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Allocating to "emerging managers," defined as asset managers with less than $2 billion in assets under management, and/or diverse managers may improve alpha generation potential by gaining nimbleness in capacity constrained markets and tapping a broader talent pool. How do investors build a program to capture this? How does an emerging manager navigate the headwinds and competition from mega managers?
A change of tact in investment manager selection may improve portfolio alpha and also make a big impact in the diversity of the financial community. Allocating to diverse and emerging managers may improve alpha generation potential by tapping a broader talent pool and gaining nimbleness in capacity constrained markets. These firms are typically not closely followed by institutional investors and therefore represent a range of investment processes and teams whose views are largely underutilized. In many cases, their low level of assets proves more nimble in capacity constrained markets, which is exactly what investors want.
The goal of the session is to provide the audience two perspectives on this opportunity: One from the leader of an institutional consulting firm trying to tap this market for large plan sponsors, and another from an emerging manager that has built a firm amid all the challenges and is well on her way to being "emerged." Listen to consultant's perspective on the emerging manager universe opportunities and where alpha opportunities are greatest. Hear the asset manager's take on the challenges she's faced building her business. Together they will leave you with key considerations for investing with emerging managers.
Shelly Heier, CFA, CAIA, President & COO, Verus
A shareholder of the firm since 2007, Ms. Heier is an integral part of the firm's leadership, serving on the Verus board of directors and management committee. In addition to overseeing the broad investment division, human resources and legal services, Ms. Heier provides investment consulting services to a handful of clients, including foundations, university endowments, and hospitals. She also serves as chair of the Verus alternative investments committee, which provides strategic guidance on research initiatives and vets investment manager recommendations.
Ms. Heier joined Verus in 2000 as a member of the manager research group and was responsible for investment manager and market research. She served as director of manager research from 2002 to 2005. She began providing consulting services to institutional investors in 2005. Ms. Heier is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, where she has presented on a broad range of topics such as capturing alpha from quantitative strategies and portfolio operations efficiencies.
Ms. Heier serves as a trustee on the board of her alma mater, University of Puget Sound. She is also active in numerous civic and industry groups, including the CFA Institute, CFA Society of Seattle, CAIA Association, Western Pension & Benefit Conference, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Innovators Network. In 2012, Ms. Heier was recognized as a "40 Under 40" honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Ms. Heier graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a bachelor of arts (BA) in business and public administration with an emphasis in finance and a minor in economics. She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2001 and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation in 2011.
Machel Allen, CFA, CEO & CIO, Metis Global Partners
Machel is the President and Chief Investment Officer at Metis Global Partners. She leads the firm's business strategy efforts as well as the investment team responsible for researching and managing the firm's portfolio strategies.
Machel's investment career spans over 23 years, including ten years with Brandes Investment Partners where she led the quantitative investment team that designed and implemented the investment process used by Metis today. Prior experience includes Lord Abbett, as an Equity Analyst to international and domestic portfolios, as well as institutional investment consulting roles at LCG Associates and Watson Wyatt.
Machel earned an MBA in investments from the Robinson Business School at Georgia State University (GSU) as well as a BBA in finance from GSU. She is a Past President and Board Director of the CFA Society of San Diego and is a member of the Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA). Machel is an Advisory Board Member of The Brandes Institute.