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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
311 Episodes
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On today’s Manager Meetings, Beezer Clarkson speaks with Mike Smith and Nikhil Basu Trivedi. Beezer is a past guest on Capital Allocators and is a Partner at Sapphire Ventures, where she is responsible for the management of Sapphire’s fund investments in early stage venture funds globally. Mike and Nikhil are co-founders of Footwork Ventures, an early-stage venture firm that closed on its first fund earlier this year, which was significantly oversubscribed. Footwork plans to invest in Seed stage and Series A companies with early signs of product market fit and the potential for decades of customer love. The partners discuss their blend of investing and operating skills, and their fundraising process. Before they kick it off, Beezer and I discuss how she discovered Footwork, her due diligence process, decision to invest, and gaining capacity. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Luke Ellis is the CEO of Man Group, the largest publicly traded hedge fund company at $135 billion in assets across five distinct investment engines. Luke is also the Deputy Chairman of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI), and previously joined the show to discuss the organization alongside Mario Therrien from CDPQ. That episode is replayed in the feed. This time around, our conversation is focused on Luke and his wide-ranging wisdom about markets and asset management businesses. We talk about his start in the business, his decade in the heyday of hedge fund of funds, and his last decade at the helm of Man Group. In the process, we touch on the role of CEO, Luke’s perspectives on recruiting, growth, incentives, technology, private equity, and risks going forward. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
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
On today’s Manager Meeting, Paul Black speaks to Ryan Batchelor.  Paul is a popular past guest on the show and the Co-CEO of WCM Investment Management.  Ryan is the Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager at Clifford Capital Partners, a $320 million value manager based in Alpine, Utah. Clifford employs a blend of core and deep value holdings selected through bottom-up research into sustainable wide moat businesses for core holdings and out of favor stocks for deep value holdings. The overlap of interest in moats led WCM to take an equity stake in Clifford three years ago. We’ll start with my chat with Paul about what led him to Ryan. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Katie Hall is the Founder and Co-Chair of Hall Capital Partners, a $40 billion OCIO for high-net-worth families, endowments and foundations. She launched Hall Capital with the backing of Don Fisher, Warren Hellman and recent Presidential candidate Tom Steyer back in 1994 and has grown that base to serve 130+ clients today.  Our conversation covers Katie’s background, her path to starting Hall Capital, and her approach to the business. We then turn to her investment philosophy, customized asset allocation, and thoughts on alternatives, crypto, and ESG. We close with Katie’s perspectives on governance and the future of Hall Capital. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
On today’s manager meeting, Mario Therrien speaks with Leda Braga. Mario is a two-time past guest on the show and is the Head of Investment Funds and External Management at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). CDPQ oversees $300 billion for pension funds in the province of Quebec. Leda Braga is the founder and CEO of Systematica Investments, a $10 billion hedge fund with a quantitative and systematic approach. Leda founded Systematica in 2015 after a decade of experience managing assets with her team in the same strategy at BlueCrest Capital. Before they get going, Mario and I discuss the key factors in selecting a systematic manager and the role of Systematica in CDPQ’s portfolio. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Three years ago, Paul Black from WCM Investment Management joined me on the show for a very popular conversation. At the time, WCM managed $25 billion in global growth equities out of the limelight in Laguna Beach, CA.  Last year, I had a second conversation with WCM with Mike Trigg, the Portfolio Manager of its Focused Growth International strategy. Mike discussed the colorful history of the firm and its research to identify businesses with widening moats and cultures aligned with their competitive advantage. Both shows are available on the feed. Well, in the last three years, WCM has continued to excel and defy the headwinds of active management. Their $25 billion in assets under management three years ago has grown to around $100 billion today. Today’s show is, in effect, the third meeting with WCM.  My guest is Mike Tian, Portfolio Manager and Analyst at WCM, where he oversees the firm’s emerging markets strategy and thinks deeply about moat trajectories. Our conversation begins with Mike’s definition of moats and assessment of moat trajectories, using Visa as an example.  We then turn to his application of moat trajectory analysis in China, including the value of heavy industries, analysis of culture, consumer preferences, risk, and some investment examples along the way. We close with Mike’s thoughts on the moat trajectory of WCM itself. Please enjoy my conversation with Mike Tian from WCM. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
