How have you been a change agent at
your organization? What have you done
that you’re particularly proud of?
I originated and led a lengthy project to
improve the quality of our risk management
framework by researching, onboarding,
and now utilizing a premier risk system to
enhance the plans’ data, modeling, and decision-making.
What is the asset class or investment
that keeps you up at night, and why?
Inflation. The markets have become comfortable with the Fed moving at a measured
and well-advertised pace, so any divergence
from this path has the potential to cause a
material change in volatility. A labor supply/
demand imbalance, caused by expansionary fiscal policy, immigration reform, and/
or stronger economic growth, could lead to
accelerating wage growth, causing inflation
to rise faster than forecast.
What methodologies have you adopted
within your institution?
Improving the structure of Investment Committee meetings. Agendas from the past
were focused on performance reporting,
whereas today they are more action-and
education-oriented. Our team now plans to
extend education efforts through quarterly
lunch-and-learn events and regular updates
on various asset classes.
Where do you fall in the passive vs.
Active, with increasing levels of tracking
error the more inefficient the market. Our
plans have several relationships that extend
beyond 20 years, so it is easy to see the benefits of active management measured on this
scale versus the 1-, 3-, 5-year industry focus.
What are the changes you’d like to see
the institutional investing community
make in 10 years?
Collaboration among asset owners. We all
serve a united purpose but generally avoid
using a collective approach to sourcing
managers, sharing research, discussing best
practices, and/or negotiating fees. Pooling
resources could help all involved and would
likely lead to better outcomes.
Who is a manager you don’t currently
work with whose brain you’d like to pick?
Seth Klarman of Baupost Group. He is a
conservative and thoughtful investor with a
long history of excellent performance, but he
rarely communicates his views or positions
to the market.
Ideally, where would that meeting take
A Red Sox game seems appropriate considering he is a part owner of the team.
What is the software investment tool
that helps you most?
Aladdin. The risk system informs decisions
Deputy Chief Investment Officer,
Michelin North America, Inc. (Greenville, SC)
I have seen tremendous growth in Justin over the past
eight years—and great hunger for investment knowledge.
At Michelin he has gained global capital markets
experience to accompany his solid fundamentals.
His bosses love him.
small and large, from manager due diligence
and optimization, to strategic asset allocation and liability management.
What would improve the relationship
between you and managers?
Transparency, particularly from our hedge
fund managers. I want to use complete holdings information to better evaluate the firm’s
research and decision-making process, not
to make it publicly available.
Why did you choose your current path?
My mentor had a distinguished career as
an asset owner, and he encouraged me to
start on the same path as it would provide
a comprehensive overview of the industry, asset classes, and geographies. I could
not be happier with the decision. It is an
ever-evolving challenge that keeps me
eager to start each day.