Chief investment officers can make big money, but succeeding in this high-stakes field means candidates must possess a well-rounded set of skills. In this practical and perceptive manual, money manager Ted Seides draws up a playbook for aspiring CIOs. Seides bases his advice on a combination of his own experience and the insights he has gained by interviewing other investment officers on his Capital Allocators podcast. To establish a career, Seides says, you'll need to master both relationship building and the discipline of setting investment goals and sticking to them.
Interviewing is one of the main skills required of chief investment officers.
CIOs must be adept in a variety of areas, but one fundamental ability involves interviewing money managers, which a CIO might have to do two or three times a day, every day, over the course of a career. Gaining knowledge during an interview is something of an art – you need to prepare enough so that you don’t waste time asking for information you could easily find through a bit of online research. But you also don’t want to approach the conversation with such a rigid list of questions that the discussion becomes robotic. A good interviewer strikes a balance between putting the interview subject at ease while also eliciting meaningful answers.
One way in which to gain insight is to find a neutral or informal setting. Scott Malpass, the former CIO at Notre Dame University, would take money managers to football games. Restaurants and golf courses also can be fruitful territories for interview sessions. Some strategies for conducting successful interviews are:
- Build a personal connection – Talk not just ...
Ted Seides spent 25 years as an institutional investor, allocating capital to money managers. He started his career at the Yale University Investments Office and later founded an alternative investment firm. In 2017, he launched the Capital Allocators podcast, a series of interviews with leading CIOs.