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Portfolio manager on use of mental coaches: “Humility is a very underrated quality”

US-based asset manager Brown Advisory uses behavioral consultants to sharpen their fund managers’ focus and avoid falling victim to arrogance and overconfidence.

Bertie Thomson | Photo: PR / Brown Advisory

Can a dedicated performance coach add value to an investment firm by sharpening up the focus of the traders and fund managers? This question is one that the finance drama series Billions has raised. The series, which is currently on its fourth season, is about the New York-based hedge fund Axe Capital and its road to riches. One of the main characters is called Wendy Rhoades, an in-house performance coach whose most important task is to teach the investment staffers to remain calm and be confident in their decision-making when they are on the hunt for alpha.

The use of performance coaches has for decades been widely used within sports and other high intensity performance-related jobs. In finance, it is slowly starting to become more frequently used. A well-known example is the psychiatrist Ari Kiev who in 1992 was hired at the former New York-based hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors where he spent more than a decade with the objective of improving the company’s traders.

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