2016 Forty Under Forty

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Rodney OvercashDirector of Credit Strategies,Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
(Eden Prairie, MN) 38
Rodney Overcash
(Art by Jillian Tamaki)

“He is quietly very respected by peers and managers—and he will be a CIO as soon as he choosesto make the transition.”

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

Access to information sources via technology—and better management of that information. Example: How often do you actually re-read pencil-and-paper meeting notes? Instead, we use iPads and Evernote.

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

Constantly seeing opportunities combined with the difficulties of prioritizing.

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

Peter Thiel (PayPal, Founders Fund). He’s a bigger thinker.

... and where would that meeting take place?

City Lights bookstore in San Francisco—it’s where Jack Kerouac and all those guys used to meet.

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

My colleague and I were waiting and waiting for a manager to pick us up for dinner in California. Eventually he shows. My colleague hops in the front, and I had to take the back... with two car seats. We roll up to one of the most expensive restaurants in Los Angeles, with me crawling off the car seats...

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

Private equity—all the dry powder and valuations—can be concerning. But I’m a big fan of, “if things don’t look good in one spot, it drives down valuation”—and we want to go into that spot.

Name your favorite food and drink.

Bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stouts, and Vietnamese pho.

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

While consulting, I saw a pension fund completely invested in annuities sold by a broker that sat on its board and investment committee.

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

Behavioral biases that drive decision-making (and the fact that I took Professor Richard Thaler’s class and I still have them).

Donald Trump is ________.

Can you just record my laugh?

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

Jack Bogle (Vanguard) as CIO, with Peter Thiel, Jonathan Gray (Blackstone), and Howard Marks (Oaktree). [Ed. Note: Good luck.]

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

I tried to negotiate with a fund manager that had a flat management fee of 70 basis points to do zero basis points and a 30% incentive fee—potentially a nice payday on a $300 million account. He countered the offer with 65 basis points and 30% incentive. After scoffing, I invested in the fund anyway. My misstep not being more mindful of whom I was partnering with.

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

Something seems good, but then people become interested, it becomes a trend, and managers come out of the woodwork. So my quick answer is I’d rather not see things become trends.