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Capital Allocators

Author: Ted Seides

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Meet the people who allocate vast pools of capital and the processes they employ.

New episodes release on Monday's
229 Episodes
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Ben Reiter, longtime Sports Illustrated columnist, author of the NY Times best seller Astroball, and host and producer of The Edge, a documentary podcast about the scandal that tarnished the Houston Astros.   Ben joined me on the show two years ago to discuss Astroball, which chronicled the Astros rise from cellar dweller to World Series champion in the 3 years after he predicted it would happen on the cover of Sports Illustrated. What happened after was a shock to his system. His podcast is his post-mortem on the team and on his work.   Our conversation discusses what happened, Ben’s assessment of the team and his book, and his conclusions. In the end, Ben found that the Astros’ story is about much more than baseball. It’s about power, money, culture, and accountability. About a modern world where everyone is seeking an edge, and about who ultimately benefits from that world. It sure sounds familiar to our world of investing.   If the conversation peaks your interest, I strongly recommend having a listen to his podcast, The Edge. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Joel Greenblatt is a legendary value investor, founder of Gotham Capital, longtime teacher at Columbia Business School, and author of four investment books, the latest of which, Common Sense: The Investors’ Guide to Equality, Opportunity, and Growth recently hit the bookstands. Our conversation takes a tour through Joel’s career. We cover his background, early success running a concentrated portfolio, closing of the fund to manage his own money, and re-opening with a more diversified approach. We discuss Joel’s timeless investment beliefs and along the way also discuss the Value Investors Club, seeding managers, and applying investment lessons to education. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Shane Parrish is the founder of Farnam Street, host of the Knowledge Project Podcast, and author of Brain Food, a weekly email full of timeless insight for business and life. His goal is to uncover the best of what other people have already figured out. Our conversation covers Shane’s background, work in a three-letter-intelligence agency, and creation of Farnam Street. We then discuss the learning loop process and lessons from reading, interviewing and writing. Lastly, we discuss Shane’s application of those lessons to managing a team, investing, building relationships, and forming habits. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Karyn Williams is the founder of Hightree Advisors, a new independent consultant that is helping organizations improve the effectiveness of their invested assets through practical quantitative metrics of risk. Karyn is an engineer by training, who previously was a partner at Wilshire Associates, CIO of Farmers Insurance Group, and head of client solutions at hedge fund Two Sigma Our conversation covers the early days of financial engineering, taking lessons to portfolio analytics at Wilshire Associates, and discovering a disconnect in theory and practice with mean-variance optimization and the application of early factor models. We then turn to Karyn’s applying risk frameworks and factors at Farmers Insurance, joining Two Sigma, and creating Hightree to help institutions measure risk practically. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
You may remember my popular first meeting from a few years ago with Paul Black of WCM, then a $25 billion asset manager in Laguna Beach, CA. Since then, WCM has gone up and to the right in every way, they sold a minority piece of the business to Natixis, continue to put big numbers on the board, and have grown to north of $66 billion, defying the fade of active management outflows. My guest on today’s show is Mike Trigg, a partner and portfolio manager of WCM’s Focused International Growth strategy that comprises the majority of the firm’s assets. We discuss Mike’s background, arrival at WCM in 2005, near implosion of the firm shortly thereafter, and the rising of the international strategy from those ashes. We then dive in deeper to the core tenants of WCM’s approach, discussing how the firm analyzes widening moats and cultures tied to competitive advantage. Lastly, we talk about how WCM’s growth has impacted the firm. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Paul Black is Co-CEO and portfolio manager at WCM Investment Management, a $26 billion manager of global equities that he joined when it was a $200 million boutique in 1989.  With so much of the institutional world, including my own training, focused on value investing, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about a large, high performing growth stock manager located in a non-descript building in Laguna Beach, California. Our conversation starts with Paul’s trial-by-fire entry into the business and turns to growth stock investing, including defining a great growth company, searching for widening moats, assessing a culture tied to competitive advantage, creating a positive culture, learning from mistakes, identifying tailwinds, and protecting the downside. Paul embodies the principals he preaches and offers some tasty food for thought. