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“You approach [investing] like you approach a research project…So finding folks who are willing to essentially talk to me like I'm a kindergartner, and get me smart on the opportunity. And after every one of those meetings, I process the information and the next layer of questions that I ask is a little bit smarter.”
Jennifer Heller is President and Chief Investment Officer at Brandywine Group Advisors, advising on $10bn of capital for a small group of families with multi-generational time horizons. This means she is in the field of balancing portfolio objectives and beneficiary interests. Conversations around this have become especially crucial during the COVID-19 crisis, as she shares. Listen to hear some of the guidance Jennifer gives her families about how to stay smart during these unique market circumstances.
Central to Jennifer’s success is finding a steady supply of best-in-class managers. When working with limited transparency, this part of the job is difficult for any allocator. In this episode, Jennifer shares her insights on how to screen for manager alignment using the quantitative and qualitative tools at her disposal. She also shares how she knows it could be time to part ways with a manager.
The Brandywine pools and family portfolios span multiple asset classes and investment styles, a challenge that Jennifer finds absolutely invigorating. As a liberal arts major in college, Jennifer has always carried a natural curiosity for multiple topics. At one point during the interview, she suggests that having so many interests can be distracting at times—however, this knowledge breadth and approach to learning is actually the very force that helps her succeed. It’s this valuable attribute that inspired the title of the episode, “Investing Renaissance.”
Before Brandywine, Jennifer worked at both Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Stanford University’s endowment. Early in her career, she also spent six months in India working for a microfinance NGO. Jennifer holds an MBA from Stanford University.
Accomplished investors share their stories, mental models, and what market factors they’re paying attention to today. Host Andrea Gentilini of Novus unpacks what has helped them and hindered them on their diverse roads to success.