155. Zia Uddin of Monroe Capital – The Art and Science of Investment Management

Zia Uddin is President of Monroe Capital LLC, an asset management firm headquartered in Chicago, which invests in middle market companies in North America through a range of products. Prior to joining Monroe he focused on middle market private equity investing for most of his career. Currently, he sits on a range of private company boards, as well as on the Board of a public company.

We start out by discussing Zia’s upbringing, which saw him spend time in Indonesia and South Korea, before returning to study at the University of Illinois. We move then to his current role at the helm of Monroe Capital, which runs over $14 bn in assets focused mainly on the middle-market segment – we discuss the opportunity in this segment, whether it is overlooked and the unique challenges and opportunities that focusing on it brings. We examine private capital through a lens of ESG investing, and ask what kind of protection it might offer in a rising rate and inflationary environment.

After a detailed discussion of diversity in investment management we move to personal reflections and Zia shares the saying that “the problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence” and we examine the problems of overconfidence among financial sector actors.

We move then to one of Zia’s passions, which is the Japanese art of Kendo.  We speak about the art aspect of martial arts, and what it taught him about “mind over matter”, discipline, self-control and what lies beyond the border of physical limitations.

Series 4 was sponsored by Alvine Capital.  Founded in 2005, Alvine Capital is a specialist advisor and placement boutique focusing on assisting European Institutional Investors within Alternative Investments.  It partners with best in class managers, adding value to investors by helping to navigate this very fragmented market