Today's multi-strategy, tomorrow's balanced account: What if skill matters?

Wed Apr 4, 2007

Donald H Putnam, managing partner, Grail Partners LLC

A few days ago, to torture the analogy, the third shoe dropped: the third head of a multi-billion-dollar US endowment resigned to start a new firm dedicated to multi-strategy. His target market? The real money - you know, half-billion-

dollar money that simply will not be seen with the little money. In his years of service to a great university, this CIO had delivered extraordinary returns despite layer upon layer of bureaucracy, pay inquiries, and students; oh please no more student questions! Deliver lots of alpha over five or 10 years with a smallish team and eventually the real money at the next table will say: "I'll have what she's having" (that's 'When Harry met Sally', for you youngsters!).

What she's having is a different way of investing and a different way of supervising - and it works. For the moment, though, these...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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