167. Dr. David Kelly: Chief Global Strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management – Combatting Market Lows with a Runner’s High – Making the Complex Clear

Dr. David Kelly is Chief Global Strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, a position he has held for over 14 years.  He lives in Massachusetts. He was previously economic advisor at Putnam Investments, and prior to that held a range of roles in the financial services industry.  Originally from Dublin, like myself, he’s a PhD in Economics from Michigan State University.

Our conversation starts with our remarkably similar upbringings in Ireland – we were both the children of politicians, we both studied initially in Dublin and then embarked on a career in the US. And we both are keen runners, lovers of literature and making the complex simple.

After completing his undergraduate degree in University College Dublin, David embarked upon further study for a PhD in the mid-west.  We discuss what led him from academia to putting his skills into practice in a more commercial setting, and discuss his passion for markets and especially for translating them in ways that are relatable and accessible to his wide range of followers.

Our discussion touches then on today’s markets, and how to contextualize them. We examine the global backdrop and the challenges that clients face, and ultimately how to communicate with clients, especially during times of market stress.  We ask whether this is in fact a “regime change” that we are witnessing, or whether this is a term that is over-used, especially today. Along the same lines we examine the rise in interest in ESG investing, and dissect what that term really means.  We turn then to examining the diversity of the investment profession and how that has changed over David’s career.

In discussing teams, we move to the question of management and discuss the satisfaction that David derives from managing a broad team that is globally based, and how important it is to “believe in” the talent of team members and communicate this to them.  We finally touch on the passion that David and I share for running and he shares a little of “what I think about when I think about running”, which every runner among our listeners will relate to.

Series 5 is sponsored by Astarte Capital Partners, an asset management firm focused on sustainable real asset sectors, acting as anchor investor and partner to specialist emerging managers. Astarte is headquartered in London with a presence in Sydney and Toronto.