The chief investment officers (CIOs) at endowments, foundations, family offices, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds are the leaders in the world of finance. They marshal trillions of dollars on behalf of their institutions and influence how capital flows throughout the world.
But these elite investors live outside of the public eye. Across the entire investment industry, few participants understand how these holders of the keys to the kingdom allocate their time and their capital.
What’s more, there is no formal training for how to do their work.
So how do these influential leaders practice their craft? What skills do they require? What frameworks do they employ? How do they make investment decisions on everything from hiring managers to portfolio construction?
For the first time, CAPITAL ALLOCATORS lifts the lid on this opaque corner of the investment landscape.
Drawing on interviews from the first 150 episodes of the Capital Allocators podcast, Ted Seides presents the best of the knowledge, practical insights, and advice of the world’s top professional investors.
These insights include:
- The best practices for interviewing, decision-making, negotiations, leadership, and management.
- Investment frameworks across governance, strategy, process, technological innovation, and uncertainty.
- The wisest and most impactful quotes from guests on the Capital Allocators podcast.
Learn from the likes of the CIOs at the endowments of Princeton and Notre Dame, family offices of Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, pension funds from the State of Florida, CalSTRS, and Canadian CDPQ, sovereign wealth funds of New Zealand and Australia, and many more.
CAPITAL ALLOCATORS is the essential new reference manual for current and aspiring CIOs, the money managers that work with them, and everyone allocating a pool of capital.
About the Author
Ted Seides, CFA has spent 25 years as an institutional investor, allocating money to managers. He started in 1992 at the Yale University Investments Office, seven years after David Swensen arrived at Yale. Ted spent five years learning under David’s tutelage and departed to attend Harvard Business School shortly before David wrote the bible in the industry, Pioneering Portfolio Management. In 2017, Ted launched the Capital Allocators podcast, a series of interviews with leading Chief Investment Officers. The show reached four million downloads in August 2020. Barron’s, Business Insider, and Value Walk each named it among the top investing podcasts. He also advises asset managers and allocators across business strategy, audio content, and investing. Ted writes opinion pieces for Institutional Investor, wrote a blog for the CFA Institute’s Enterprising Investor and guest publications for the late Peter L. Bernstein’s Economics and Portfolio Strategy.
Ted Seides has achieved a remarkable book that draws on the expertise and experience of a broad cross-section of industry leaders. He expertly distills interviews that he conducted directly into a book that seamlessly covers executive, leadership and investment skills and lessons. Capital Allocators is a well-crafted and informative read for existing and prospective investment professionals as well as for those who work with the investment industry in any capacity. --Gregory J. Fleming, President & CEO, Rockefeller Capital Management
This book boils down the most interesting insights and important lessons from the biggest and most powerful investors on earth -- the ones that literally put the capital in capitalism. It offers a glimpse into the thinking of capital allocators in a coherent and digestible format. It should be required reading for anybody interested in investing and certainly will be for my students! --Ashby H. B. Monk, PhD, Executive Director, Global Projects Center, Stanford University
Unlike many 'invest like the best' books, Capital Allocators does not pretend there is some magical trick that will turn anyone into an investing genius. Instead, Ted Seides details how great investors do the hard work that leads to better outcomes. You won't get rich quick reading this book, but if you take the time to really understand the lessons it teaches, you will be a better, more thoughtful investor. --Ben Inker, Head of Asset Allocation, GMO
Page by page, Ted Seides' Capital Allocators brings us tools, frameworks and a rich collection of wisdom captured from his professional network. Ted’s book allows us to discover how successful CIOs incorporate various aspects of the investment process and lessons learned in navigating financial markets. This book should be mandatory for any investment teams aspiring to evolve and win. --Mario Therrien, Head of Investment Funds and External Management, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
The world of institutional investing needed Ted's voice -- it just didn’t know it yet. With this book, and with his unparalleled podcast, Ted has brought a whole hidden world to a broader audience, and anyone interested in how the world’s most prominent investors move money is better for it. --Kip McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief, Institutional Investor
I have learned something from every podcast, and this book pulls them all together. There is no one right way to be a CIO, we are all unique, but there are still lessons that we can learn from one another and value that comes from understanding the nuances among us. Thank you, Ted, for providing a forum for CIOs to share ideas and for writing this great collection of highlights. --James Williams, CIO, J. Paul Getty Trust
Capital Allocators is jam-packed with actionable advice from the world's leading investment experts on topics ranging from interviewing managers to decision-making. Ted distills the wisdom of his impressive array of podcast guests into a compendium that deserves highlighting on every page. Take it from me, choosing to read Capital Allocators is a good decision. --Annie Duke, former professional poker player, best-selling author, and decision strategist
Ted understands the nuance of investment management better than anyone I know, because he's talked to more investors than anyone I know. It's been said that books don’t change minds; sentences do. There are so many good lines in this book it's hard to put down. --Morgan Housel, Partner at Collaborative Fund and best-selling author
Capital Allocators is an excellent collection of toolkits and frameworks for investing that reflect both the institutions and the different styles of their CIOs. Capital Allocators is a starting manual for all the things aspiring CIOs need to consider as they develop their style and strategic vision. Importantly, Ted acknowledges that there are many ways to be a successful CIO and that CIOs can learn from each other in that diversity of viewpoints. --Ana Marshall, CIO, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Ted has made the world of capital allocation approachable for everyone across hundreds of conversations. Now he's further distilled the lessons into a package that will make any investor better at what they do. Required reading. --Patrick O'Shaughnessy, CEO, O'Shaughnessy Asset Management
Through his podcast, Ted has talked with the best investment minds in the world. Capital Allocators assembles this collective wisdom into an incredible guidebook for anyone who wants to be truly thoughtful about long-term investing. --Raphael Arndt, CEO, Australia Future Fund
A fantastically broad, deep guide to the asset allocator's world. I wish it had been written 25 years ago. The quotations in it are alone worth the price. You can quote me on that. --Andrew Golden, CIO, Princeton University Investment Management Company (PRINCO)