Class of 2017 Forty Under Forty

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Hani A. Al-Jehani Manager-Alternative Investments, Hassana, Investment Company
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) 33
Hani A. Al-Jehani
(Art by Marcellus Hall)

A stand-out example of a modern allocator with significant responsibility at a cornerstone organization that has tremendous significance, both in the region and globally.

How have you been a change agent at your organization? What are you particularly proud of?
I do not believe that a single person can
change an institution and expect a positive outcome consistently without the support of a wider group and the right catalyst. For us, that was the launch of Hassana Investment Company in 2014, which allowed us to start with a blank sheet of paper; the addition of several new elements to the existing investment team, specifically the CEO and the Head of Alternative Investments; and finally, the support we had from our board of directors. All of this allowed us to really build a culture of accountability, ownership of decisions, thoughtful challenge to status quo and intellectual curiosity. This new culture is allowing us to be focused on long-term capital creation and to make the right decisions in that time horizon. What I am proud of most is my role over the past three years in building and helping this new culture to flourish along with everyone else.

What is the asset class or investment that keeps you up at night, and why?
All of them; valuations overall are very high
compared to history. The source of this concern is, of course, the unclarity of how the grand monetary experiment carried out by the central banks globally will conclude, and what the long-term results will be.

What methodologies have you adopted within your institution?
Again, this a team effort here, but introducing a disciplined and objective approach to how we perform our main function of evaluating external managers. In addition, taking the time we need to really understand the external managers and engage them continuously through multiple interactions over a relatively long period (sometime over one year) to build our conviction in their ability to manage capital successfully. Our goal is to build partnerships with the external managers which will stand the test of time and continue for decades.

Where do you fall in the passive vs.
active debate?
I believe there is a role for both in the portfolio,
but as institutional investors, we need to evolve our thinking of passive vs. active in specific markets and think about which markets (public and private) are right for an active strategy vs. a passive strategy. We also need to adapt as new information comes to light as that preference may change over time.

What are the changes you’d like to see
the institutional investing community make in 10 years?
Thinking about long-term SAA, performance
measurement, and risk management from holistic portfolio perspective instead of thinking from an asset class silos perspective. In other words, how the whole should work vs. aggregating smaller portfolios characteristics.

Who is a manager you don’t currently work with whose brain you’d like to pick?
This is a difficult question to answer, but if
I am forced to choose, it will be the whole senior management of Bridgewater.

Ideally, where would that meeting take place?
Over lunch or dinner.

What is the software investment tool
that helps you most?
Excel and access to data.

What would improve the relationship
between you and managers?
Being a good listener and humble; this applies to both sides.

Why did you choose your current path?
I learn new things every day, which is exciting.
Plus, I get the chance to meet with the titans of the industry.