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Discovering Phi: Motivation as the Hidden Variable of Performance


Future of Finance Feature Presentation Delivered by Mirtha D. Kastrapeli, Vice President Center for Applied Research, State Street

Start Time

5/10/2017 5:00 PM

End Time

5/10/2017 8:30 PM

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Location Info

​​Boca Country Club
17751 Boca Club Blvd
Boca Raton, FL 33487​​​​

Event Description

Discovering Phi:  Motivation as the Hidden Variable of Performance

Please join us for a very engaging and exciting presentation by co-author Mirtha D. Kastrapeli, Vice President State Street Center for Applied Research.  This research, an 18-month joint effort by State Street and CFA Institute, represents a major breakthrough in the factor analysis of investment performance.  Alpha was quantitatively defined in the 1950’s, Beta in the 1960’s and Gamma in 2013 by Morningstar and now we have Phi, the “fourth horseman” of investment performance.  This recent study encompassed 200 global industry leaders and government officials, qualitative statements from more than 3,300 investment professionals, and survey results from 3,600 individual investors across 20 countries. Among the results, only 17% of investment professionals score high in Phi, while 53% score low or have no Phi whatsoever.  Phi, a “secret sauce” can perhaps be best viewed as purposeful and embedded motivation in alignment with the long-term goals of clients. It has three dimensions: Purpose, Habits, and Incentives. The study focused on 10 year periods. Mirtha’s talk will focus on both practitioners and firms and with a discussion of eight ways firms can increase their Phi.
The 56-page report will be made available.  Its conclusion is strongly forward-looking:

”We see great potential for phi in the investment community because thus far, concepts such as motivation and purpose have not been measurable. In our industry we like numbers, and we have little interest in factors that cannot be measured reliably. Still, we intuitively know there is a cultural difference between firms that are highly regarded and those that are not. We, therefore, have been searching for that “secret sauce” or hidden variable that sustains firms through difficult times in the market cycle. With the discovery of phi, we have found a way to measure and describe this difference — and over time, we may even find it has the power to transform our industry into a more respected profession, secure better outcomes for our clients and create greater value for society.”

Reception: 5 PM
Dinner: 6 PM
Presentation: 6:45 PM to 8 PM with Q&A

About the Speaker

Mirtha is head of Sustainable Investment Research at State Street’s Center for Applied Research. She co-authored the award-winning studies Discovering Phi: Motivation as the Hidden Variable of Performance in 2016 and ‘The Folklore of Finance; How Beliefs and Behaviors Sabotage Success in the Investment Management Industry’ in 2014. Mirtha is also the author of the ‘Artifacts Exposed’ publication series, which challenges methodologies that are widely used in the investment management industry. Each year, she presents the findings of these studies at dozens of conferences and client events globally, including Barron’s, Institutional Investor and Sovereign Investor Institute.

Mirtha has 14 years of experience in the private and public sector, analyzing capital markets and helping shape public policy. She spent six years as a Global Macro Strategist at State Street Global Markets in Boston. In the public sector, Mirtha served as an advisor to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Economics in Nicaragua. Mirtha also worked at the Economic and Commercial Office of the US Embassy in Managua, where she received a Meritorious Honor Award by the US Department of State. Mirtha earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in Finance and Economics from Ave Maria College in Nicaragua and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Brandeis International Business School.

Event Type

Society; Educational

Society Category


Education Topic

Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills

Event Region


CE Credit


SER Credit


Event Terms

On-site registrations are accepted on an exception basis and are payable with credit card only. To cancel, please send an email to  with your name, email address and CFA Society South Florida member ID (same as CFA Institute ID for regular and affiliate members)  if applicable. 

Advance registrations that fail to attend or that fail to cancel prior to 48 hours before the event will be billed at the non-member walk-in rate quoted for the event. If the event is subsidized for both members and non-members, late cancellations and no-shows may be billed at the actual cost per attendee. Cancellations for a full refund must be made at least 48 hours before an event. Registrations cancelled within the last 48 hours prior to an event are not eligible for a refund.

Location Name

Boca Country Club

All Day Event





5/10/2017 8:30 PM



Event Manager Email

Location Address

17751 Boca Club Blvd

Location City

Boca Raton, FL 33487

Event Link


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Event Short Info

Approval Status Approved


Content Type: MyCFA Calendar
Created at 5/3/2017 6:28 AM by 38
Last modified at 5/27/2019 10:02 AM by 38