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast   Show Notes 2:54 – How Paul got started in the business 4:52 – Lessons learned in the early years of his career             5:56 – Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings             6:01 – Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor             6:05 – The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel 7:49 – What works about growth stock investing 9:01 – What constitutes a great growth company 13:47 – Defining and measuring a company’s competitive advantage 17:50 – How does he assess a company’s culture             19:41 – The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance 20:26 – Questions that help assess company culture 21:57 – Any data to back up claims that companies with good cultures perform better over time 22:46 – Culture aligning with competitive advantage 24:30 – Looking at WCM’s moat and culture 31:23 – The landscape for active management 33:53 – Weathering tough periods for the firm 37:02 – How do they think about culture in other countries 39:01 – Why does growth stock investing work when the data shows otherwise 40:47 – What is he excited about in growth stocks 43:45 – Tailwinds at the sector level 45:10 – Downside protection in the portfolio 46:38 – Patterns of positive and negative allocator behavior 48:35 – How do they manage the change in the portfolio going from 200 million to 26 billion 49:53 – Closing questions
Marko Papic is the Chief Strategist at Clocktower Group, where he provides research on geopolitics, macroeconomics, and markets. Marko recently published Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future, an imminently readable book with colorful examples of political analysis. Marko’s approach is akin to Moneyball for politics, challenging the orthodoxy of how others traditionally make investment decisions. Our conversation covers Marko’s upbringing, the flaws of most political analysis, and his constraints-based framework. We then turn to the obvious political topic at hand – next week’s U.S. Presidential election. We discuss his views of different possible outcomes on the U.S. equity market, rates, tech stocks, China, private equity, ESG, Europe, and emerging markets. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Carrie Thome is the longtime former CIO at WARF, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, a $3 billion pool that arose from monetizing technologies developed at the University of Wisconsin. She recently left to start a venture capital firm called NVNG, or Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. Our conversation covers Carrie’s Wisconsin roots, her early experience at SWIB, the State of Wisconsin pension fund, and investing at WARF over the last two decades. We discuss WARF’s unique structure, technology transfer, and an all-weather portfolio for the Foundation, including separation of alpha and beta, portfolio construction, and manager selection. We then turn to Carrie’s new adventure NVNG, a venture capital firm seeking to bring the benefits of entrepreneurial activities in Wisconsin to local firms and national venture capitalists. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Mathieu Chabran, a co-founder and Co-CIO of Tikehau Capital, a publicly listed alternative asset manager that oversees 25 billion Euros across private credit, real estate, private equity, and liquid strategies. Our conversation tells the story of how Mathieu and his friend Antoine began with 4 million EU in 2004 and turned it into one of Europe’s alternative asset juggernauts in just 14 years. We cover the founding of Tikehau, the importance of alignment and having skin in the game, and having a diverse, multi-cultural team. We then turn to investing, and discuss why good deals have no wheels, the competitive landscape, sourcing, due diligence and decision-making processes, opportunities and risks, and lessons learned. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Scott Wilson is the CIO at Washington University of St. Louis, where he oversees a $10 billion endowment. Scott joined Wash U three years ago from Grinnell College, where he learned a completely different style of endowment investing than is practiced by others. Our conversation covers Scott’s upbringing, early Wall Street career in equity research and derivatives across New York, London and Tokyo, and his leap to Grinnell. We then turn to his applying the Grinnell model at Wash U, transitioning an endowment model portfolio to a concentrated book. We touch on hedge funds and frontier markets and turn to the process of underwriting individual ideas and managers in the context of a concentrated endowment portfolio. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Luke Ellis and Mario Therrien are long-time veterans of the hedge fund industry who hold the Chairman and Deputy Chairman seats of the SBAI, or Standards Board of Alternative Investments. The SBAI is an industry consortium that brings together managers and investors to set best practices for the alternative investment industry. In their day jobs, Luke is the CEO of Man Group, the largest publicly traded hedge fund company with $120 billion in assets, and Mario is the Head of Investment Funds and External Management at Canadian pension and insurance fund manager CDPQ, where he oversees $45 billion of funds managed externally. Our conversation focuses on the activities of the SBAI, including its purpose, origin, members, and evolution. We cover how members of an industry driven by different interests came to agree on anything and what has transpired since its founding after the financial crisis. We then turn to the state of the hedge fund industry and discuss its structure, fees, and future. