If all you offer is money, all you get are mercenaries.
Stories, bio and track record (execution) showcase the investor's set of principles. For example, Berkshire's out-performance is rooted in its culture, as it's key in their superior decision-making, but it needs no introduction. However, for a funds manager who's only starting, stories are the only way to convince of commitment to selected approach, prove the evolution of thinking, how ideas originate.
In any investment, having a strategy is always beneficial. And outside of HFT world, clients need to be convinced about the strategy and therefore how it originated, how manager came to it. Long-term returns require due diligence and sticking to the system, which should be well-defined in investor's head (if not shared with clients, which isn't always viable). Stories prove others that you are consistent in your thinking, and therefore investment approach.
In thematic investing such as ESG, it's key for clients and manager to achieve trust to agree on principles, so even more necessary to prove interest, present ideas, form + defend position on issues, themes, sectors, companies, etc. Digital medium allows for superior networking (matching on views) in that regard.
I've probably watched Margin Call 20 times - fantastic movie. Catching up on my backlog - keep the great posts coming.
I used to work for a prop trading firm. Most of the other traders there were ex-floor traders. 'Locals' as they used to be called. All of them missed the good old days of the trading floor. There is a lot to be said for being in a room with others making and losing money together.
Even so, markets are still fascinating. Would rather be working on Wall street than Silicon Valley any day of the week.
Fascinating post and great perspective Frederik! Just saw Margin Call a couple days ago.
Thank you for the article, Frederik!
I too work at an IB and the work culture is pretty much similar to what you have mentioned.
Need to change something in my life
Did you coin "If all you offer is money, all you get are mercenaries"? If so, awesome way to encapsulate the problem. This is a problem in more places than Wall Street. I work in non-profits and the balance of fun/fulfillment/money there is really lackluster on the third, with NPO's promising the first two. Many can't make that work.
Excellent read today. Just what I needed.
Love it! Great stuff