How have you been a change agent at
your organization? What have you done
that you’re particularly proud of?
Introducing a framework where additions
and removals to the portfolios are evaluated
within the context of expected marginal
contribution to risk and return. Fortunately,
we have the transparency and understanding in our portfolios to implement such an
approach with less guesswork than many
What is the asset class or investment
that keeps you up at night, and why?
Equities; it is our largest risk contributor.
Where do you fall in the passive vs.
Mostly passive, with the caveat that it
depends on the market. If there are a sufficient number of investors with quality information, then I am passive all the way.
What are the changes you’d like to see
the institutional investing community
make in 10 years?
I expect that 10 years from now, the reality
of unfunded pension liabilities, particularly
at several large state and municipal plans,
will further taint the perception of how the
institutional investment community is perceived by the public. I would like to see the
community broadly communicate funding
issues to stakeholders that are likely to be
the most adversely impacted well ahead
Who is a manager you don’t currently
work with whose brain you’d like to
Ideally, where would that meeting take
I wouldn’t be picky.
What is the software investment tool
that helps you most?
What would improve the relationship
between you and managers?
Better performance, lower fees, and claw-back provisions where applicable would
improve the relationships. However, in
terms of a low-cost way to improve the relationship, I always recommend emphasizing
facts and data over stories. I prefer to receive
Assistant Treasurer & Director of Investments,
American Chemical Society (Washington, D.C.)
Gifted at sifting through a lot of information and
distilling from it clear and concise conclusions...
He has an ability to think in terms of first principals.
He is one of the rare individuals who manages to
synthesize both the practical and the professorial.
To wit, he once wrote to a manger suggesting that
they apply a Brier score to more rigorously evaluate
the quality of their analyst’s forecasts.
raw cash flows in Excel and calculate the
IRR myself, as opposed to receiving an IRR
in a PDF with an alternate calculation methodology and a story in a footnote about how
the methodology used in the calculation is
Why did you choose your current path?
I believe it is important work and there is an
opportunity to add significant value if I do
the job well. Also, I enjoy the relationships
with peer institutional investors.