1. Select region

3. Select role

Institutional Intermediary

This website is not suitable for retail investors. If you are a retail investor, please contact your financial advisor.

x

Change country

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

You are about to enter a website for professional/institutional investors and the information contained herein is not suitable for retail investors. Private/retail investors should not proceed any further.

By clicking “Accept” you expressly acknowledge and confirm that you are accessing this site for the purposes of acquiring information as a professional/institutional investor and accept the Terms of Use.

  • TERMS OF USE

    Your access to and use of the web sites (“Services”) of Wellington Management are conditioned on your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms of Use (“Terms”). By accessing or using the Services, you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you are accepting these Terms and using the Services on behalf of a company, organization, government, or other legal entity, you represent and warrant that you are authorized to do so. You may use the Services only in compliance with these Terms and all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules, and regulations.

    Ownership
    All materials on this web site are owned or licensed by Wellington Management and/or its third-party providers and are protected by US and international intellectual property laws.  Unless otherwise indicated, all service marks, trademarks, and logos appearing on this web site are the exclusive property of Wellington Management. The information, materials, and other content of this web site may not be copied, displayed, distributed, downloaded, licensed, modified, published, reposted, reproduced, reused, sold, transmitted, used to create a derivative work, or otherwise used for public or commercial purposes without the express written consent of Wellington Management.

    Products and services
    The information, materials, products, and services on this web site are current at the time of writing and are subject to change. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas. Your eligibility for particular products or services is subject to determination by and the approval of Wellington Management. No solicitation is made by Wellington Management to any person to use any information, materials, products, or services in any jurisdiction where the provision of such information, materials, products, and services is prohibited by law.

    The information on this web site or in any communication containing a link to this web site is not intended to constitute investment advice or an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to purchase shares or other securities.

    Investment products and services are available through Wellington Management. Investment products and services are not FDIC-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by, any bank, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. Investors should always obtain and read an up-to-date investment services description or prospectus before deciding whether to appoint an investment manager or invest in a fund.

    International use
    Wellington Management makes no warranties that materials on this web site are appropriate for use in countries other than the US. Because the web site may be accessed internationally, you agree to comply with all local laws, rules, and regulations including, without limitation, all laws, rules and regulations in effect in the country in which you reside and the country from which you access the web site. The information on this web site is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation, or which would subject Wellington Management or its affiliates to any registration requirement within such jurisdiction or country.

    No warranty
    Wellington Management does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or timeliness of the information, materials, products, and services on this web site or the error-free use of this web site. All information, materials, products, and services are “as is” and “as available.” No warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third-party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and freedom from computer virus is given in conjunction with the information, materials, products, and services. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s), are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may make different investment decisions for different clients. Wellington Management does not warrant that the web site will meet your needs. You agree to assume the entire risk as to your use of the web site.

    Limitation of liability
    In no event shall Wellington Management be liable for any damages, losses, or liabilities including without limitation, direct or indirect, special incidental, consequential damages, losses, or liabilities, in connection with your use of this web site or your reliance on or use or inability to use the information, materials, products, and services on this web site, or in connection with any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer virus, or line or system failure, even if Wellington Management is advised of the possibility of such damages, losses, or expenses.

    YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS WEB SITE IS PREDICATED UPON YOUR WAIVER OF ANY RIGHT TO SUE WELLINGTON MANAGEMENT OR ITS AFFILIATES DIRECTLY OR TO PARTICIPATE IN A SUIT FOR ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM YOUR USE OF THIS WEB SITE.

    Indemnification
    As a condition of your use of the Services, you agree to indemnify and hold Wellington Management, its affiliates, and its and their respective partners, directors, employees, and agents harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, liability, costs, and expenses (including but not limited to attorneys’ fees) arising from your use of the web site or from your violation of these Terms.

    Hyperlinks
    Your use of the hyperlinks on this web site to other Internet web sites is at your own risk. Wellington Management is not responsible for the content or accuracy of third-party web sites hyperlinked from this web site, nor does it guarantee the products or services offered on third-party web sites. You should review the privacy statements of a web site before you provide any personal or confidential information.

