2016 Forty Under Forty

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Elizabeth JourdanDeputy CIO,Mercy
(Chesterfield, MO) 31
Elizabeth Jourdan
(Art by Jillian Tamaki)

“Elizabeth is everything you wantto see from a next-generation CIO: Works hard, is very smart, takes ­initiative, meshes with other departments, and manages people well.”

Name the most noticeable generational divide in investment style between sub-40-year-old investors and baby boomers.

Sub-40-year-old investors are more open to concentration and making a high conviction bet on investments they understand really well. Institutional investors have significant demands on their time, and shrinking the number of relationships you have to manage, decisions you have to make, and the number of line items in the portfolio can reduce unwanted risks and increase returns. Simplicity is not a bad thing.

Your least favorite part of being an asset owner is...?

Negotiating with asset managers on legal terms.

The manager you don’t currently work with whose brain you’d most like to pick for an hour is...?

Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s CIO of fixed income.

... and where would that meeting take place?

At the Brandy Library. He thinks everything is profound and fascinating during his 8 am monthly call so I can only imagine how fun and energetic he would be at 5 pm over a cocktail.

Describe the weirdest interaction you’ve had with an asset manager.

I had a meeting alongside a colleague who asked some pretty obnoxious questions. At the end of the meeting I joked to the asset manager not to worry—I brought duct tape with me and I wasn’t afraid to use it. A few days later I got “peace and love” duct tape in the mail, and my colleague, to his credit, took a photo with a piece of tape over his mouth. It was a very memorable moment.

What asset class or investment troubles you most right now—and why?

Illiquidity and fixed-income markets. Beware your fellow investors—they might make you a forced seller, too.

Name your favorite food and drink.

Barbeque and red wine. Not necessarily together—I drink bourbon with my barbeque.

What’s the wildest institutional portfolio you’ve seen?

An insurance company I used to work for that’s run by a bunch of triple-C cowboys. All kidding aside, I learned a lot from them.

Name a cultural aspect of asset management that gets under your skin.


Donald Trump is ________.

Like oil: You never thought it could get this low.

Name your four-member investment dream team for your own family office.

I work for a Catholic organization so I’m going to take the easy way out and say I’ll pick God as CIO and he can pick the other three.

What’s the biggest investment or career misstep you’ve made?

Not pushing myself to accept a challenge and take a well-calculated risk.

What should be an investment trend, but isn’t (yet)?

Factor-based portfolio construction.