HOA N. NGUYEN
HEAD OF EXTERNAL MANAGERS
FIDUCIARY TRUST COMPANY
What’s top of your to-do list right now?
I joined Fiduciary Trust earlier this year, so I’m bringing a fresh perspective to our manager relationships. As part of this, we’re building out our comprehensive manager selection and monitoring process to create a more systematic approach.
What is keeping you awake at night work wise?
Given our efforts to continually enhance our fund selection process, we’re refreshing our multi-manager offerings, expanding the manager research process and streamlining the number of funds on the platform. We want to offer an appropriate multi-manager program that is aligned with the priorities of existing and prospective clients.
What fund has had the most inflows this year?
Since I joined the firm in March, we’ve made two recommendations to our mutual fund line-up. One came from a search for an active ‘pure play’ bank loan manager to replace an ETF placeholder. Stemming from that, we’ve seen flows into our floating rate fund selection so far this year.
Best meeting you’ve ever had?
One that stood out was our meeting with Jim Murchie, who founded Energy Income Partners, the subadvisor for First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure. Full disclosure, we do not have any allocation to the fund at the moment, but we thought Murchie was impressive. He was candid, insightful and extremely knowledgeable about the energy space. He’s clearly an expert in his field and provided some interesting perspectives that will help us when we re-examine our master limited partnership holdings.
Worst meeting you’ve ever had?
This was not a meeting, but I was once told by a wholesaler that if I did not attend their company’s conference, it would be tough for them to allow me to invest in their funds. I’ve been conducting manager research for quite a while now, and this was the first time I’ve heard of such a prerequisite. It makes you wonder what they consider their value proposition to be.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
My passion lies in manager research, but I guess if I had financial freedom, I would take a stab at opening the best Asian tapas bar and lounge in town.
What are your interests outside of work?
I have three kids – 12- and 10-year-old girls and a four-year-old boy – so they dominate most of my time outside of work. Like most parents, serving as a chauffeur is a part-time job on the weekends. I named my son Brady, so you can guess where my allegiances reside when it comes to professional football. I try to play golf, with an emphasis on trying, because I’m terrible at it.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’ve always wanted to go to Bora Bora and stay in the bungalows over the water. It seems so tranquil and looks like a place where you can completely unplug from the world. Eventually, our family would like to visit China, where my wife is from, and Vietnam, where I was born.
If we gave you $1, 000, how would you invest it?
If this were for my personal account, which comes with a 20-to-30-year time horizon, I would include significant exposure to emerging markets and international small caps given the secular growth prospects.
Do you have any hidden talents?
No such luck, but I was a refugee from Vietnam and survived the journey to America. I literally arrived – like many Vietnamese immigrants at the time – without a penny in my pocket and not speaking a word of English. I’m a US citizen now and this is my American dream.