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Capital Allocators – Inside the Institutional Investment Industry

Jun 25, 2018

Australian James Aitken is the Founder and Managing Partner of Aitken Advisors, a one-man macroeconomic consultancy based in Wimbledon, England that works with approximately one hundred of the most influential pools of capital in the world. James started his career in 1992 as a foreign exchange trader, moved to London in May 1999, and in March 2002 joined the infamous AIG Financial Products team in London.

In August 2006 he joined UBS, where he deployed his knowledge of the inner workings of the financial system to help his institutional investor clients successfully navigate their portfolios through 2007 and 2008. At the urging of his clients, James established his own firm in June 2009.

Our conversation covers James' perspective on the Global Financial Crisis from his seat at its epicenter, the Eurozone crisis in 2011, subsequent process-driven opportunities in Greece, views on Central Banks in the US, China, & Europe, some brief observations on India, positioning for the current environment, and what makes a great macro manager.


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Show Notes

3:03 – The start of his career at AIG Financial Products

7:19 – Move to UBS

            9:03 – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

10:42 – Sell off of 2006

13:12 – Leaving UBS to go off on his own

24:22 – What makes a great manager

27:55 – What is he seeing in the markets today, especially the US Fed

33:09 – MIDROLL

34:08 – What happens when bond rates normalize

46:36 – China

56:50 - Japan

59:10 – Europe

1:05:28 – Risk in the asset markets

1:08:49 – Advice to allocators

1:11;05 – Why people should be focused on India

1:16:39 – How he spends his time

1:20:56 – Closing Questions