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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]

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]

Free Copy of The Lower-Risk Startup: How Venture Capitalists Increase the Odds of Startup Success

One of my responsibilities is helping to accelerate value creation in our portfolio companies. I published the first research study on this topic in the Journal of Private Equity, peHub, Betabeat, and Techcrunch. The Journal of Private Equity has now (temporarily) made our full study available for [...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]

HBS Club of CT, Nov. 19 event: Private Equity Operating Executives Panel with Goldman Sachs, General Atlantic, CVC Capital

The Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut invites you to a Panel Discussion on It's the People: Improving Private Equity Portfolio Company Valuations by Working with Operating Executives Bush-Holley Historic Site 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT [...continue reading]

Managing the Online Identify of a Venture Capital/Private Equity Firm

Seth Levine has posted the slides from his portion of Thomson Reuters Buyouts recent webinar on "Boosting Returns with Web 2.0 Technology". Also, Buyouts magazine has posted a detailed summary of the panel. You can get a sense of my slides on the deal origination page of my site. [...continue reading]

Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds’ Use of CRM

    Paul Greenberg just posted a summary I wrote of how private equity and venture funds are using CRM at his blog. I've cross-posted it here:       Paul asked me to write a brief summary of the findings of my research on Best Practices in Private Equity [...continue reading]

Asset Managers and How They Power Their Businesses with Salesforce CRM

For our research project on VC/private equity deal origination, Renny Monaghan of Salesforce pointed me to a 2008 Dreamforce panel on Asset Managers and How They Power Their Businesses with Salesforce CRM. The video and Powerpoint are downloadable here. My notes follow. I think the most [...continue reading]

Why Do Investors Choose High-fee Mutual Funds Despite the Lower Returns?

With their combination of low fees, tax efficiency and simple, autopilot investing style, index funds seem to have captivated American investors. At the same time, however, many investors still hold trillions of dollars in high-fee funds despite well-publicized evidence that low-fee alternatives [...continue reading]

Is It the Fund or the Fund Manager that Fuels Performance?

Is It the Fund or the Fund Manager that Fuels Performance? "When it comes to the world of work, mutual fund managers are a respected breed. Yet what part does the fund itself play in a successful outcome? Klaas P. Baks, assistant professor of finance at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, [...continue reading]

The Wisdom of Warren Buffett

Via Marty Schwimmer, here are notes from a meeting with Warren Buffett. This sounds extremely similar to the talk I heard from him when I was in business school. [...continue reading]

How Mutual Fund Managers Exploit Opportunities to Maximize Fees – Knowledge@Wharton

How Mutual Fund Managers Exploit Opportunities to Maximize Fees: yet more reasons to review the fees you're being charged carefully. [...continue reading]