How have you been a change agent at
your organization? What have you done
that you’re particularly proud of?
In 2014, I established a concentrated, global
active equity portfolio which represented
the first internally managed equity portfolio for the organization. Through bringing
the management of the portfolio in-house,
we have significantly reduced the fee drag
to pensioners whilst delivering superior risk
What is the asset class or investment
that keeps you up at night, and why?
I think investors should accept that the
macro environment is always uncertain,
and instead focus on building knowledge
on things that they can control—getting to
know your companies and industries.
My mental model is that if a company or
an external investment manager makes me
lose sleep at night, then it isn’t of sufficiently
high enough quality to be in the portfolio.
What methodologies have you adopted
within your institution?
From the perspective of the internally managed portfolio, our philosophy is what is
perhaps usually described as Quality Compounders: We buy companies with sustainable competitive advantages (those that
generate a high spread of return on invested
capital above their cost of capital), who can
grow by reinvesting cash flow at similarly
high incremental rates of return, and who
have high levels of corporate governance.
We then aim to hold these companies forever
or until our thesis is invalidated.
In a world where investment manager’s
time horizons have shrunk to months rather
than years, we believe our core edge is our
Where do you fall in the passive vs.
As an active equity manager as well as an
allocator to external active managers, I am
biased, but we fully believe that an active
approach can add materially superior risk
adjusted returns (net of fees) versus a market
Finding a truly exceptional investment
manager is not easy, but that doesn’t mean
you shouldn’t try to do it well. In any case,
it’s always easier to win in a game when more
and more people give up even trying.
What are the changes you’d like to see
the institutional investing community
make in 10 years?
I think institutional investors need to collaborate to a greater degree. At LPP, we have
seen significant benefits from the pooling of
assets, in terms of cost reductions, etc.
Who is a manager you don’t currently
work with whose brain you’d like to pick?
I don’t think I could call myself a true equity
investor if I didn’t say Warren Buffet was top
of my list.
Ideally, where would that meeting take
It would probably have to be somewhere
Investment Director, Global Equities, Local
Pensions Partnership (London, UK)
His returns place him in the top 10% of Global
Equity managers within the eVestment database—
54.86% total (portfolio) return since inception
(Aug 14), versus 40.5% for the MSCI World.
suitably modest as to not upset his sensibil-ities, but also quiet enough to have a conversation. Does Dairy Queen have private
What is the software investment tool
that helps you most?
I would like to say my Deputy Portfolio Manager, Alejandro, but I don’t think he would
like to be referred to as software.
What would improve the relationship
between you and managers?
Why did you choose your current path?
Being an equity portfolio manager was
always my professional goal. It mixes intellectual challenge, teamwork, and the ability
to meet some very clever people. I couldn’t
think of anything else that I would rather do.