CONWAY INVESTMENT RESEARCH
What’s top of your to-do list right now?
We are currently looking to add some multi-strategy and global macro fund options – preferably fee-friendly ones – to our line-up. We like multi-strategy funds as a hedge against higher interest rates and a sell-off in equities. Considering we are nine years into this raging bull market, investors really need to be reassessing risk and preparing for more volatility. Macro funds have not done as well in this recent market environment and we believe this could be the perfect time to initiate or add an allocation, as we often tend to be contrarian in our thinking.
What is keeping you awake at night (work wise)?
Investor complacency – volatility is at historic lows and investing just seems too easy right now. Eventually we will encounter turbulence in the markets.
What fund had the most inflows in 2017?
The Renaissance Institutional Equities fund. It is a systematic, long-biased long/short equity strategy. The quantitative approach complements other fundamental-based equity long/short strategies that we recommend.
Best meeting you’ve ever had?
One thing we always look for is a cohesive team that works well together. I remember a meeting from a few years ago when the portfolio manager and the team of analysts were all in the room together, and the way they interacted and meshed on the research process and portfolio construction was extremely impressive and memorable. I walked away with the feeling that the process was sound and repeatable and that it was the type of team I wanted managing investors’ money.
Worst meeting you’ve ever had?
Generally speaking, the worst meetings are when a portfolio manager tries to dominate the conversation and rambles on about what he or she wants to talk about. We want to set the agenda for the meeting and make sure that we cover all our due diligence topics and get answers to all of our questions.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
I have been obsessed with the weather since I was a little kid, so maybe a meteorologist. You get to be on TV and your forecasts don’t always have to be right. And we all know that everybody likes to talk about the weather!
What are your interests outside of work?
Most of my time is spent with my family and running around with my kids to their various activities. Otherwise, I enjoy golf, fishing and just generally being outdoors.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
We recently did a due diligence trip to Hong Kong and Singapore. It was all work, but I would like to go back with my family and tour around more of Asia.
If we gave you $100,000, how would you invest it?
I still believe that equities, particularly outside the US, are attractive despite the recent strong rally. Emerging markets are experiencing accelerating economic growth and valuations are compelling versus developed markets. While fixed income is expensive, I’d have an allocation to core bonds and municipals to provide principal protection. Despite tight spreads, floating rate loans are a good hedge against higher rates. Finally, with stretched valuations, it is key to have diversifying strategies such as multi-strategy, equity long/short and other hedge fund strategies, as well as private equity, real estate and private debt.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I would like to think that my golf game is a hidden talent, but everyone knows I am not that good.