All financial roads in this country run through Toronto and quite often I find myself there on some kind of exploratory business with wealth management organizations that we are considering. On such an occasion I always try to stop in either unannounced or with very little notice.
These niche companies are chosen based on some very limiting criteria. They must have a relatively small asset base for flexibility. Managers must only have a few funds to manage so that their expertise is focused. Managers must own their own fund company and therefore be free to make their own decisions. They must still love what they do. Most importantly of all I want both managers and employees to have the bulk of their own money in the pool.
And so at four o’clock on one spring Friday afternoon I knocked on the door of a small hedge fund company. It was easy to move about the entire operation. Access to the owner-manager was also easy. By this time of day it would have quite acceptable for someone with his success and wealth to be on the golf course, to have headed out a bit early for the weekend, or to be deep into his third martini. But there was my guy amassed in a pile of data looking every bit like a working man, and I left knowing that this portion of my client’s money was indeed going to be in very good hands.