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The Four Types of Networking Mavens You Meet in Asset Management

In the broader industry — and in hedge funds specifically — stellar Rolodexes typically belong to four kinds of characters.


Institutional Investor | March 13, 2018


The Institutional Investor article, "The Four Types of Networking Mavens You Meet in Asset Management," highlights Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Deb Brown, citing her expertise in executive search. The article is excerpted below.

The Matchmaker

People are the assets under management of these industry connectors. During every initial meeting, they’ll mentally flip through their own Rolodexes: Who should this person know? Who do I know that wants to know this person? And then they make the introduction. 

Matchmakers are generous with their networks. If you need a job, they’re the ones to call. It’s no coincidence that the industry’s powerhouse recruiters tend to end up in this category. David Barrett and Russell Reynolds Associates’ Deb Brown specialize in placing institutional allocators, which means they know everyone with assets to invest. These two matchmake for a (substantial) fee, yes, but also pro bono. Call it community service — it’s in their nature. 

So it is for David Holmgren, CIO of Hartford HealthCare. He’s among the best-known allocators in the business, particularly when controlling for fund size, and has an uncanny ability to “put a word in” when and where a contact needs it most. Another in this vein is Jane Buchan, the CEO of hedge-fund-of-funds and seeding firm PAAMCO. “She has a huge Rolodex,” remarks another networking ace. Buchan leads a business dedicated to connecting promising young hedge fund managers with grown-up capital — a model that’s withered and died around her. But PAAMCO remains healthy, and Buchan’s relationships have surely helped. 

Everyone named here came recommended by industry insiders, including consultants, asset managers, recruiters, journalists, and, most of all, institutional allocators. Objective reporting dictated who made it and who didn’t, however awkward. “I guess you’ll be profiling Kip McDaniel,” a prominent allocator replied when told of the project, echoing others. (McDaniel is the chief content officer and editorial director of Institutional Investor, and this author’s boss.) “I’m not even really kidding — he would certainly be at or near the top of my short list. But I’m guessing that you have no intention of giving him that satisfaction.” Correct.     

To read the full article, click here.

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The Four Types of Networking Mavens You Meet in Asset Management