Veteran chief investment officers Kenneth Frier and Gretchen
Tai have joined $41 billion investment firm SECOR Asset
Management as partners and will co-head SECORs new office
in the San Francisco Bay area.
Both Frier and Tai have long histories heading some of the
largest pension plans and endowments. Frier joins from Atlas
Capital Advisors in San Francisco; before Atlas, Frier served
as CIO at the Walt Disney Company, Hewlett-Packard, Stanford
Management Co. and the UAW Retiree-Medical Benefits Trust.
Tai is the former president and cio of
Hewlett-Packards money management arm, having succeeded
Frier there. As CIO of HPs Shoreline Investment
Management Co., Tai ran $45 billion in multiple benefit plans
for HP and its affiliates before stepping down in May.
has offices in New York, Silicon Valley and London. Frier and
Tai will lead the effort to grow SECORs business on the
West Coast and in Asia. They will also bring to the firm a new
global equity strategy they developed and have managed for the
past two years.
Frier says the firm caters to corporate pension plans that
are struggling to achieve a real rate of return of 5 percent to
meet their objectives. The current bull market, which has now
lasted eight years, also heightens the need for risk
management, he says.
Everybody in institutional investments says that asset
allocation is the most important thing to get right, says
Frier. But we all struggle with what does great asset
allocation look like? One of the keys to being an excellent
allocator is about avoiding big losses, so we have developed
capabilities to help investors avoid the downside, he
Adds Tai, What we achieved at HP was to have more of a
risk managed mindset. Theres no magic pill, but its
exciting to find like-minded people here and join
Tony Kao and Ray Iwanowski founded SECOR in 2010 to provide
investment advisory, risk management and customized multi-asset
and quantitative investment strategies to institutions.
Our job is to work with our clients and their
challenges, such as the difficulties of a low interest rate
environment, says Kao. In our six years, we have
put footprints in Europe and the U.S., he adds.