When talking to an institutional investor during due diligence, a fund manager should expect to be analyzed as a person.
We make every attempt to be objective in our analysis, but we make little effort to perform quantitative assessments. We approach behavioral elements by aggregating our observations, and then continuously constructing and deconstructing what we believe in search of reality. We seek to learn a lot about the backgrounds of our partners, often as far back as their childhoods.
We try to create a profile of our partners by mapping people across many dimensions. We want to know what motivates investors. Are they intrinsically or externally motivated? How do they spend their day, both before and after work? What do they read? Is there evidence of probabilistic thinking? Can they see alternative outcomes, or are they locked into one view of the world? What are their prior mistakes, and how do they learn from them? We try to build mosaics of our partners as investors, and as people.
Who takes care of the clock tower on campus?
If there’s one thing you can count on at Vanderbilt, it’s the Kirkland Hall clock tower, visible from almost anywhere on campus. For the past 110 years, the hourly tolling of Kirkland Hall’s signature bell has alerted generations of students that they’ve overslept for economics class or that kickoff was imminent.
And for more than a third of those 110 years, the task of keeping the tower’s clock ticking—and its 2,000-pound bell in good working order—has fallen to Paul Young. Young is proof that history belongs not only to historians, but also to those who risk perilous climbs in order to oil gears and spring forward or fall back.
To learn more about the Vanderbilt endowment by a former Chief Investment Officer, listen to Bill Spitz on Capital Allocators.
Post by Marcelino Pantoja