We think of ourselves as a Partner CIO. We want to solve our clients’ investment problems.
What prompted the development of Spruceview?
For seven years, several of my Spruceview partners and I were key members of the team that managed JPMorgan’s U.S. pension plan, one of the largest U.S. corporate defined benefit plans. For several reasons, we decided that it was time to take advantage of our momentum and start a firm. In early 2014, we joined forces with several other senior investment, client solutions, legal and operations professionals to create Spruceview.
What is the significance of the firm’s name?
The spruce tree is a strong, beautiful evergreen that is resistant to a variety of climates and conditions. We see our firm much in the same way: We are committed to working with clients throughout various market cycles for the long term.
Your website states that Spruceview is “delivering the next generation of institutional investment management.” How so?
We think of ourselves as a Partner CIO. We want to solve our clients’ investment challenges, whether it’s managing a portion of their portfolio, such as building a real assets program, or working with an Investment Committee to manage the client’s entire portfolio. Each client’s journey is unique, so we believe that successful investment solutions cannot be one-size-fits-all.
We have taken our collective institutional investment experience – and our knowledge of what works and what doesn't work for clients – and packaged it in a way that we believe will deliver a superior client experience.
How is the firm uniquely positioned to solve the challenges clients face?
We have a group of deeply seasoned professionals with experience across all asset classes and a track record of strong risk management and governance. We intend to forge a limited number of long-term client relationships based on the belief that institutional investing is a marathon, not a sprint.
How does Spruceview intend to align itself with clients’ interests?
We are a private company, and investment management is our singular focus. We’re not distracted by other lines of business, and our structure is designed to prevent any distractions from serving our clients well. By intentionally limiting the number of clients with whom we work, we hope to gain an intimate understanding of each client’s unique needs.
Most of Spruceview’s team members are partners. Why did the firm decide to take that approach? How does it impact Spruceview’s culture?
Our approach is unusual and demonstrates that we’re all committed to the long-term success of the firm. One of the greatest enemies of strong performance is senior management turnover; our structure is designed to address that challenge. Most of us have worked together before, and we decided that we could be even more successful in an environment that we build together as partners.
What is most important for potential clients to know about Spruceview?
It may sound trite, but we care deeply about doing the right thing and putting our clients first. We’re very proud that our culture naturally points our moral compass in the right direction.
What is your best advice to an institution considering an OCIO?
Institutions should make sure that their OCIO has the right people with superior investment competencies and the ability to meet their unique needs. The relationship between an institution and its OCIO needs to have the right chemistry to go the distance.
How does the Spruceview team define success?
We define success through our clients’ measure of success. If we deliver what clients need and expect over full market cycles, then we feel that that defines a successful relationship.
Spruceview has an impressive advisory board. How will you tap their expertise to benefit clients?
Most firms like ours don’t have an advisory board, and we believe our advisors’ expertise highlights the higher standard our firm is built to uphold. Each member of our advisory board brings a unique perspective to Spruceview, including investments, governance and business strategy. They are our sounding board, and we will leverage their expertise to enhance our clients’ experience.