Here are some key quotes from my latest podcast with John Phinney, Chairman and Co-President of Convergence, discussing operational soundness and the importance of data, research and analytics:

“Convergence was founded to build a level of data and data science around the business of alternative asset management.”

“The counsel I give my protegees today and young people . . . is understand the value you create, master it, automated it, eliminate your job.  And then move on to the next thing because smart employers will value that ability and will put you on to the next value creating opportunity.”

“No job today is designed for greater than five years. If you’re in the same job for more than five years, you’re going to start to atrophy and wither on the vine, and your company will probably let you go.”

“I don’t care how well intended, how much money companies throw at problems and issues, if the tone from the top is not good . . . then everything is for naught.”

“I saw my [old] firms, quite frankly, spend millions of dollars on consulting advice and ignore the very same advice coming from their own people. If somehow it comes from the outside, it’s better than what comes from the inside.”

“Today, I focus on the business of asset management: how complicated, how complex are the operating risks within these organizations. And then we point out what we call very serious red flags that might exist within that business profile.”

“What people don’t understand is, when you look over time at some of these celebrated [SEC enforcement] cases, you see the same types of conditions that investors just overlook, or just aren’t aware of.”

“If [a sloppy firm] then decides to go to market because they want to raise the next billion, they’re going to clean their act up. So they’re going to pretend and they’re going to fool a lot of consultants. Let me put it this way, history matters.”

“if people do a great job at the regulatory filings, that means . . . the tone from the top must be pretty good. Because to be that good, takes effort, budget, inter departmental communications and sharing.”

“I’d like [the SEC] to basically revisit the construction of all of the regulatory filings and create an industry-wide initiative to standardize them. You could call yourself by 10 different things in 10 different forms.”

“Data Science is a lifestyle. Yet, a lot of firms will not invest in that lifestyle because it requires them to take revenue generators, and take them out of those revenue generating jobs and put them into these units that kind of live and breathe through the lifecycle of the organization.”