I’ve developed a particular interest in elicitation: how to interview management and other sources to learn their true thoughts. When you measure how professional investors spend their time, they spend perhaps half of it talking with management, attending conferences, and in other ways learning from industry sources. However, although there are countless books on how to read a balance sheet, there is very little written about how to best leverage industry sources.
Seeing a void while I was running Evalueserve Circle of Experts, I researched best practices of the intelligence community, journalists, and psychologists to develop a training curriculum for our own team and clients in how to elicit information from sources. I’ve provided this training privately and at conferences such as the IRC Alternative Investment Summit, the Euromoney Hedge Fund Start-Up Forum & Hedge Fund Business Development Forum, and the Harvard Club of New York Private Equity Roundtable.
“Interviewing industry sources requires a broad range of skills which I didn’t learn in business school: rapport-building; how to open a conversation to start off on the right foot; how to close a conversation and keep the door still open. David Teten helped me to interact with experts more effectively, learn more from them, and make better trading decisions. He showed me how to ask the right questions… And how to help an expert teach me how to ask the right questions! Any investor without this skill set is at a significant disadvantage in the war for alpha.”
– Partner, Multistrategy/Convertible/Credit Arb $500M fund, New York, NY