Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SAC Loses Chief Psychiatrist, Underwater Portfolio Managers Elsewhere Gain Peace and Serenity

If you have ever wondered how one can feel calm, relaxed and empowered after blowing a cool $100 mill on the basis trade that the Merrill salesguy was pitching incessantly as totally risk-free, after ingesting an elephant dose of estrogen in an office with the climatic characteristics of Vladivostok, then wonder no more, for a wealth of information, outsider and vice versa, and a comfy leather coach are about to be fully accessible to you. Ari Kiev, M.D., the inhouse "psychiatrist to the hedge fund stars" has launched a new consulting firm, Kiev Consulting, which will specialize in "peak performance coaching for hedge funds and institutional investors and traders."

After having spent nearly a decade working with none other than Blue Eyes himself, it strikes us as odd that the two have opted for this "amicable" split: after all where will Stevie's legions of permaprofitable PMs get their peak performance coaching and such words of wisdom like "To cope with a shrinking portfolio, we suggest that you set spending priorities, tune out the noise and keep your cool." (for many more pearls of PM pep talk we suggest perusing Dr. Kiev's own blog.)

Either way, Stevie's loss is our gain (and Ari's windfall), as portfolio managers are desperate now more than ever for an attentive ear (as their golddigger wives have long since left them with only a divorce lawyer invoice and a huge Centurion bill) to which they can whisper all the details of their counterparty risk having gone up 10 times or triggering every stop loss as Volkswagen hit €1000. In Ari's own words "this consulting practice effectively allows me to broaden my reach and offer customized services to an increasing number of fund managers who are recognizing the importance of a psychological perspective in managing investments. Given the stress of today's market and the challenges faced by professional investors, I felt the time was ripe for expanding my consultation work."

Kiev has said his counsel will encompass dealing with the stress of drawdowns, the behavioral dimension of risk management, psychological screening of analysts and portfolio managers, and creative approaches to building cultures of collaboration, this time presumably not based on unknowingly sipping clinical doses of progesterone with your morning coffee.

Some more phenomenal insight from the doctor himself on what makes the perfect specimen of uber-profitable manager: "I think the best guys are really very skillful in avoiding drawdown; the best guys are good at getting out of losers; the best guys are good at pressing the bet when they see the opportunity. They are making the most of their money; they have the eye of the tiger; they have great purpose, great intensity and a willingness to really stick it out..."

With this kind of insight we are confident the good doctor will be earning more than his former boss in no time. Sphere: Related Content
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