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.

Apurva had a unique lens to apply when selecting her next move as she had spent years analyzing different investment firm cultures, and we spend some time discussing what it is that makes a successful investment company culture. She speaks about the perils of storytelling – of being carried away by the narrative, and of the importance of creating a culture that is conducive to a team’s growth. This relates, in particular, to psychological safety and the safety to make mistakes while learning, without a culture of blame.

We broaden the conversation then to discuss recent trends in asset allocation, the state of non-US investing and client’s use of global portfolios as well as shifts in the industry in light of the rise of passive investing as well as ESG strategies. We end with reflections on the importance of learning from essentially everyone one encounters, the importance of humility and of learning from mistakes. It is a far reaching conversation that I hope you enjoy.

This bonus series is kindly supported by Sound Mark Partners, Sound Mark Partners LLC is a women-owned and led private credit firm focused on commercial real estate.