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 Join Ted's mailing list at CapitalAllocatorsPodcast.com Write a review on iTunes Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides For more episodes go to CapitalAllocatorsPodcast.com/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
On today’s show, Roz Hewsenian interviews Jan Garfinkle. Roz serves as the Chief Investment Officer of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, an $8 billion foundation dedicated to increasing access to health care. Jan is the founder of Arboretum Ventures, a $700 million health care-focused venture capital firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Arboretum focuses on investments “off the coast” targeting companies that seek to reduce healthcare costs in devices, diagnostics, services and IT. Before they begin, Roz and I discuss her discovery of Arboretum, attractive qualities of the firm, and positioning in Helmsley’s portfolio. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Jennifer Heller is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Brandywine Group Advisors, Inc., a subsidiary of Brandywine Trust Group. Jenny manages $12 billion of ‘family endowments’ that are effectively permanent capital if well invested and managed. She is nothing short of a superstar CIO. Jenny was the 7th guest on the show back in 2017, and that recording is replayed in the feed. Our second conversation gets a bit more in the weeds on Jenny’s superb thought processes.  We discuss a beginner’s mind, the deep dive aspect of Brandywine’s research process using examples from affordable housing, crypto, and insurance, KPIs for managers, position sizing, lessons learned in the manager evaluation process, and how her thinking about teams and culture has evolved.  Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Jenny Heller is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Brandywine Trust Group.  Brandywine formed 25 years ago to manage the capital for a small group of families that all share a long-term, multi-generational time horizon. Today, it oversees almost $9B for those same families, much of it from compounding over a quarter century. The Group invests flexibly across asset classes, with a focus on partnering with people who they believe have sustainable competitive advantages, share their long-term vision, and have highly aligned interests.  These elite managers often start with great ideas, but limited capital.  Before taking the helm at Brandywine five years ago, Jenny worked at the Sloan Foundation, Stanford University Management Company, and Merrill Lynch in its investment banking program. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she serves on its Investment Advisory Committee, and Stanford Business School. Our conversation starts with Jenny’s frustrating experiences with a non-profit micro finance in India and South Africa and turns to her career allocating money on behalf of non-profits and families. We touch on subtleties in picking managers for taxable investors, challenges in executing a long-term strategy, learning from mistakes, and mentorship. Jenny’s clear and deep thought process provides pearls of wisdom throughout our conversation. Learn MoreSubscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google  Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
On today’s manager meeting, Tim McCusker speaks with Rick Rieder. Tim is the Chief Investment Officer at NEPC, one of the industry’s largest independent investment consultants with over $1.3 trillion assets under advisement. Rick is BlackRock’s Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income, a group that manages approximately $2 trillion in assets. BlackRock’s fixed income platform covers both active and index mandates across a breadth of vehicles and strategies around the globe.  Before we dive in, Tim and I discuss how NEPC works with BlackRock in client portfolios and positions the Strategic Opportunities Fund in fixed income allocations. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
Matt Spielman is the Founder and CEO of Inflection Point Partners an executive coaching practice he launched after a twenty-year career in the financial and corporate world. Matt partners with high-performing executives and their teams in asset management, media, professional sports, and other industries, and last year was named one of the leading coaches in asset management by Institutional Investor. Our conversation covers Matt’s background and path to executive coaching, inflection points in his own career, and his coaching philosophy. We then turn to frameworks for setting goals, executing on them, aligning interests across an organization, and dealing with inevitable setbacks. We close with Matt’s thoughts on turnover in an asset management firms and advice for senior leaders. I should note that Matt was a classmate of mine from business school and is also my executive coach. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
