What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?
In my job, the challenges of the markets are endless. Since there is no finish line, my job is difficult and yet very fulfilling. When you think you have solved a problem or conquered a test, you come in the next day and it starts all over again. The truth is, the markets will never be easy. There will never be an “All Clear” signal or a horn that goes off to tell you it’s safe to be an investor. So, we must work with an understanding that it never ends. What went well last year may not be right this year. We have to constantly evolve and improve. As Co-head of Investment Strategy at Bernstein, I start with a blank sheet of paper every day. Alongside my team, I develop investment solutions that address every possible market opportunity and imaginable challenge. If research takes us to unexplored territory, which is the hope, then we land on the leading edge of innovation. That is where I want to be and where our clients expect us to go.
Share one of your most memorable professional accomplishments with us.
In my prior role as Head of Alternative Asset Strategies, I oversaw a platform of high-performing alternative investments. The problem was that we lacked asset allocation advice that wasn’t age-old rules of thumb for how to disseminate said strategies. Due to the way Bernstein operates, I was able to identify the issue and gather the resources to research the problem and develop a solution. My team built a state-of-the-art advice model to answer the question: How should one allocate alternative investments? The model included a framework that defined more clearly how the individual investments functioned within a diversified portfolio. It took a year for the first version of the advice model to be built, and another to develop the second version. Thanks again to Bernstein, a two-year research effort that took me, and several other investment professionals, away from our “day job” wasn’t an issue. Rather, it was praised as I solved a client problem, and that was all that mattered.
If you didn’t work for Bernstein, what else would you be doing?
Book editor. I love to read. The one drawback of my position at Bernstein is that I rarely get a chance to read for pleasure—and it is a pleasure. My collection of business books is significant but not as great as the bookshelf of fiction I one day aspire to plow through. Being an editor would have been ideal, reading hundreds of manuscripts, offering points of modification and serving in the creative process. It’s exhilarating to think about the finest literary works and how the editing process refined and improved the final product. Reading can be a distraction or a source of enrichment. Sometimes both! Right before I began business school was the last time I was unemployed. I took the summer off before the academic year and read almost 30 books in two months. I looked forward to reading every morning when I woke up. When my kids receive their summer reading assignments, they know I will always add extra titles to their lists. If you need a good book to read, send me an e-mail.