Beyond today’s crop of chief investment officers, fostering the next generation of institutional investors at an early age should be an important mission for foundations, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies and corporations. Many of the institutional investors we spoke to described how their education has been invaluable in offering them the tools for success and the importance of ensuring that these resources continue to be available.
In this week’s Trusted Answers, we look at the importance of educating the next generation of institutional investors and some of the ways that this can be achieved:
I’m a huge believer in the power of education, and if our nation doesn’t get itself on track educating kids we’re going to be in trouble. My daily purpose is to help Georgetown provide scholarships and other resources to students. Georgetown is a needs-blind admission institution, meaning they provide substantial financial support each year.
I grew up a poor kid in the Bronx, and education made a huge difference in my life. If it weren’t for access to public education and what it did for me, I wouldn’t be here.
I’ve created a summer internship program that can lead to a full-time, post graduate position that takes three years to complete. We hire four students in the summer after junior year, giving them broad exposure, then pick one of four to continue, who is hired after he/she graduates. The program is three years so the students can get their CFAs. Participating students (all from University of Illinois) have a variety of backgrounds, not necessarily business, but also engineers and liberal arts.
I go back to my alma mater, and I mentor a lot of MBA students. I enjoy speaking to the classes and the finance club. It’s important to start while students are still in school and attempting to plan out their careers. I try to get them excited about the investment space, whether it's public pension plans, the buy side or the sell side, trading, portfolio management, private equity, real estate and so forth.
Getting out there, providing information and exposure to the business and letting them know what types of career paths there are on Wall Street is the first step. Then the next step is to narrow down that focus by explaining what I’ve done in the past, how I got there and what I'm doing specifically for the public pension plan. I explain to them how important I think the work is and how rewarding it can be.
Jeremy Wolfson, Chief Investment Officer, Los Angeles Water and Power Employees’ Retirement Plan
Read the full interview here.
...I have been saying this for two years, so I'm finally going to do it. I'm going to teach a class on how to be a CIO, first to my staff, then open it up to PERS and to Sacramento County and just be open to anybody who wants it. I think it is time for us to pass on our knowledge and our experience.
Chris Ailman, Chief Investment Officer, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
Read the full interview here.
Trusted Answers is a weekly series that delves into some of the most pertinent issues within institutional investing, and shares some of the insightful responses from the 40+ institutional investors we have interviewed in the past year. Take a look at some of our other Trusted Answers.