Canterbury Consulting’s Matt Lui and Loren Asmus discuss building the perfect portfolio by combining quantitative research with creativity.
By Nicole Piper
To musicians Matt Lui and Loren Asmus, picking a manager is a lot like writing and performing a song. The writer uses logic and structure to write the notes, then the players work together, harmonizing with the band to bring emotion to the music and create something beyond the paper. And to these two investment research analysts, who moonlight as musicians in their free time, picking a portfolio manager and building a portfolio can be just as satisfying.
"With manager research, there’s this quantitative process to it that you have to follow, but I think there’s also a level of creativity and of thinking outside the box, and finding different ways you can look at a manager and look at a strategy, and not just being so formulaic," Asmus says. "With music, you have to be able to read notes on a page, but you also have to process those notes and bring some sort of emotion or some sort of creativity to bring it to life," he adds.
Lui and Asmus lead investment research at Canterbury Consulting. While they are yet to collaborate musically, they work together every day selecting managers for the firm’s clients.
As of the end of 2019, their team managed $24bn in assets across an approved list of 152 managers and 275 strategies. The team served 233 clients at the end of last year, of which around half were endowments and charitable foundations, with high net worth individuals and family offices accounting for the other 50%.
Given the size and general sophistication of these clients, the team does not offer any model portfolios, meaning that it doesn’t tend to approve managers that won’t get used by clients.
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