John Hailer is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Natixis Global Asset Management. A magnate in investing, Hailer first began his career at Fidelity while selling corporate products, retirement plans, and pension fund management services. Over the years, John Hailer has watched the investment portfolio construction methods that made him so successful as they have changed, leading to an industry-wide shift in how clients approach maneuvering their money.
Adjusting to the times and preparing his clients for better success in the future, John Hailer now operates extensively in the space as the Chairman of Diffractive Managers Group – a fund arm of the 1251 Capital Group based in Boston.
Taking time out of his day to share his thoughts and insights on the industry and its changes, Hailer was interviewed by CEOWorld Magazine.
Portfolio Diversification & John Hailer
John Hailer sat down with CEOWorld Magazine to discuss the methods that have made him successful over the years as well as the changes that people will have to make going forward. Hailer stated, “It’s pretty clear that the biggest risk most investors face is themselves. It’s our job as an industry to help them make the right decisions today.”
Diversification of a consumer’s portfolio is of the utmost importance, at least according to Hailer. Hailer stated, “If properly diversified, portfolios would’ve been more resilient.”
To find success in the sphere, Hailer advocates for individuals to properly assess their risks while diversifying their portfolio. Hailer was trained at his first employer to abide by the Prudent Man Rule, a concept that made investors promise to never touch the principle.
Hailer says of the Prudent Man Rule, “The goal is to get some good solid returns but to do it in a way where you are not risking your life, you are not risking your livelihood.”
Approaching Fund Ratings and Classification Systems
At Natixis, John Hailer learned early on in his career that fund classification systems could be used as drivers of transparency as well as challenges to overcome for well-meaning investors. Hailer said, “Rating systems are great for transparency (…) but investors need financial professionals to help them utilize them.”
Hailer advocates for investors to work alongside their financial professionals to build a portfolio that is diverse and stocked with highly rated funds. However, rating systems are not the end of the conversation. Hailer says, “A basket filled with every type of fruit imaginable is still just a basket of fruit.”
To offset potential issues, Hailer advocates for financial professionals to always focus on putting investors first. Hailer stated to cap off his interview with CEOWorld Magazine, “I don’t care whether you are an executive, an employee, or a portfolio manager. The first thing that should come to mind is the person that gave us that dollar to invest.”
Through Hailer’s efforts at Natixis, the company was able to grow from $130 billion in assets to more than $900 billion in assets through 15 years of management. The program launched by Hailer would become the vanguard that oversaw an industry-wide change in how investors approached working with financial professionals.