2016 Forty Under Forty

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Joe VeenemanPortfolio Manager,IBM
(White Plains, NY) 38
Joe Veeneman
(Art by Lauren Tamaki)

“He decided to go to law school a couple of years ago and was offered two positions in law. After much consternation, he decided to stay at IBM… As you can imagine, he’s quite smart.”

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

We’ve gotten used to easy money flooding global markets for almost a decade now. That’s at least half of an investment career for most under 40.We haven’t spent a lot of time investing in tighter monetary conditions.

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

Filtering all the noise. There are so many managers out there trying to get meetings, and everyone has a market outlook they want to tell you about, and it’s just a lot. It can be dizzying at times.

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

Paul Singer (Elliott Management) and Mike Masters (Masters Capital Management) because we’d talk about investments, politics, and policy.

... and where would that meeting take place?

With Singer, in Cleveland in July, somewhere near the Republican National Convention. And Masters is based in Atlanta, so Georgia sounds good to me.

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

One of the first manager meetings I had was via video conference with portfolio managers in Japan. During the meeting, half the screen was a video of me looking back at me, so that was weird and a little distracting. But most of my meetings are pretty normal.

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

Most asset classes don’t look great right now, but I think that’s part of the fun—trying to navigate different environments. Commodities are one area in particular that has been—and I think is still—troubling.

Name your favorite food and drink.

A variety of ribs at a rib fest during the summer and a Dr. Pepper—actually, Diet Dr. Pepper these days.

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

I work for a corporate pension...

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

Fear of acting—either because you may be wrong or because it would mean doing things differently than you’ve done before.

Donald Trump is ________.

Really good at not sounding like a politician.

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

Benjamin Graham, John Templeton, Jim Simons, and Paul Tudor Jones.

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

I bought a house in the summer of 2008… That wasn’t the best timing.

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

Something that takes advantage of the demographic changes ahead. Health care delivery and insurance models are going to change, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about which way those are going to go...