William Priest, Noted Wall Street Savant, Steps Down as Head of Epoch

The longtime commentator on markets and economics will stay on to oversee investment strategy.

William Priest

Well-known investment sage William Priest is stepping down as chief executive officer at Epoch Investment Partners (assets: $37 billion), which manages money for institutional and other high-end clients.

His departure from the top spot, effective April 1, 2020, is a milestone in a long Wall Street career. Priest has been, and no doubt will continue to be, a commentator on markets and economics. He is a member, for instance, of Barron’s Roundtable, where he and other Wall Streeters express their views on the passing scene. In an appearance this summer, he presented an in-depth case for why globalization has ended.

At Epoch, Priest will stay on as executive chairman and will keep leading the investment team as co-chief investment officer, the New York firm said in a statement. He will stay on as portfolio manager of Epoch’s Global Choice and Global Absolute Return strategies.

Philipp Hensler, Epoch’s president and chief operating officer, will replace Priest as the firm’s CEO. Priest co-founded Epoch in 2004. The firm is a subsidiary of Toronto Dominion Bank.

“Investing remains my lifelong passion,” Priest said in a statement. “Best practice suggests a separation between the business of investing and the business of the investment business.” His shift, he added. “will allow me to focus solely on the former function.”

He was a member of the global executive committee of Credit Suisse Asset Management, chairman and CEO of CSAM Americas, and CEO and portfolio manager of its predecessor firm, BEA Associates, which he co-founded in 1972. He is the author of three books on investing, most recently Winning at Active Management: The Essential Roles of Culture, Philosophy and Technology (with Steven Bleiberg and Michael Welhoelter).

Priest holds the Chartered Financial analyst designation, is a former CPA, and is a graduate of Duke and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Graduate School of Business. He also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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