Sam Kunz – Trading Places – An Investing Odyssey
Sam Kunz

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.  Our conversation starts with Sam’s early days in investing as a trader and the skills and insights that that time provided – his transition to an institutional investing role was driven by a multitude of circumstances, but the training it provided in managing volatility and forgiving mistakes and even tolerating fallibility was highly instructive.  Sam has seen the world of institutional investing from many angles – within a public pension fund, within a large university endowment and now within a more nimble boutique firm. Always philosophical and analytical we examine the lessons learned over decades of investing, why we need to be mindful of the industry’s hubris and why, above all, we must learn to be gentle with ourselves, in what can be an unforgiving and challenging work environment. This series was made possible by the kind support of MainStreet Partners, a London-based independent and dedicated sustainable investment advisor that provides ESG multi-asset and multi-manager portfolios and a range of holistic portfolio analytics tools including sustainability ratings and bespoke sustainability intelligence. It was also supported by Carbonado Partners, an industry expert in capital raising for all asset classes, that endeavors to provide thoughtful solutions that address emerging managers’ perspectives and challenges.