classes, such as high-yield corporates, floating-rate bonds and dividend-focused equities.
Best meeting you’ve ever had?
One meeting that definitely stands out, though, was my first on-site visit at T. Rowe Price. I had a chance to sit down with Bill Stromberg, who is now chief executive, but at the time was director of research. During our discussion, Bill made a point of telling me about the importance of his team of analysts and that the firm puts a substantial amount of emphasis on tracking their success. Perhaps he noticed the look on my face, which suggested I had heard that many times before, so he decided to prove his point to me. Before I knew it, Bill had these massive binders of paper in front of him, and he was telling me they were full of data dissecting how each analyst was doing from every possible angle. It was truly impressive and certainly reinforced T. Rowe’s reputation for having some of the best analysts in the business.
Worst meeting you’ve ever had?
It was a client meeting when I was at another firm earlier in my career. We were meeting with the board of trustees of one of our Taft-Hartley clients, which are typically staffed with union and employer representatives. With this particular client, labor and management had a very fragile and volatile relationship. Before long, the meeting felt like a very ugly divorce proceeding, where neither side would budge on anything. The feeling in the room became extremely intense. Long story short, the meeting ended with chairs being tossed across the room, glass breaking everywhere and a whole lot of yelling. Meanwhile, my colleagues and I sat stunned and motionless, hoping to go unnoticed (and unharmed). I like to think you can learn something from every meeting, but I guess the only real lesson learned that day was to come to each meeting prepared for anything.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
Ideally, I would like to be the general manager of the New York Giants, but I am still waiting to hear back from them. I would also really enjoy owning and operating my own dog rescue, but I believe Stephanie Hagglund already took that one in last month’s Q&A. So, I guess that leaves something within the sports industry, like a journalist or talent scout, or working for an innovative environmental group.
What are your interests outside of work?
Despite my fear of flying, I love to travel, especially to warm and sunny places. Additionally, I consider myself an environmentalist, dog lover, sports enthusiast and resident cynic.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Is traveling back in time an option? Assuming there is no DeLorean time machine, I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica. It’s a place that appeals to me on so many levels―from its incredible beauty and biodiversity to its environmentally friendly and peaceful nature. However, with the chance of rain in Costa Rica, I would naturally have to end that vacation with a stopover for some sun in Turks and Caicos.
If we gave you $1,000, how/where would you invest it?
This is almost an unfair question considering where we are in the current market cycle. So, I will take a longer-term approach and say emerging markets, especially with a focus on Asia. I like the upside potential and believe a number of Asian countries are making positive steps with respect to their global economic status. However, if I’m wrong, I’ll be back for another $1,000!
Do you have any hidden talents?
If I told you, they wouldn’t be hidden anymore, right? But I guess I can share one, although I’m not sure my doctor considers this a talent. When I was younger, I won multiple bacon-eating competitions and, in fact, have my picture hanging on the wall at three separate diners for the amount of bacon I was able to eat at one sitting, so I am really good at eating bacon.