Candidate Assessment Traps>> Killer Product or Sales Skills?

The age old question always asked when hiring a capital raiser. Is the candidate’s track record a function of deep investor relationships and their sales ability, or is it the market demand for the fund they are selling? We have studied that very question since conducting our first hedge fund search in 1990. Here, we will try to provide clarity around the best practices used in assessing fund raising talent. This is part of an ongoing series that will cover the full range of functions in the industry. Our purpose is to inform our audience about assessment methods currently employed that are the best predictors of candidate success in the investment space.
Since 1990, our firm has worked on several mandates every year to recruit a capital raising professional for one of our investment management clients. Every search is unique, each client different in culture and size. That said, when hiring a marketer, they all need an individual who has deep relationships and a proven track record of raising capital. Our firm’s task is to determine which candidate’s fund raising prowess provides our client with the best probability of securing allocations for the fund. To that end, we have used a process that employees our network of managers and allocators that we have cultivated over a period of 30 plus years, to answer that very question.
 Our assessment process begins with an overview of the funds the candidate has marketed over the course of their career. We rate the funds on a scale that measures how easy or difficult it was to raise capital for that fund at the time the candidate was marketing it. It is scored using our own quantitative and qualitative process that assigns a value to this first component of our assessment, which is to what degree did the fund effect the candidates capital raising track record.
We then move to the second component of our assessment process and map the allocator universe for the various funds the candidate has sold, and compare that universe to the number of relationships the candidate has in that universe. That provides us with the second value, which is to what degree does the candidate have relationships he/she can monetize.
Lastly we interview the candidate to determine cultural fit. We use a work history behavioral analysis that gauges how well this individual will fit in to our client’s work culture.
Over the decades this process has evolved as each engagement we take on provides us another data point to test the accuracy of our methods, and observe if our assessment model proves itself in a real world fund environment. That is, we track the performance of the people we recruit and continue to update our process on what we learn. As with any endeavor to predict human performance, it needs to be a continual agile process of improvement.

Ground Breaking Indie RIA Platform Provider Dynasty Financial Moving to Florida

New York based Dynasty Financial Partners, a leader in the indie RIA platform provider space announced yesterday that they are moving their headquarters to St. Petersburg, Florida in the second quarter of 2019. The firm will continue to keep an office in NY, but it appears a large share of the business will now be managed out of the new offices in Florida.

Shirl Penny, the founder and CEO of Dynasty said “We have spent a year looking for an ideal location that provided economic leverage, a high quality of life for our team, a robust infrastructure, and a strong talent pool. We also wanted a location that was in the heart of a thriving and growing financial services market – and St. Petersburg was a stand-out on all fronts,”

The firm is known collectively in the Indie RIA space as a fast-growing technology and service leader serving 47 RIA’s across the US. Which is probably why St. Pete put on a full court press to land the business.

Frequency of Cyber Attacks in Financial Services Firms Increasing

We all remember the data breach at Equifax two years ago, and the turmoil it created by directly affecting 143m consumers. Well, post-Equifax cyber attacks have increased on financial institutions at an alarming rate. In fact recent data indicates that customers of financial service firms have suffered over 60% more incidents than any other sector. The threat has become so severe that our government passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act and The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) specifically to assist in addressing the problem etc. are helping accelerate the adoption of cybersecurity in the financial sector.

We are working with our clients in that space to put together a comprehensive analysis of the cybersecurity market in financial services. Including market drivers, challenges and emerging technologies. We expect to provide the market with a comprehensive report that will give those in the financial markets a roadmap to solution providers. If you wish to participate, please reach out to discuss. Expect to see ongoing updates as our process unfolds.

Jeff, We Hardly Knew Ye

NYC just got blindsided when Amazon pulled the plug on their proposed NYC campus after a facing a passionate onslaught from progressive leader and their followers who opposed the deal NY had forged with the online giant.

The original announcement by Amazon to build an expansive campus in Queens would have resulted 25,000 jobs for the city. That of course does include the massive ancillary economic benefits that would have accrued to the region by the presence of Amazon. Following Amazon’s announcement, Kathryn S. Wylde, the CEO of the Partnership for New York City reflected the broader sense of disappointment in the decision when she indicated that the treatment of Amazon by progressive leaders sends a “pretty bad message to the job creators” of the city and the world. “How can anyone be surprised?” Ms. Wylde said. “We competed successfully, made a deal and spent the last three months trashing our new partner.”

Amazon has been on the hunt for their 2nd headquarters since September of 2017. 200 different cities courted the company in hopes of securing a commitment from the online giant. They were driven by the need for additional pools of talent and the increasingly sour relationship has with city officials in Seattle. So it should surprise no one that the ferocity, misinformation and outright disdain some NY officials threw at Amazon in recent months, would cause the company to reevaluate whether the Big Apple was the right place for them.

Gianna Cerbone-Teoli owner of Manducatis Rustica, a restaurant a few blocks from the new Amazon site encapsulated the feelings of all working Joes that saw this as an economic boon for the area when speaking to the New York Times she voiced her opinion directly to those who opposed the deal. “I’m really upset because I don’t think they realized what they did,” she said. “And they’re proud of it? They think they did something lovely? They wanted the political gain, they should have done it in a different way. They get put into office for us, not to work for themselves.”

We agree Gianna, and on a larger scale, we think the anti-business drum beats in both our city and our country are antithetical to the well-being of the American dream every working person in America pursues each and every day.

SS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index For January Returns 3.59%

WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The gross return of the SS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index for January 2019 measured 3.59%.

Hedge fund flows as measured by the SS&C GlobeOp Capital Movement Index advanced 1.11% in February.

