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The Risk Specialists
Randy Kim, 36
Vice President and CIO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Yale Cubs are growing up. At age 32, Kim assumed oversight of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's $2 billion portfolio after spending 10 years at the Yale University Investments Office. He did not stray far, however. His three major investment tenets are borrowed from Yale's playbook: a long term investment horizon, an equity orientation, and backing a concentrated cadre of investment managers focused on finding unique opportunities in inefficient markets. He is also a strong believer in developing homegrown investment talent, he says, recognizing the difficulty in deprogramming people with existing bad (or non-conforming) investment biases. Kim is especially proud that he has found "strong investment professionals who care deeply about the Foundation's mission to alleviate human suffering," and all of whom are young enough to make this list, as well. His chief lieutenant is Jay Kang (age 32), a fellow Yale Investments Office alumnus. They are joined by Yatin Patel (32), Michael Buchman (29), Zane Hamilton (28), and Blair Critchlow (26). For the three years ending December 31, 2011, the foundation returned 12.9% per annum. "An excellent start," Kim says, although he stresses the foundation's time horizon on most investments stretches out a decade. When asked about the team's quick start, Kim attributes it to "equal parts luck, hard work, and incredible support from the Hilton Foundation's Board of Directors." Kim, who also serves on the Board of Directors of the UCLA Investment Company, cites three key mentors in his professional life: Yale legends David Swensen and Dean Takahashi, as well as Yale Investments Office alum Seth Alexander (now CIO at MIT). Lux et veritas, indeed.
The Risk Specialists: A group uniquely focused on risk management post-2008, the Risk Specialists, when spoken to often speak in soft tones, as if they're scared the markets will hear them and confirm their worst fears. "Things all correlated to one," they whisper. Traditional asset allocation did nothing to stop massive drawdowns. Out of these concerns, this group—perhaps above all others—is pioneering new thinking around how asset owners of all stripes must respond to the revelation of past risk management failures.