    Web site security and restrictions on use
    As a condition to your use of Services, you agree that you will not, and you will not take any action intended to:  (i) access data that is not intended for you; (ii) invade the privacy of, obtain the identity of, or obtain any personal information about any other user of this web site; (iii) probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of this web site or Wellington Management’s network or breach security or authentication measures without proper authorization; (iv) attempt to interfere with service to any user, host, or network or otherwise attempt to disrupt our business; or (v) send unsolicited mail, including promotions and/or advertising of products and services. Unauthorized use of the web site or Services, including but not limited to unauthorized entry into Wellington Management’s systems, misuse of passwords, or misuse of any information posted to a web site, is strictly prohibited. Portions of the web site are designated for password access only as indicated by a lock icon. In these instances, if you do not have an authorized password, no access is permitted.

    Confidentiality and password security
    Certain parts of this web site may be protected by passwords or require a login. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any user names, passwords, security questions, and answers. All information available through the privileged area of the site is confidential and proprietary to us. This includes all investment information and results, offering materials, financial statements, and other information provided through this part of the site.

    You will use your best efforts to keep all this information strictly confidential. You will not disclose any of this information to any person or use it for any purpose other than those strictly permitted by us, in writing.

    Severability
    If any provision of these Terms is deemed unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision will be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable, and it will be deemed severable from these Terms and will not affect the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions.

    Applicable law
    These Terms and any action related thereto are governed by Massachusetts law and applicable US federal law. Any dispute relating to the above shall be resolved solely in the state or federal courts located in Massachusetts.

    Privacy statement
    Wellington Management respects the privacy of its clients and the confidentiality of information pertaining to its clients.

    Information we collect
    We may collect non-public personal information about you on RFPs, questionnaires, and other forms we receive from you, as well as from personal contacts such as correspondence, e-mail, telephone calls, or meetings. We may also receive information about you from third parties, such as your accountants, lawyers, financial consultants, and/or other service providers.

    It also is possible to receive information from web browsers and apps regarding certain of your online activities using cookies, or other common tracking technologies.  Some web browsers and other applications may provide a Do Not Track (DNT) preference setting.  When a user turns on a tracking preference, the browser or application may send a message to web sites requesting that they do or do not track the user. At this time, we take no actions in response to any DNT settings or messages.

    Information sharing
    Wellington Management seeks to provide seamless service to all clients. To facilitate that process, information regarding client accounts is shared broadly between affiliates within the Wellington Management group of companies. For example, an affiliate may share information with other affiliates in order to facilitate portfolio management or provide client liaison services to a particular client. Client information may be used by Wellington Management in order to identify potential client needs for additional investment management services.

    Wellington Management generally does not share non-public client information with unaffiliated third parties, except as necessary to perform the investment management services it has been hired to provide. For example, Wellington Management may share non-public client information with brokers and custodian banks in order to buy and sell securities and record those purchases and sales accurately. As a general rule, Wellington Management does not engage in joint marketing arrangements with unaffiliated third parties that involve the sharing of non-public information regarding Wellington Management’s clients. Wellington Management does not provide client information to unaffiliated third parties for their own marketing purposes.

    Wellington Management does not disclose your information except as required or permitted by law. In the event that Wellington Management is involved in a merger, acquisition, reorganization or sale of assets, or bankruptcy, your information may be transferred or sold as part of that transaction.

    Security policies
    We use technical, administrative, and procedural measures in an attempt to safeguard your personal and other information from unauthorized access or use. No such measure is ever 100% effective though, so we do not guarantee that your personal and other information will be secure from theft, loss, or unauthorized access or use, and we make no representation as to the reasonableness, efficacy, or appropriateness of the measures we use to safeguard such information. Users are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of their own passwords. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (for example, if you feel that the security of any account you might have with us has been compromised), please immediately notify us by contacting your relationship team member.

    Transfer of data to other countries
    Any information you provide to Wellington Management through use of the Site may be stored and processed, transferred between, and accessed from the US and other countries which may not guarantee the same level of protection of personal information as the one in which you reside. However, Wellington Management will handle your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Statement regardless of where your personal information is stored/accessed.

    Changes to Terms of use

    We may revise these Terms from time to time; the most current version will always be at http://www.wellington.com/terms-use. By continuing to access or use the Services after those revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised Terms.

    Effective as of  17 January 2014

I ACCEPT I DO NOT ACCEPT
This web site uses cookies; by continuing to browse you consent to our cookies usage.
See our policy for more details.

