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How to Identify Technology Trends for Macro Investors

I recently spent time with a hedge fund manager who asked for counsel on how he could identify macro trends (especially technology macro trends) which he could use to generate investment ideas.  The deck below summarizes my recommendations.  This overlaps with my research on origination for private [...continue reading]

Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services

I’ve presented at a few conferences lately on AI in financial services, particularly on how investors are using AI.  I’ve posted here an expanded version of my slides.  I provide an overview of why AI is a tool that so many people are exploring; what I think increases the odds of success for [...continue reading]

Microcredentials for the Effective Venture Capital or Private Equity Investor

Historically VC has been an apprenticeship business.  That said, I’ve identified quite a few microcredentials, conferences, and other learning opportunities which will help train you to be a better investor.  I’ve also published research here on private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and [...continue reading]

Institutional Investor’s Cover Story is Our Research Study on Innovation in Investing

We’re happy to report that Institutional Investor just published our research study as their April cover story: “Asset Managers, Prepare to Have Your Business Disrupted” (about 2,000 words). You can download the full study in PDF (10,000 words) or join the discussion around the paper here on [...continue reading]

Get the Final Draft of Our Paper on Disruption of the Asset Management Industry

I’ve mentioned previously that I’m working on a research study on disruption of the asset management business.  We are now sharing the final draft of our research study  with reviewers.  If you’d like to take a look, please send me your email ASAP.  My co-authors are Katina Stefanova (former [...continue reading]

Seeking Investors to Participate in Study on Innovation in Asset Management

I’ve written in the past on how the investing industry is overdue for innovation.  I’m now launching a research project to better understand the emerging investment opportunities. We are seeking Partner-level investment professionals at hedge funds, mutual funds, VCs, sovereign wealth funds, pension [...continue reading]

Design Your Company Culture Like The World’s Largest Hedge Fund

Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, is a man after my own heart.  A few years ago he publicly set down his core Principles for living, managing, and investing.  Bridgewater uses these codified rules for recruiting, training, and most important, managing the [...continue reading]

How To Disrupt The Investing Business, With Katina Stefanova (Ex-Bridgewater Management Committee)

I had a conversation recently about the investing business with Katina Stefanova, who recently left Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world. I’ve always had great respect for Bridgewater, which unlike most investing organizations realizes just how critical processes and culture are to [...continue reading]

Why Some Investors Are Happy with Lousy Returns

My recent post on “Asset Management is a Peculiar Industry Ripe for Disruption” got one of the most interesting reactions I’ve received.  Among the more thoughtful respondents was Terri Chernick, Chief Investment Officer, The Koffler Group.  We had an email conversation about the rationality, or [...continue reading]

Asset Management Is a Peculiar Industry Ripe for Disruption

Since I became an institutional investor, my #1 learning is: this is a highly unusual and somewhat baffling industry.  Asset management shows the traditional earmarks of an industry ripe for disruption -- most obviously, unhappy customers and extremely profitable incumbents.  Despite this, it’s [...continue reading]

ff Venture Capital Is First VC Fund To Raise Capital Under The JOBS Act

ff Venture Capital has consistently generated a gross IRR on invested capital in excess of 30%, in a world where the average ten-year returns for venture capital firms are in the single digits.   But, historically we couldn’t say that it in a public setting.  Now we can.Software is eating every [...continue reading]

Best Practices of VCs and Private Equity Funds in Deal Sourcing

I have a presentation coming up in August on best practices of VCs and private equity funds in deal origination. You've surely seen lots of talks on how entrepreneurs can raise capital; the question I'm exploring is the reverse, which is how investors can find potential investments. If you have [...continue reading]

How to Scale Early-Stage Investing

Before making the decision to join ff Venture Capital, I did some research on early-stage tech investing as an asset class and how it’s evolving. What was striking was what an attractive asset class it was. Although any given early-stage company is quite risky, when aggregated across a large [...continue reading]

Venture Capitalists and the Upside-Down Pyramid

In response to my post on VC's increasing use of operationally focused team members, HBS professor Noam Wasserman sent me an excerpt of his dissertation on 'The Venture Capitalist as Entrepreneur: The Characteristics and Dynamics Within VC Firms'. A key point he makes in this paper is that, "Most [...continue reading]