No. 28: Andrew Ryan
AUM: $650.65 million
Location: New York
Note: This profile is part of a special series devoted to On Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40 ranking for 2012. Every day we take a look at an advisor who made the list to find out the secrets of their success.
Andrew Ryan, who makes his debut on the Top 40 Under 40 this year, thought that the past could be a fairly reliable indicator of what to expect in the future. That’s why he chose to major in history in college and why he felt comfortable having a large portion of assets in equities early on in his 12-year career.
“If you’re a believer that history travels or at least spirals having a very good understanding of what’s happened in the past gives you a better understanding of what may or may not happen in the future,” Ryan says.
But as the saying goes, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and the volatility of the past four years has pushed Ryan away from that historical approach.
He recognized that the existing financial models for allocation and asset management were no longer applicable and recalibrated his investment strategy to provide a more global and diverse investment strategy for his top tier venture capital and private equity clients.
“As we went through the financial crisis of 2008, we saw a lot of things that were true to form over the last 15 to 20 years didn’t hold,” Ryan explains. “Technicals didn’t hold. Fundamentals didn’t seem to make sense. Valuations and multiples were a big issue.”
In response, Ryan leveraged his previous experience as an investment banker at Jefferies (he’s still a licensed Series 55 trader) as well as the network at Deutsche Bank to expand the investment options for his clients. He added in some derivatives strategies and incorporated products from the integrations group on the global markets side of the bank that lends against any number of valuables from art to jet planes.
“A lot of those [positions] help us in terms of trying to be more thoughtful in managing concentrated equity positions and hedging them and deploying them into a more diversified portfolio,” Ryan says. “A lot of our success has been attributed to our ability to adjust to the markets.”
Managing volatility has required him to be more attune to individual client needs as well. Ryan evaluates client portfolios on a “real-time” basis now, he says, looking over allocations each week rather than each quarter or half-year. He will even work with a client’s other brokers at competitor firms such as Goldman Sachs to make sure that his investment strategy jives with the overall wealth plan.
“[That way] they are fully taken are of so they don’t have to worry about what they’re doing on this side of the business and they’re more focused on the businesses they run,” Ryan says.