January 2018 | Brendan Swords, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Annual message from our CEO: 10 things I learned (or relearned) from clients

CEO Brendan Swords shares collected insights on long-termism, leadership, culture, and the search for investment talent. He also highlights 2018 initiatives to reinforce the pillars of our investment platform.

Defining one’s edge as an investor takes a lot of self reflection, is very personal, and goes to the core of who one is.

Each year, I try to meet with as many clients as possible, to stay close to the issues and investment problems they are facing. Our conversations often pivot to observations on leadership, culture, talent, and ways to create strategic partnerships with each other. In my experience, these partnerships are most effective when they are characterized by a long time horizon for evaluation, multiple touch points up and down the organization, a very high level of trust, considerable overlap in cultural values, and, importantly, a two-way street for learning — meaning that we find we are learning from one another.

I could fill a book with all of the lessons I have learned (or relearned) from clients, but here are a few recent ones that I thought I’d share as we head into the new year — in the spirit of growth and development, which we all seek, particularly in these complex and uncertain times.

Investors must clearly define their edge.

The head of a large endowment described having a “manager-centric asset allocation framework” rather than a traditional risk/return asset allocation framework. The framework emphasized the importance of identifying genuine investment skill, philosophy, and process — or to put it another way, identifying a manager’s distinctive edge. This is a topic that’s often raised by consultants and other industry watchers, who note that true alpha generators sometimes do themselves a disservice by not explicitly differentiating their approaches. To sharpen that focus with our own investors, we have developed a series of Philosophy & Process Panels, to put our investors through their paces, so to speak, and a Portfolio Manager Development Program, which is designed to help bring younger investors along as they make the journey from analyst to risk-taker.

Defining one’s edge as an investor takes a lot of self-reflection, is very personal, and goes to the core of who one is. In this day and age of big data, it also requires data to back up the claims. And yet there is still a critical element of art, intuition, and judgment that complements the science. Or, as another client put it, “Formulas are easy; good judgment and intuition are hard.”

Long-termism is a fiduciary duty.

The head of a large government pension fund said that “the key fiduciary duty is long-term sustainability.” This is a perspective that is at the core of how we seek to run our firm, from our private ownership model (we can focus on long-term results) to our approach to our greatest asset, our people (we recognize that lives aren’t linear and focus on the long arc of a career). Increasingly, we believe asset owners are coming to recognize the importance of long-termism to their investments. As one of our portfolio managers said recently, “Given that so much capital and so many resources are focused on very short-term data points, the opportunity for stronger long-term alpha generation is growing for those who can tolerate short-term volatility.”

Nostalgia has no place.

We’re witnessing a great deal of disruption in the financial world today, and it requires thinking differently, being flexible, and questioning the status quo. This brings to mind something the CEO of an insurance company said recently: “Strong leaders give their successors license to challenge what they have put in place.” In other words, the “old ways” of doing things may not be the best ways. On this point, another client advised, “Find the truth tellers who will debate you like a peer. Everyone needs to be challenged.”

“Cognitive diversity” is key in the search for talent.

“Cognitive diversity” was the expression used by the former head of a consulting company whose effort to broaden the talent pool over the years took her to many venues, organizations, fundraisers, and other less traditional sources of talent and new perspectives. Another client offered this advice: “It’s important to look for people with different perspectives, not people who do what I do or say what I say.”

Cognitive diversity is a long-held value of our firm, but I’ll admit that it’s one that took me years to fully appreciate. I remember our former CEO, Duncan McFarland, urging me in my early years at the firm to “seek the wide audience.” When I followed this advice, I would hear other perspectives but I wouldn’t really listen. I would hear just enough to argue my side rather than being open to the possibility that the other person had a good point that could help me refine and test my thinking. In time though, I saw the wisdom of Duncan’s expression. We seek diverse perspectives so that we can get to better outcomes for our clients. For me personally, the key lessons were to talk less and listen more, and to maintain a spirit of genuine curiosity and open-mindedness.

We all need a sense of purpose.

The CEO of a sovereign wealth fund was discussing the challenges of rapid growth in his team, and shared some wisdom: “As we grew, we stopped talking about the ‘sense of purpose’ and then entitlement crept in (i.e., people started asking ‘what are you doing for me?’ and they lost sight of the mission). It was a great reminder to us to celebrate the mission and constantly repeat it to each and every employee.” In a related vein, another client emphasized the criticality of staying externally facing, helping clients solve problems, and resisting the inexorable pull inward as an organization grows.