On today’s manager meeting, Donna Snider speaks with Bruce Martin. Donna was a past guest on the show when named Institutional Investor’s top CIO of the future.  Sure enough, today she serves as the Chief Investment Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health. Bruce founded Still Lake Capital to invest in a concentrated portfolio of equities after spending twenty-five years in the credit markets, including seventeen at Angelo, Gordon.  Five years later, he’s still at it, managing his capital alongside that of some friends.  Donna was a long-time investor with Bruce at Angelo, Gordon and has watched his progress carefully in his new venture. Before she dives in with Bruce, we chat about why she’s stayed connected to him through his transition and when she might be ready to take the leap to back Still Lake. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
My guests on today’s show are financial journalists Max Frumes and Sujeet Indap, co-authors of “The Caesars Palace Coup,” a book detailing the bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment. Coming off the heels of our Private Equity Masters mini-series, this conversation dives into a private equity deal gone wrong, including some technical aspects of what it takes to emerge from a bankruptcy. We walk through the intricacies, tensions and dynamics of the Caesars bankruptcy, whose stakeholders included Apollo, TPG, GSO, Elliot, Silver Point, Oaktree, and Appaloosa – a literal who’s who of giants in private equity and distressed investing. We then turn to applicable lessons for investors, including power dynamics, the unwritten rules of distressed investing, and the role of skill and luck.  Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
Today’s show is a special sponsor insight highlighting an example of the terrific research that comes out of Pitchbook. My guest is Wylie Fernyhough, PitchBook’s lead private equity analyst, where he produces industry research and dives deep on thematic areas of interest. Our conversation covers his research on the business of buying stakes in asset managers.  We discuss its history, rationale, and perspectives from each side of the table involved in these transactions - the stake buyer, the manager who sells a stake in their business, and investors in the manager’s funds. We also touch on the seeding business, private equity investments in sports franchises, and publicly listed alternative managers. We are grateful to PitchBook for their sponsorship of Private Equity Masters, and eager to highlight the great work they do. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
On today’s show, Stephen Gilmore interviews Greg Jensen. Stephen is the Chief Investment Officer at New Zealand Super Fund, the NZD $59 billion (USD $41 billion) innovative sovereign wealth fund whose CEO Matt Whineray was a former guest on Capital Allocators.  Greg is the Co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates, where he works alongside fellow Co-CIOs Ray Dailo and Bob Prince at the $150 billion systematic global macro manager that he joined twenty-five years ago. Bridgewater’s investment process is underpinned by their desire to understand how global markets and economies work, use of technology, and principles-based firm culture focused on radical truth and transparency. We kick if off with my chatting with Stephen about his relationship with Bridgewater, uniqueness of the firm, and fit in New Zealand Super’s portfolio. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
Our Private Equity Masters mini-series concludes with Chuck Davis, the CEO and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Stone Point Capital. Stone Point has invested $21 billion across 135 businesses, all in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Stone Point’s predecessor entity at Marsh McLellan twenty-three years ago, he was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he spent the prior twenty-three years, culminating in serving as Head of Investment Banking Services Worldwide. Our conversation covers Chuck’s time at Goldman Sachs, his transition to private equity, and the formation of Stone Point Capital. We then turn to the firm’s multi-year, outbound, targeted search for the best executives in financial services, work with portfolio companies, activity in the asset management sector, and management of Stone Point. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
On today’s manager meeting, Kristen VanGelder speaks with Jonathan Lewinsohn. Kristen is Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Evanston Capital, a $4 billion hedge fund of funds whose CEO and CIO, Adam Blitz, was a past guest on the show. She’s spent the last eighteen years at Evanston alongside Adam and the team. Jonathan co-founded Diameter Capital four years ago alongside Scott Goodwin and today manages a $6 billion credit-focused hedge fund alongside $1 billion in CDOs and a $1 billion drawdown fund. The two were colleagues at Anchorage Capital, and Jonathan spent some time at Centerbridge Capital as well before starting Diameter. Their conversation includes insights into the credit markets, Diameter’s approach, and how it all comes together. Before we dive in, Kristen and I discuss how Evanston came to back Diameter on day one and how it fits into their portfolio. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe Monthly Mailing List Read the Transcript
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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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