By: Steve Weintraub
Everything we do at WCF is centered on delivering high-quality services and a confidence-inspiring experience for each client. Our Advisors and Client Services staff are on the front lines of the day-to-day work we do and are the “face” of WCF for many clients and associates.
In addition, another essential part of WCF that is less visible to those outside of our internal team is our Department of Investments. This is the group that leads WCF’s investment strategy. Since you may not have had the chance to meet the impressive (I admit I am biased) team we have assembled, I am inspired to write this article to provide an overview of what our Department of Investments does and a brief introduction to our talented people.
First, we want to emphasize that WCF’s main objective is always to preserve and grow wealth based on each client’s unique situation and objectives, so they can live their best possible life. Yet, since no two client situations are the same, it’s important for us to develop customized analysis, solutions, and asset allocation targets for each client. This requires carefully formulated strategies and decisions.
At WCF, strategy decisions are led by our Department of Investments. This team is responsible for evaluating macro factors, and economic fundamentals, and then contributing their insights to the investment decision-making process. The Investment team drives the firm's asset allocation, due diligence, portfolio construction and management, as well as risk management processes. Since it is a critical aspect of the quality of services we provide, we are extremely judicious about who we select to lead and serve in our Department of Investments. Today, we are very proud of and confident in our team.
Our Director of Investments, Dennis Johnson, leads this Department. Dennis is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has 41 years of investment experience. He earned an Economics degree at the Virginia Military Institute and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. His vast experience includes managing large portfolios for organizations including CalPERS, Shamrock Holdings which is the Roy E. Disney, Jr. Family Office, Comerica, and TIAA. Dennis also served as Chief Strategy Officer for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s $300 billion Public Investment Fund. His depth of experience and confidence-inspiring leadership style make him an especially valued member of the WCF team.
Steve Colton, Senior Portfolio Manager, earned his Engineering - Economic Systems degree at Stanford. Steve has 35 years of investment management experience. He has managed top-rated mutual funds including Virtus Balanced Mutual Fund and American Century Income & Growth Fund. Steve is a native of Santa Cruz, with his family first establishing roots there in 1870.
Jeff Chang, Equity Research Analyst, earned his Economics degree from Occidental College. He has approximately 4 years of experience performing in-depth investment research and analysis. Jeff is a Chartered Financial Analyst candidate.
Dave Gore, Senior Researcher, is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College (Claremont Colleges). He has 37 years of investment experience and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Dave brings a scientific mindset and an expertise in analytics, fixed income investments, and asset allocation.
Joe Ferreira and I continue to serve in our capacity as Co-Portfolio Managers for the U.S. Large Cap and U.S. Small Cap investments in client accounts. We work closely with the Investment Department to make sure we understand the research they have done and the recommendations they provide to help us make investment decisions that are in the long-term best interest of our clients.
And speaking of long-term interests, we keep our ourselves accountable and focused on the right things by aligning our team’s interests with our clients’ interest. We do it by always investing our own assets alongside our clients, so we do well only when they do well. We call it “eating our own cooking.”
Of course, developing a smart investment strategy is a never-ending process. We will always be on the lookout for opportunities as well as threats to the preservation and growth of our clients’ assets. As individuals, each person serving our Department of Investments was carefully selected and is uniquely skilled and dedicated to the mission. Collectively, they form a capable team that inspires confidence and of whom I am proud.