Sarah Whitley is Chair at Future Asset, an organization which connects girls, teachers and advisors to the diversity of opportunities in asset management. Based in Edinburgh, she was previously Head of Japanese Equities at Baillie Gifford and currently holds a number of director roles, including as External Director at Rakuten, and Chair at the Edinburgh Festival Endowment Fund.
Between Series 1 and series 2 of 2023, we kicked off a brand new focus series – the Love Series – in celebration of love in February 2023. This had a great response – reminding us of what made people human. It sent one listener back to his old photo album to remind himself of his showjumping days, and others felt motivated to take up hobbies again.
Now we are back to our main series focused on investment professionals but love runs through it like a golden thread. Love, discipline, lessons from parents. Our guests include a former college football player, who spent time working as a prison guard before returning to university and ultimately entering the investment industry, an expert on music valuation, multiple ESG and pensions specialists and founders of fund companies – large and small.
Margaux O’Brien of the University of California Investment Office – Solving the Allocator’s Challenge
Margaux O’Brien is Investment Director at the University of California investment office, based in Oakland, CA. She previously spent over 14 years in the fund of hedge fund area, where she specialized in equity long/short and other equity hedge funds. Prior to that she was an investment consultant.
A joyful discussion with a renowned hedge fund allocator and a reminder of the importance of humility and how this can be a secret weapon in overcoming performance anxiety.
Sam Kunz is Chief Investment Officer at Core Financial Partners, a firm that provides financial planning to small and medium sized businesses based in Venice, CA. He was previously a Senior Managing Director responsible for asset allocation and investment strategy at the University of California and prior to that he was my predecessor as CIO at the Chicago Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund.
A fascinating discussion of a trader’s mentality, asset allocation and the importance of learning to love yourself.
Sandy Urie is Chairman Emeritus at Cambridge Associates, a role she has held since 2016, when she retired as Chairman and CEO, having held the CEO role since 2001, and capping an over 30 year career at the firm. Her current focuses include sustainability and impact investing and she has held multiple board and investment committee roles. Currently she sits on the boards of the Stanford Management Company, Social Finance US, Crane Institute for Sustainability (parent organization of The Intentional Endowment Network – IEN), and Plymouth Rock Insurance Company.
A profound discussion with one of my first sources of career inspiration – tracing a shift from academia to investment consulting, the roles of investment committees and the new challenges of sustainable investing.
Doug Shaw is Bursar at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, a position he has held for over two years. I got to know him when he was in a COO role within one of Europe’s most successful hedge funds, The Children’s Investment Fund, and in his investment career he has held a series of fascinating roles, both at start up firms and in large firms such as Gartmore and Blackrock. He has spent time in derivatives sales, building a business for charity clients, and in managing hyper-fast growth, and now holds various NED and Investment Committee positions in addition to his Bursar role.
A straight-talking look at the business of building a hedge fund business and the ongoing problem of low representation in the industry.
Ivory Day is Managing Partner at Ivory Day Clear Investment Consulting based in the Chicago area. He started his career close to 50 years ago and has held a long succession of investment consulting roles, during which he advised public, Taft-Hartley, corporate, endowment and foundation plans. He is a frequent participant on the industry conference circuit where he discusses his views on asset allocation and the active v. passive divide.
An inspiring story of resilience, courage and tenacity and a reminder of the importance of learning to speak truth to power.
Erin Archer is Treasurer at Syracuse University, which she recently joined after a period as Treasurer and Director of Investments of DePaul University in Chicago, where she oversaw the endowment. She started her career in sell-side research and has had a global career including four years in London and two years in South Africa, where she focused on the consumer sector.
A varied career journey that has spanned three continents is shared along with the importance of the golden rule in life and in one’s career.
Katie Wyatt is CIO of the endowment of Loyola University in Chicago, a role she has held for close to two years. She was previously director of investments at the pharmaceutical company Abbott, where she spent over 11 years, and prior to that held a range of roles in equity research. She recently became a member of the Board of Directors of the CFA Society of Chicago.
A CIO role at a Catholic university means that all investment occurs against a backdrop of a central mission, and we talk about how this is translated into the asset allocation role.
Kristin Staffeldt is a Senior Portfolio Analyst in the Real Assets area at the University of Chicago endowment, which has around $8.5 bn in assets under management. She has spent most of her career in a range of roles in real estate, having focused on land economics in her university degree.
A deep dive into the characteristics of the real estate asset class, how to approach it as an institutional investor and perspectives of the profession for a mid-level vantage point.