At Wellington, we strive to keep our sights set firmly on our mission and purpose — to recognize that behind each institutional mandate we have the privilege of managing, there are real people with real hopes and dreams. If we can execute well on our jobs, then our clients can build hospitals, provide university scholarships, help pensioners retire, support countries’ social service programs, fund medical research, and do so much more.

Trust must be earned — unceasingly.

The CIO of a large endowment had this to say about trust: “The thing we really value is honesty and integrity. That sort of trust can’t be built in a minute, but it can be lost in a minute.” Trust takes time and commitment, but the end result is evident in some of our most enduring client relationships. We believe trust matters internally too. It is essential for our culture of collaboration, collegiality, and open dialogue and debate.

It can’t be about “me.”

Reflecting on his management philosophy, the long-time head of fixed income for one of our public fund clients offered this: “You’ve got to care about people. It can never be about you. It’s that simple.” We strive to capture this spirit of generosity in our own firm’s culture, which places great value in collegiality and collaboration — all in the belief that supporting one another, working together, and avoiding “silos” in our business will serve our clients well. In the end, investing is a team sport, and the interests of the team have to supersede the interests of the individual, no matter how talented the individual.

Leadership means “low ego and big backbone.”

This is how the chairman emeritus of one fund company defined leadership. I translate this to mean getting the balance right between humility and courage (to be clear, I’m talking here about leadership as a common skill we all work at, regardless of title). At Wellington, humility is one of the core values of our culture. There are constant reminders that we work in a humbling industry. Even a truly great investor will be wrong a lot — say, 40% of the time. That takes some getting used to and an ability to keep both the successes and the failures in perspective (as well as the resilience to bounce back from failure). I think our firm’s open, collaborative environment helps. Every day, we get to hear different investment views, test our own ideas, and learn from others’ ups and downs. These experiences, I believe, help keep us grounded. With respect to the second part of the expression (“big backbone”), that to me is about finding the courage to do what’s right even when it’s difficult, not cutting corners, admitting when one is wrong, and recognizing one’s own blind spots.

I also draw a connection between this definition of leadership and how we think about the structure of our firm: having the humility to recognize that there are many truly respected competitors with different business, investment, and ownership models, yet also having the courage to “go our own way” as an independent, privately held partnership.

Culture needs a lot of “care and feeding.”

A senior consultant, who has written extensively on institutional cultures, made the point that “strong cultures have a tendency to regress to the mean without a lot of care and feeding.” It was a point that resonated deeply with me. Everyone at Wellington has heard me say (many times!) that it is up to each of us to perpetuate our special (albeit imperfect) culture, which I believe helps us to attract and retain talent. It’s also up to every single one of us to help evolve the culture when it is not living up to our aspirations. In that spirit, we ask questions and challenge ourselves: What am I doing to act on constructive feedback? Where am I being complacent? How do I ensure the firm continues to feel small and our people feel connected and have a sense of community? What am I doing to mentor and bring along the next generation? What am I doing to break down silos? What am I doing to be supportive when a colleague is struggling? How can I be a stress absorber, not a stress multiplier?

Work hard but make time for what matters most.

Looking back on his first year in his role, the CEO of a UK consultant offered his “10 biggest mistakes” rather than his achievements. Included on his list was a lesson we could all stand to remember: “Above all, I didn’t make enough time for my wife, children, my health, my wider family, and friends. I made some sacrifices this year that are not sustainable.”

Our drive to learn and improve for our clients

I suppose my point in all this is that learning never ceases. Nor does our search for new ways to achieve investment excellence and help clients solve problems. Over time, we’ve sought to create an investment platform that embodies our belief in proprietary research, global collaboration, and a community of boutiques investment model. In 2018, we are launching a number of efforts to reinforce these pillars and further support our investors in their pursuit of client goals. For example, we are:

  • Committing resources to the build-out of our investment science capabilities to help portfolio managers across the firm construct portfolios and deliver investment excellence
  • Combining into one group the skills of different multi-asset strategy teams to more holistically support solutions-oriented research, advice, and strategies
  • Leaning further into collaboration, particularly around the generation of cross-asset-class insights

We are excited about these initiatives and their long-term impact on our ability to be a partner in the pursuit of your mission.

In closing, I would like to thank you for giving us the privilege of managing your assets. We are committed to maintaining your confidence and trust.

Insights

Explore insights