You hosted the recent MacKay Investor Forum. What were your primary objectives for the event? Did you achieve what you hoped for and what were some of the highlights?
One of my goals for the forum was to bring together investors from the distinct investment teams across MacKay Shields and to hear from “on the street” that perhaps you have not read or heard from before.
I subscribe to the idea that a large group of people are smarter than an elite few. This theory is best explored in one of my favorite books, The Wisdom of Crowds written by James Surowiecki. By bringing more of us together I think we can help solve some of the problems we all face.
Some great positive feedback on the event highlighted…“I think that engaging in collective learning is an excellent way to build a strong culture and I thought yesterday’s event was a great example of that.”
Can you describe your career journey? When did you know you wanted to be in the investment management/financial services industry?
I started at Merrill Lynch where I had several careers—first as a bond fund accountant, then moved to asset management arm as a credit analyst and a portfolio manager on the stable value team, then built a derivatives infrastructure team for the asset management platform and then ended my ML time as portfolio management on the core plus team.
Stable value asset class was the most fascinating to me and really got me hooked on investment management. Although stable value is generally the low-risk solution in a 401k plan the underlying investment strategies, my boss at the time was using derivatives and different option strategies. The creativity we were able to employ within the accounts made we want to be an investor.
Can you tell us more about your involvement in the West Windsor Ninjas Girls Softball Association? What made you want to get involved with this organization?
It is a travel softball organization I founded about 10-years ago focusing on developing girls in the local community both as softball players but also to become leaders. As my daughters got older, we merged with an organization called the Witches. This program was more about developing players for the collegiate level and helping young women achieve their goals of playing softball in college.
Why I got involved is simple: There was a long waiting list to be a little league baseball coach, but no one ever wanted to coach softball. The little league softball program was on the verge of going away when my girls were young. We completely turned it around by giving it the attention it deserved.
Tell us something about yourself that most people at Mackay would not know about you.
I may regret writing this, but I am a big fan of the Hallmark holiday movies. From thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve my wife and I will watch as many as we can…