PRINCIPAL, PORTFOLIO CONSTRUCTION
WHAT’S TOP OF YOUR TO-DO LIST RIGHT NOW?
On the top of my to-do list is recruiting great multi-asset, multi-manager investors and continuing to develop and engage associates already on our team.
WHAT IS KEEPING YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT (WORK WISE)?
Setting and communicating appropriate performance expectations that encourage positive client behavior. Diversified portfolios have underperformed the S&P 500 index over the past several years, leading some to question the benefits of asset allocation and diversification. This is not the first time that has happened nor will it be the last. A diversified portfolio will always underperform the best performing asset class over short periods of time. The issue is that no one knows for sure what asset class that will be in the future. Ultimately, positive client behavior – staying invested, having the appropriate asset mix for your risk tolerance/investment goals, rebalancing – is critical to successful client outcomes.
WHAT'S THE BEST MEETING YOU’VE EVER HAD?
I have had a lot of great meetings over my career, but my most memorable was my first due diligence conference with Fidelity in Boston more than 15 years ago. It was a real eye-opening experience with great presentations from investment professionals, but also networking with other individuals in the industry. The highlight was a presentation from Will Danoff, portfolio manager for Fidelity Contrafund. Will walked to the stage and started going through the first few slides of the presentation that clearly was created for him by his marketing department. He stopped, put down the clicker and said (I'll paraphrase): ‘I'm a portfolio manager, a stock-picker, so let's talk stocks.’
He opened it up to the entire group to ask questions on any stock they were interested in. In rapid-fire fashion, Will rattled off their revenue, earnings, key drivers of their business lines, their competitive edge, when he last met with their management, etc. It was remarkable.
WHAT'S THE WORST MEETING YOU'VE EVER HAD?
More than 10 years ago, I met with a smaller asset manager on the west coast. The portfolio manager clearly did not seem to get along with firm leadership. He also did not put much value in the quality of his analyst team, basically telling us he did not want them to contaminate his ideas. Needless to say, we did not invest with them.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I would be a high school teacher.
WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS / HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Reading – mostly history, probability/statistics, decision-making, leadership, travel and sports books. We are big baseball fans, particularly the St. Louis Cardinals. My wife, son and I have a tradition of going to at least one Major League baseball game in another city each summer. We have been to almost 10 different stadiums so far.
IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
China. There is such a rich history and culture there and clearly it is going to continue to play an important role in the global economy.
IF WE GAVE YOU $1,000, HOW WOULD YOU INVEST IT?
I would put it in an emerging market equity fund or ETF and not touch it for the next 30 years.
DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?
My son and I make a mean bowl of Texas chili.