Thursday, September 13, 2012

Herding Cats

1.             Divining the Future (1997)

Investment strategy meeting

A room filled with money managers trying to predict where markets are headed.  Unfortunately we don’t know where the markets or the economy are going, but you expect us to have opinions, so we manufacture them. 

2.             Not about the Money (1997) 

Forming a money management firm

Senior executives defining a business plan for a large investment advisor.  It’s all about marketing and getting our hands on the money (known as “share of the wallet” in industry parlance), and not about managing it.

3.             24-hour Odyssey (1997) 

All night meeting among senior bank executives to develop an organizational plan from scratch

The plan was announced the next morning and withdrawn as hastily as it was conceived.  Banks do not understand much about the money management business; they should stick to making loans.

4.             Someone’s has to Lose (1997) 

Rival management teams meet secretly to merge their businesses

Although the meeting materials were comprised almost entirely of data and numbers, the decisions were overwhelmingly based on power, influence and office politics.  For the moment I came out ahead.

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