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Mario Therrien is Senior Vice President of External Portfolio Management at Canadian asset manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDP). CDP oversees $270 billion Canadian ($200B in USD) for the pension funds in the province of Quebec. Mario joined CDP in the early 1990s after completing his Masters degree in Finance and has worked there ever since. Mario started out at CDP managing a tactical asset allocation strategy, created an internal global macro hedge fund, and later built and managed the team responsible for investments in external public market funds. Starting from scratch, CDP oversees $20B of external manager allocations today. Mario's team serves as CDP’s ‘window to the world’ of markets, strategies, and managers across the globe. Our conversation dives into the ‘Canadian pension model’ which has gained prominence in recent years for the strong performance by funds north of the U.S. border. The model incorporates internal management, risk control, partnership, and collaboration.  Drawing on a quarter century of experience, Mario shares his window into this little-known world of investment success. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Sir Paul Marshall is a co-founder and Chairman of Marshall Wace Asst Management, which is Europe’s largest hedge fund overseeing $48 billion. The firm specializes in long-short equity management and notably combines fundamental investing with systematic and quantitative strategies. Paul recently authored the book 10 ½ Lessons from Experience: Perspectives on Fund Management, and the show completes a trifecta of consecutive book authors whose work I thoroughly enjoyed this summer. Alongside his long history in the business, Paul has been deeply involved in philanthropy focused on education, and he was knighted for this work in 2016. And if that’s not quite enough, his son Winston is a band member of the popular folk rock band Mumford & Sons. Our conversation covers Paul’s background. the history of Marshall Wace and the firm’s evolution. We touch on his thoughts about quantitative and qualitative investing and on internal and external fund management. And then we turn to his new book, covering lessons relating to market efficiency, skill, portfolio construction, shorting, man and machines, size, and careers. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Annie Duke, former professional poker player, decision-making expert, best-selling author, and regular guest on the show. Annie’s latest masterpiece is her book entitled How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices, and it releases next week. How to Decide follows her best-seller Thinking in Bets, shifting from highlighting causes of bad decisions to discussing process for making better ones. Our conversation covers the six steps to outline a comprehensive decision framework, factors that determine when to shorten that lengthy decision process, the power of negative thinking, decisions in groups, and work with Committees. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Gary Klein is a noted cognitive psychologist with an innate ability to see what others don’t. Over his 40-year career in the field, he’s pioneered the field of naturalistic decision making, the Pre-Mortem method of risk assessment, and the ShadowBox training approach. Gary is the author of five books and editor of three more, and most recently, founded Shadow Box, LLC in 2005 to train decision makers on his technique. You can learn all about Gary at gary-klein.com. Paul and Paul, you may recall, were guests on the show discussing their book that I greatly enjoyed, Pitch the Perfect Investment. Both are former investors and professors of finance. Together Gary, Paul and Paul co-authored a paper entitled Rendering a Powerful Tool Flaccid: The Misuse of Premortems on Wall Street. The paper is a detailed look at how properly conduct Pre-Mortem analysis. Our conversation covers Gary’s background studying expertise with fighter pilots, tools to improve decision-making, including the Shadow Box technique, Cognitive After-Action Reviews, and Pre-Mortems. We then do a deep dive on Pre-Aortem analysis, including its history in the Air Force, what it is, how it works, when it falls short, and the benefits of reducing overconfidence, time efficiency, increasing candor, making groups smarter. We discuss views on other risk mitigation techniques as well, including devil’s advocates, red teams, risk assessment, and critiques. I found the conversation an incredible door opener to one of the most effective and time-efficient sources of value in improving investment decision-making processes. I’m privileged and excited to share this conversation with you. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