“SS&C GlobeOp’s Capital Movement Index for February 2019 of 1.11% shows increased net flows compared to the 0.96% reported for the same period a year ago for February 2018,” said Bill Stone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, SS&C Technologies. “In fact, the 1.11% reported for February 2019 represents the largest net inflows for any February since 2013. This favorable result continues the generally positive net flows into hedge funds we’ve seen since market volatility rose abruptly this past October.”

Reflections On Our State of the Union

Every year in January the President travels down the street from the White House and enters the chambers of the United States House of Representatives to address our lawmakers and the nation on the state of the union. It is quite an affair accompanied by several traditions that have come to define the event. For the most part, the President’s opposing party shows little to no enthusiasm for the annual victory lap the President is prone to take. Nor do they emote much in the way of support for most of his proposed agenda items going forward. This is demonstrated by them withholding applause or standing when he makes a salient point. Of course, those within the President’s own party rise in thunderous applause with his every point.

We all observe this ritual every year from our couch while munching on popcorn. I have always done the same thing, until this year. This year I hopped the train to DC and joined others there to observe, and in various ways participate with the festivities in person. Having a full view sitting right next to the guy running the C-Span camera in the gallery provides a much more expansive view of the dynamic than I had ever experienced before.

This year for instance, the overwhelming sea of white-clothed congresswomen was a sight to behold from the moment they walked in, during their high fives cheers when the President declared that we have more women in Congress now than at any other time in history, and in icy stares when the President turned directly to them and proclaimed America will never be a socialist country.

As interesting as the dynamic in the chambers was the pre and post-game rituals our elected officials participate in on this night. I had the opportunity to spend time with a quite a number of those who run our country during the pre-speech get-togethers in the Capitol leading up the event. I was able to observe how they interacted with each other. How they ribbed each other and threw jokes around like a group of close friends who have been hanging out together for years. It left me with thoughts that there is still hope for our country personified by these people interacting with each other in a civil and respectful manner, as opposed to the massive divide we see characterized by the pundits in our national media. It also made me realize that many of these folks are real characters with unique and charming personas.

Then it was post-speech time, and we proceeded into the National Statuary Hall where we were greeted by a gaggle of television crews, reporters, and radio announcers. All of them seeking commentary from any elected official regarding the speech that just ended. And as they are wont to do when cameras are whirring, our politicians accommodated the press for a few hours. Each one putting their own spin on the President’s speech. Each reflecting the views of themselves and their party in an articulate and well-stated manner. Each with their political game time hat on.

Then time to leave. Once again, people from both sides of the aisle filing out of the Capitol together with a few jokes, jabs and ribs between them. All done in a friendly and collegial way. Home to rest, so they can start a new day tomorrow tackling the issues confronting our country. Yeah, our state of the union is just fine.




Trading View Rolls Out Crypto Dashboard

TradingView, a web-based trading and investing portal have announced the launch of their own proprietary Crypto Dashboard. The solution provides traders in the asset a broad look at the cryptocurrency markets, as well as help them trade cryptocurrencies.  In addition, the company is now accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for its premium solution.

Upcoming Conferences

The 24th Annual Sohn Investment Conference
May 6, 2019 New York

The Sohn Conference Foundation’s flagship Sohn Investment Conference, dubbed the “Super Bowl of investment conferences” by The Wall Street Journal, is the world’s original and premier investment event.  The Sohn Investment Conference, held annually in New York City, gathers top investors from around the globe for a day of fresh market insights.  Sohn’s unique format consists of 15-minute presentations from hedge fund industry leaders on their newest investment ideas.

Proceeds from The Sohn Investment Conference benefit The Sohn Conference Foundation’s mission to fund pediatric cancer research and care.  The Foundation makes grants for cutting-edge medical research, state-of-the-art medical equipment, and innovative programs to treat and cure pediatric cancer.

The Sohn Conference Foundation honors the memory of Ira Sohn, a Wall Street professional who lost his battle with cancer at age 29.


SALT Conference Las Vegas

May7-10, 2019


Founded in 2009, our flagship annual event, SALT Conference | Las Vegas, brings together around 2,000 of the world’s foremost investors, policy experts, politicians and business leaders for four days of networking, entertainment and idea sharing.

Gaining the Edge – Hedge Fund Leadership Conferences

Agecroft Partners created Gaining the Edge to help enhance investors’ knowledge of the hedge fund industry and to improve the lives of children. 100% of the profits from Gaining the Edge – Hedge Fund Leadership Conferences are donated to non profit organizations that benefit children.  Through the end of 2018 Agecroft’s partners have given away the approximately $700,000 from these events to over a dozen organizations focused on troubled youth, children’s health, and children’s education.  In addition to financial support, Agecroft Partners have contributed a significant amount of time and hands on support by serving on boards of more than half of these organizations.

Chicago Hedge Fund Conference

June 19, 2019  |  Chicago

New York Hedge Fund Conference

November 4-5, 2019  |  New York City

Centura Wealth Hires Cariani As Chief Investment Officer

Centura Wealth Advisory announced that they have hired David Cariani as CIO to work with Kyle Malmstrom, the current CIO, and founding partner to add additional capabilities to the firm’s investment offerings.

Hedge Funds Bet On PG&E In 4th Quarter

Shares of California utility PG&E fell 48 percent during the quarter ending on December 31, 2019. That didn’t seem to deter over a  dozen hedge funds who invested in the company during the quarter, with over a dozen firm picking up 12.8 million shares. Regulatory filings show  Anchorage Capital Group and BlueMountain Capital Management as the fund managers who acquired the largest number of shares.