Remembering David Swensen
David Swensen, long-time Chief Investment Officer of the Yale Endowment, passed away on May 6, 2021. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Mr. Swensen’s family and friends. Mr. Swensen was a titan of the investment industry. While largely unknown to many non-investment professionals, he is one of the most well-respected practitioners of his trade and steered Yale University’s Endowment masterfully since 1985. He will be remembered for pioneering the “endowment model” of investing and understood that focusing on asset allocation was far more important than focusing on individual stock picking. He also believed that investors should take big bets when they have an edge but avoid big bets when no edge exists. We at Verum Partners have been heavily influenced by Mr. Swensen’s career and methodology.
Much ink has and will be spilled remembering David Swensen in the weeks following his death. While our investment philosophy has been impacted by Mr. Swensen’s career, life, and writings we cannot claim to have known him personally. Rather than trying to summarize our feelings and thoughts about Swensen, we have compiled some of the most impactful memorials, articles, and books that we could find to help spread the word on this great man. We will continue to apply David’s endowment model philosophy in much of our asset allocation work.
Resources to learn more about David’s life, career, and investment philosophy
- Memorial and Thoughts from Ted Seides (former employee at Yale): https://twitter.com/tseides/status/1390681838805528582
- Yale Daily News: https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2021/05/06/david-swensen-yales-chief-investment-officer-dies-at-67/
- Compilation of Resources from Abnormal Returns Blog: https://abnormalreturns.com/2021/05/09/david-swensen-leaves-a-powerful-legacy/
- Thoughts from blogger Nick Maggiulli from Ritholz Wealth Management: https://ofdollarsanddata.com/4-investing-lessons-from-david-swensen/