Institutional consultant Highland Associates has hired gatekeeper Eric Ralph from St. Louis-based Summit Strategies Group.
Ralph is the first recruit for the firm’s recently-opened St. Louis, Missouri, office. He has been hired as a consultant specializing in endowments, foundations, pensions and hospitals' operating assets.
Birmingham, Alabama-headquartered Highland Associates primarily caters to non-profit healthcare entities and mission-based organizations and provides research, consulting and customized portfolios to its clients.
The St. Louis office is the firm’s third location. It also has an office in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ralph is now part of a nine-member consultant team, which reports to Trey Echols, Highland chief executive, and Michael Lytle, Highland managing director.
‘Eric is an outstanding leader capable of driving growth and capabilities, especially as our new St. Louis office is launched,’ Echols said.
When constructing custom portfolios, Highland’s consultants use a focus list of 160 investment strategies put together by its research team of 11, led by Hunter W Craig, director of manager research.
Ralph is also on the firm’s seven-member investment committee, led by CIO R. Scott Graham, which sets capital markets and asset allocation strategy in addition to approving manager hiring and firing decisions.
At Summit Strategies, Ralph had been principal and managing director for over 17-years, providing investment recommendations for endowments, foundations and pensions.
Separately, Highland Associates has recently added the DF Dent Mid Cap Growth strategy to its focus list, Matt Samson, vice president of research, told Citywire.
The fund is ranked fifth out of 92 Mid-Cap Growth funds tracked by Citywire for three-year total returns to the end of February 2018. Over that time it returned 42.6% compared to the average Mid-Cap Growth fund, which was up 28.4%, and the Russell Mid Cap Growth TR index's 30.7%.
Highland has also been exploring the option of creating an interval fund for discretionary clients, Samson said.