The Honorable Russell G. Redenbaugh, CFA
MBA, University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School
There is no shortage of knowledge, and any skill can be both learned and taught. The true test of knowing is only in the action of doing. Knowing things, like information, is not intrinsically valuable. If it were, in the past every librarian would be wealthy and in the present everyone who could access Google search would be wise. Nevertheless, we are bombarded by "experts" all claiming to have the best information, best tips and best advice on how we should navigate the world. However, none of these daily pundits really teach us how to both see the world around us and act effectively within it. My accomplishments in many different areas demonstrate an unusual skill for learning. Not for just learning information, but for learning to move in a changing and uncertain world where the rules of the game are often not explicit and are rarely written or spoken. My life is the proof that if I can do it, anyone can. Diligence, hard work and the right coach matter. Perspiration produces a higher rate of return than inspiration. Some of my accomplishments include:
Partner and Chief Investment Officer of a $6 billion investment firm, Cooke & Bieler, Inc.
My first crucial lesson learned at Cooke & Bieler was that metrics and incentives really matter. The spectacular growth at the firm came only after I led a reorganization in a way that specified and clarified the investment process, generated metrics to track and manage every important aspect of that process and, importantly, connected those metrics to individual compensation. I learned at an early age the power of metrics and incentives. It was also from my time at C&B that I learned the power of policy. When I became CIO, it was because I had learned the important connection between policy changes and investment results. It really did matter what tax rates were, what monetary policy was followed and what regulatory environment was in place. This attention to policy allowed us to correctly predict the collapse in oil prices in 1981 just when everyone expected that deregulation would cause them to rise. I became more interested in national policy and local prosperity in Silicon Valley, which is why I left the firm in 1990.
Commissioner on US Civil Rights Commission:
I was appointed a Commissioner on the US Civil Rights Commission and served under three Presidents (George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.) I understood the power of policy, but it was not until I reached Washington that I really learned how the inner world of policy making really worked and could influence the world. I came to see that it was policy, not party, that really matters. Policymaking is an unattractive process that taught me that the incentives really do matter. However, it is the incentives of the policy makers that have most impact on shaping policy, not what is always best for the "people". Policy, at bottom, is a set of rules that either require or forbid certain actions. Policies really do matter and have not merely unintended consequences but sometimes have the opposite of the intended effect.
My roles during the California technology boom were as an investor, venture capitalist and consultant. I was the CEO of an unsuccessful, startup software development company. I was an advisor and investor with several other start up companies in the financial, semiconductor and computer technology spaces. After my investment and venture roles I was hired as a consultant for several global technology firms: Applied Materials, KLA Tencor and IBM. This time in Silicon Valley taught me that managing a portfolio is so much easier that managing people. As a financial analyst, a few clicks on the spreadsheet change everything. In managing people, those clicks may involve twenty new hires. There is messiness about entrepreneurship that is unimaginable by the Wall Street mindset. Velocity is incredibly important and there are literally people staying up all night in their garages working to take your customer from you. Perfection is the enemy. Finding "the just one thing" and getting that 80% right will ultimately lead to success. The urgent can most definitely crowd out the essential.
Jujitsu World Champion:
After resisting any form of organized athletics for years, when I turned 40 I started a serious program of fitness training. When I turned 50, I ran out of excuses to my trainer and agreed to try jujitsu. Knowing that to be really good at anything takes ten years, over the next decade I accumulated a black belt and won three gold medals at the World Championships held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. My achievement allowed me the opportunity to carry the Olympic torch for the Winter 2000 games. Jujitsu can be thought of as a three dimensional physical chess game. It demands intense focus. The moment you think of your "to do" list, your butt hits the mat. It requires concentration, strategy, deflection, stealth, speed, and, most of all, the ability to ignore the voice inside of you that says, "I'm too tired and need to stop." To master the actions of jujitsu requires discipline, practice and recurrence. There is no short cut and no "secret sauce." My time in the sport has allowed me to physically embody these lessons that I believe are crucial for successful investors, consultants and business people to master.
My journey from welfare to wealth is an unusual story all by itself. It acquires a deeper and more interesting meaning when one realizes, as those who know me often forget, I have been blind since the age of 16. I have learned to "read the world" without being able to "see" any of it. This has not given me a special intuition, but instead has caused me to develop a very useful and finely tuned set of distinctions through which I not only "see" the world, but act effectively in it. Kairos Capital Advisors brings this ability to see and act in the world to an investment process that is designed to build real long-term wealth for clients. As managing partner, I spend my current time not only managing investment portfolios for clients, but also helping them to be responsible for how they view the world and are able to act within it. For individuals who are not yet able to qualify to be an investment client of Kairos Capital Advisors, I offer a paid subscription newsletter delivered weekly, called "Reading the World"
James J. Juliano
University of Richmond
James J. Juliano is a partner and portfolio manager of Kairos Capital Advisors LLC. Mr. Juliano has 12 years of experience in the investment industry. His expertise and current responsibilities are in top down economic and policy analysis and dynamic asset allocation strategies. James is co-author of the weekly "Reading the World" newsletter.
Prior to joining Kairos Capital Advisors, James was an investment analyst for UBS in New York. James also has experience in management consulting for a multinational technology company in the semiconductor industry. Mr. Juliano earned his undergraduate degree (B.S.) from the University of Richmond with a concentration in Finance.