My guest on today’s show once again is Annie Duke, decision-making expert, former world-famous poker player, and author of the best seller, Thinking in Bets.  I had a chance to interview Annie at The Investment Institute’s Fall Forum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the live interview follows. Special thanks to Andrea Szigethy and Donna Holly, founders of the Institute, for having Annie and me down for their terrific event. Our conversation covers the challenge of separating signal from noise in making decisions, the formation and confirmation of beliefs, forming decision groups, communicating with teams, and mistakes Annie’s advisory clients have made after reading her book.  We close with some questions from the audience and end with two great poker stories of how Annie approached being a woman in the male-dominated poker world.  Annie’s irrepressible brain was on display this time around, covering a few of the same ideas from our last conversation and some new ones with different anecdotes along the way. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Annie Duke is a renown public speaker and decision strategist. For two decades, she was one of the top poker players in the world, including winning a World Series of Poker bracelet and the $2 million winner-take-all WSOP Tournament of Champions. Her study of the science of smart decision-making began with a National Science Foundation Fellowship, which she used study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.  Among her charity work and television appearances, Annie was a runner-up to Joan Rivers on Celebrity Apprentice, during which she raised $700,000 for Refugees International. She is a natural teacher and storyteller with an active mind that constantly searches for accurate truth. I highly recommend Annie’s new book, Thinking in Bets, which comes out this week. In her life after poker, she is a featured speaker, writes a newsletter and a blog, and advises companies on improving their decision-making process. Have a look at her website, annieduke.com, for more information. Our conversation discusses Annie’s path from an Ivy League education to professional poker, the nature of a bet, how we form beliefs, why we make bad decisions, and what we can do to improve our decision-making process. Towards the end, we also talk about bankroll management, poker faces, and advice she would give the President on how to make better decisions. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Morgan Housel is a partner at Collaborative Fund and one of my favorite writers about investing. Morgan recently released his first book, The Psychology of Money, and I’ll go on record and predict it will be a best-seller in short order. Our conversation starts with Morgan’s non-traditional education, his path to writing, and his process for writing each week. We then turn to the book and discuss some anecdotes about luck and risk, greed, compounding, patience, and tail events. We close with two of Morgan’s personal stories – one about his own investing and the other, which seems inconceivable as you listen, about his lifelong challenge with stuttering. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Joel Wittenberg is the chief investment officer and vice president of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he has managed the foundation's $8 billion in assets since 2009. The Kellogg Foundation is guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive. In accordance with that mission, in 2007 its Board committed to be an effective anti-racist organization that promotes racial equity. Over the ensuing thirteen years, the organization has become a leader in applying research and taking effective action. Our conversation touches on Joel’s background in the fixed income markets and the application of duration and convexity to allocating capital. We then turn to his work at the Foundation fostering racial equity. We discuss the importance of open conversations about race, Kellogg’s expanding equity program for majority-owned managers, emerging manager allocations and impact investments. Lastly, Joel shares his plans to broaden the expanding equity program to allocators and managers in the coming years. Learn More Read the Transcript Subscribe to the Capital Allocators Blog or Monthly Mailing List Don't Subscribe, but Let Us Know Who You Are Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides Review past episodes of the Podcast
Today’s show is an episode of another podcast called Invisible Forces. It’s hosted by insiders at Jefferies, Shannon Murphy and Erin Shea, who dive into unseen influences that are dramatically changing the global economy. Season 2 looks five years into the future to understand where we’ll live, how we’ll live, and what we’ll buy. What follows is the first episode of Season Two. I hope you enjoy this show, and I suspect you will. If you like what you hear, search for Invisible Forces anywhere you listen to podcasts.
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Comments (3)

SatWiz

Great interview, some good insights as I really enjoyed the plain speak!

Mar 30th
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vikx01

Just an awesome interview. Thanks!

Feb 23rd
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Jorge Martinez Chavez

Great material for anyone interested in Private Equity. The discussions in the podcast are deep, thoughtful, relevant and current and really gives you and edge on how other people are looking at this businessI listen from Mexico and I thinks it's great

Aug 3rd
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