2017 Knowledge Brokers The
Each year, CIO builds a list of the indus- try’s top knowledge brokers. These are the people tasked with identifying the
best investment managers and financial
firms, as well as how to put them all together
in a portfolio that will perform well.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to
achieve investment mandates, the role of the
knowledge broker has expanded into that of
a strategic partner. Manager performance
still matters, but so does finding an investment mix that meets a broader objective than
having a good quarter—or even a good year.
Now, consultants are called upon to keep fees
low, find an opportunity set that lasts, and
bring prior experience to the table about a
whole host of other issues. Helping humans
manage all of the new technology that comes
with investing is also top of mind for many
of the knowledge brokers on the list this year.
Chief Investment Officer’s sixth annual list
of the most influential investment consultants.
Reported by Bailey McCann / Art by Gracia Lam
Managing Principal, Head of Institutional
Investments, Fund Evaluation Group
(Cincinnati, OH ) AUM $58 Billion
NOLAN Bean joined Fund Evaluation Group in 2004, working with pension
clients and also overseeing the firm’s investment strategy. He also sits on the
firm’s Investment Policy Committee, which sets the strategic vision for FEG’s
recommended manager list and capital market assumptions.
Bean recalls his start in the industry this way, “When I first came across
consulting, I didn’t know what it was. I first discovered it in a due diligence
meeting when I was working at a financial firm. I really took to the process then
and have enjoyed it ever since.”
He adds that consulting has changed a lot during his 13 years in the
industry. “There has been a lot of generation change in the investment industry
and the consulting industry. We are seeing more consolidation than we have
in the past. Investors are raising their expectations of consultants as a result.”
Bean notes that as with every other part of finance, investors are taking a crit-
ical look at their relationships and making note of what works and what doesn’t.
Going forward, Bean expects that consultants will have to find new ways
to bring value, possibly by crafting more holistic organizational solutions for
clients. “There is a higher level of activity in the business now,” he says. “It gives
us an opportunity to show what we can do.”