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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
321 Episodes
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Erik Serrano Berntsen is the Founder and CEO of Stable Asset Management, whose mission is to back the Founders of tomorrow’s leading investment firms. Our conversation starts with Erik’s own experience from launch to around $3 billion in assets under management today. We turn to the lessons he’s learned providing strategic capital, advice, and support to investment Founders early in their lifecycle. We discuss the qualities that make for successful Founders and the factors to maximize the probability of success across building teams, attracting capital, and staying resilient. We close with Erik’s perspective on the seeding business. 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 episode of Manager Meetings, Ethan Berman interviews Hamish Corlett. Ethan was the founder and CEO of NYSE-listed RiskMetrics Group until it was bought by MSCI in 2010. Upon the sale of the business, Ethan invested in just one money manager, TDM, a shareholder of RiskMetrics at the time. Hamish is a co-founder of TDM Growth Partners, an Australia-based investment firm that manages $1.5 billion in growth companies ranging from early-stage privates to publicly-listed companies on behalf of just 20 individuals. Before they get going, Ethan and I discuss how he met TDM, their research process from his perspective as a CEO of a public company, and his decision to invest personally. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Matt Brown is the Founder CEO of CAIS, a leading alternative investment platform on which thousands of financial advisors have invested over $12 billion in alternatives across private equity, private credit, hedge funds, and real estate.  Our conversation covers Matt’s background as both a financial advisor and distributor of alternatives that collectively led to the idea behind CAIS. We discuss the development of a two-sided platform, structural features for both financial advisors and managers, and challenges along the way. We then turn to the wave of capital coming from this community and what it means for investors. Lastly, we discuss Matt’s perspective on leadership and the future of CAIS.   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, Ellen Ellison speaks with Jon Brolin. Ellen is the former Chief Investment Officer of the University of Illinois Foundation, which she joined in 2013 as the first leader of the now $2.4 billion Foundation. Jon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Edenbrook Capital, a $400 million manager of a concentrated portfolio of micro and small cap U.S. equities.  Edenbrook applies a private markets approach to public markets, intending to own and add value to its portfolio companies over a multi-year time horizon.  First, Ellen and I discuss how she came to find an off-the-run manager and some of her process in getting over the hurdle to allocate to what became a very successful partnership. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Barry Sternlicht is Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Starwood Capital Group, a $95 billion real estate investment firm with 4,000 employees and 16 offices worldwide. Barry has invested nearly $200 billion across every major real estate asset class around the world. The list of related real estate companies he’s created, results, and associated accolades are extensive and truly impressive. Our conversation covers Barry’s beginnings as an entrepreneur and real estate investor with some great stories along the way. We then turn to the current opportunity set across real estate asset classes and geographies and close with his approach to managing his own capital through his family office, SPACS, and experience during the pandemic. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Today’s episode of Manager Meetings is our first sponsored show, with our friends at Janus Henderson Investors. I had the chance to speak with Daniel Graña, who is responsible for Janus Henderson’s emerging markets equity strategy. Janus Henderson is a leading global asset manager with $400 billion under management. Our conversation covers some stories of the wild west early days in emerging markets, Daniel’s strategy focusing on the intersection of good companies with good governance and good countries, portfolio construction, application of the process to China, benefits of aligning with a large organization when tackling emerging markets, and the case for emerging markets today. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Today’s show is a little different from previous ones. Our Chief of Staff, Hank Strmac, had an idea to blend investing with some fun. It turned out I had just the crew. For the last twenty years, four friends and I have met for dinner regularly to talk investing. Three of them - Brett Barth from BBR Partners, Jon Harris from Alternative Investment Management, and Meredith Jenkins from Trinity Wall Street, are past guests on the show. The fourth, Casey Whalen from Truvvo Partners, was a colleague of mine at Yale back in the mid-90s. We recently got together in Brett’s offices and riffed on a range of topics, including Covid, crypto, nuances in private equity and hedge funds, non-institutional investing, China, diversity, and ESG.  We closed with a round on the two people who most influenced our careers. If you enjoy this as much as I do this crew, reach out to Hank or me and let us know. I suspect I can cajole them into doing it again. Until then, please enjoy my most recent gathering with Brett, Jon, Meredith, and Casey. Learn More Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google Follow Ted on Twitter at @tseides or LinkedIn Subscribe to the mailing list Read the transcripts
Jon Harris is the CEO of Alternative Investment Management, a twenty-year-old investment firm that started as a family office and has evolved into managing $1 billion in hedge fund and private equity strategies on behalf of a range of fascinating business and investment executives.  Our conversation starts with the formation of AIM and its people-based investment approach.  We discuss building a network to source and diligence managers, filtering the universe of prospects, understanding the motivations of managers, conducting reference checks, and using the information they gather. We then turn to AIM’s private equity strategy, including selecting managers, the misalignment of interests in co-investments, and the death by a thousand cuts of hidden fees.  We close talking about the continued purpose of hedgeD funds, due diligence tricks, preparing for unexpected risk, managing time, and philanthropy. 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
Meredith Jenkins is the Chief Investment Officer of Trinity Wall Street, where she oversees $5.5 billion of the church’s endowment and real estate assets.  Before taking the helm as Trinity’s first CIO, she was the co-CIO of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Andrew Carnegie’s foundation, from 2011 to 2016. She joined Carnegie in 1999 as its first investment associate and was an integral part of the build-out of the Corporation’s investment capability under its first CIO.  During the period, Meredith spent four years in Asia as the Corporation’s special representative focusing on opportunities in China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Meredith started her career at Goldman Sachs in investment banking, Sanford Bernstein in research, and Cambridge Associates in consulting before attending Harvard Business School. She currently sits on the Investment Committee of the Wenner Gren Foundation and the Board of Directors of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. Our conversation starts with Meredith’s early career lessons and discusses alignment of interest, standing by managers in difficult times, markers of success, manager research in Asia, the co-CIO structure at Carnegie, and governance in her new challenge of starting an investment office from scratch. Fun loving and smart as a tack, Meredith offers pearls of wisdom through our conversation. For more episodes, go to capitalallocatorspodcast.com/podcast Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides
Brett Barth is a founder and the CIO of BBR Partners. BBR manages north of $12.5B on behalf of 125 families in its multi-family office. In this episode, we start talking about raising twins, a family issue close to both of our hearts. From there we learn about how Brett came to form BBR. We spend a lot of time going into depth on his firm’s asset allocation process and on the decision-making process of manager selection.  Along the way we touch on inefficiencies in Asia in the early days and in music royalties today.  Brett offers nuggets of practical substance for allocators of all types – from financial advisors to large institutional managers. For more episodes, go to capitalallocatorspodcast.com/podcast Follow Ted on twitter at @tseides
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
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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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