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Episode 224: Apurva Schwartz of Harding Loevner: Turning the Lens on Investment Company Culture

Apurva Schwartz is a portfolio specialist at Harding Loevner LP. She was previously a principal at Rocaton Investment Advisors, where she was a senior member of the investment team. Prior to that she held a series of roles in equity analysis and investing. Our conversation starts with her serendipitous start in finance and how that experience of picking stocks drove her to launch her own hedge fund. Her interest then expanded to analyzing managers themselves and a career in investment consulting. This came full circle then when she chose her next move, which was back into the investment management field.

Series 1 2023 – Investment Stories – from Chicken Arbitrage to Ageism, Socio-Economic Mobility and the Power of the Middle Voice

It is hard to believe that we are back for our fourth year of the Fiftyfaces Podcast – and in Series 1 of 2023 we hear about unorthodox beginnings such as the twelve year old who arbitraged the price of chickens when growing up in Uganda, and ended up in a senior role in Bridgewater before starting his own firm. We hear about traditional ones too, about investment instincts honed at the family dinner table, or through seeing the world through an artist’s eyes. 

Cynthia Steer – An Investment Legend Reflects

Cynthia Steer has had a multi-decade career in investment management, spending time as an investment director, CIO, and Chief Retirement Strategist at a series of large consulting firms, and she now holds a broad range of investment committee and independent director roles.

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.

Susan Martin – Greenstone Consulting – Navigating the Challenge of Change

Susan Martin is MD of Greenstone Consulting, a change and transition management firm. After a long career in the public sector, culminating in a CEO role at a financial services business, she now holds a number of director roles and works as an executive coach.

A committed change agent shares her secrets as to how to successfully execute change at a corporate level and her insights now as a coach and a director.

William Bourne – Bridging the Gap in Investments and in Life

William Bourne is a long-time adviser to the local government pension schemes in the UK, and has over 30 years experience on all sides of the asset allocation business. He is the founder of Linchpin, which provides advice on investments and governance to institutional investors, and has worked in sales as well as investment roles, and has spent a considerable amount of time in Japan. He is a frequent commentator and participant on the investment advice conference circuit and a co-host of an occasional webinar series with me in which we bring together a lively group of investors and their advisers.

An enjoyable reflection on a varied and full financial career which is now rounded out with a portfolio career and twin passions for Bridge and Sailing.

262. Kevin Leonard of NEPC: Towards a Sustainable Future for Public Pensions and Solving Pension Envy

Kevin Leonard is Partner and Practice Group Director – Public Funds and Taft Hartley at
NEPC. He has had a long career in consulting and started his career as an accountant.
Kevin has had a career of over 30 years in investment consulting, and it had a somewhat
“accidental” start – being driven more by location and convenience than a calling. Things
quickly shifted however, and Kevin found that working with public funds where the possibility to
add value and have impact was high and the touchpoints with investment committees and
Boards frequent and satisfying.