End the duopoly

If Culture Matters, Should Your Asset Managers’ Political Donations Matter?

Illustration by Jeremy Leung/II “Culture matters.”

How many times have you uttered this phrase when talking about your own company or your manager due diligence process?

Asset managers certainly recognize this and loudly tout their own cultures as being essential to their success. Asset allocators — and especially investment consultants — cling to this phrase as if it had totemic power, ascribing to a manager a mystical ability to generate alpha.

Willis Towers Watson, for example, writes , “In the competitive world of generating alpha, we believe culture is a unique ingredient and the bedrock on which a competitive advantage is sustained over the long term.” But in spite of its importance, the firm admits, “evaluating [a manager’s] culture is not easy. It can require countless hours speaking to a firm’s leadership and staff, in addition to data gathering and analysis to create a robust view of the firm.”

Which takes us, inevitably, to President Donald J. Trump.

In 2020 this data-gathering exercise should also include a search and evaluation of political donations made by a manager and its leadership to the president’s re-election campaign.Michelle Goldberg recently wrote in The New York Times that President Trump “does indeed have a re-election message, a stark […]

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