David Salem is a contributing author to Epsilon Theory and Co-Chairman of the New York City-based investment advisory firm New Providence.
Before joining New Providence, David served as managing partner of Boston-based Windhorse Capital Management. For nearly two decades prior to his tenure at Windhorse, David served as founding president for The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), a non-profit investment cooperative that at David’s departure stewarded in excess of $8 billion on behalf of more than 700 endowed charities. In addition to his duties as TIFF’s president, David served as chief investment officer for all investment vehicles bearing the TIFF name, including partnerships employing private equity, realty, resource-related and absolute return-oriented investment strategies plus a family of mutual funds investing primarily in publicly-traded securities. Prior to assuming TIFF’s presidency, Mr. Salem was a partner in the global money management firm GMO.
A graduate of Middlebury College, from which he received a BA summa cum laude in American Studies at roughly the same time that Bucky Dent put a dagger into his heart and that of other Red Sox faithful, David has done his best over the years to overcome the handicap of two graduate degrees from Harvard: a JD cum laude, and an MBA with grades lofty enough to earn David the same honor pocketed by disgraced Enron CEO Jeff Skilling back in the day, i.e., Baker Scholar. A longtime member of the District of Columbia Bar, David has held adjunct faculty positions at both Middlebury and the University of Virginia, and served briefly while enrolled at Harvard in the office whose advice POTUS 45 seemingly honors more in the breach than the observance (a/k/a the office of White House Counsel).
A current member of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation, David served formerly as a trustee of numerous non-profits, including Middlebury College and the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and as a member of the investment committee of The Atlantic Philanthropies. David and his wife Amory Rowe and two children live not far from Harvard Yard — not the ideal place to maintain exposure to diverse viewpoints but a great perch for avid athletes to say nothing of diehard Bosox votaries like David and his kin.
Notes by David:
In baseball and in investing, how do we distinguish truly great practitioners from merely good ones? Let’s start by looking at two greats who revolutionized how the game is played – Branch Rickey in baseball and David Swensen in investing.
Imitation is not only the sincerest form of flattery, it’s also the engine behind so much of what we do in both professional baseball and professional investing. The trick, of course, is not to get beaned in the process!
Peer group comparisons are the primary measuring stick of both baseball GMs and investment PMs. Here’s how they are used and (more often) abused.
Allocators and investors can learn a lot from professional baseball about how to structure incentives and compensation for portfolio managers. And how NOT to do it.
Enmity and competitive games can be beaten. Sometimes doing so requires someone willing to be booed by his home crowd.
Part 2 of a multi-part series that seeks to enhance readers’ deployment of both human and financial capital through the exploration of parallels between money management and professional baseball.
Part 1 of a multi-part series that seeks to enhance readers’ deployment of both human and financial capital through the exploration of parallels between money management and professional baseball.