I was out with a former placement, now client & personal friend the other day over green tea & an oat milk piccolo (look what has become of us!) & was momentarily taken aback when my companion referred to a high-profile hedge fundie we were talking about as “a total tool”. Strong words indeed from an upstanding, highbrow member of our investment community, I thought.

“Sorry?!” I said. He replied: “No, I mean in a highly tuned, deeply effective way, like a top of the range sushi knife. One made of high-grade steel, designed for one purpose only & not much use for anything else. Whereas me being a PE guy, am more of your Swiss Army knife, can turn my hand to all sorts of investment scenarios. Or that hoof pick thing designed to get stones out of horses hooves – handy for removing recalcitrant CEOs from portfolio companies for example.”

So I got to thinking about other “tools” & how they might relate to different fund managers & their strategies or respective talents. Instantly a chainsaw sprung to mind (remember “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap the notorious turnaround specialist who worked for Packer at CPH in the 90’s?) Or a more benign tool like an everyday table knife could represent an index hugger or ETF manager – sensible, low risk but a bit dull perhaps?

So I ask you, what sort of “tool” might you be? Or what fund management technique might you equate to a tool or kitchen implement? To discuss, contact Jon Michel.


Jon Michel

02 9235 9410