High-Net-Worth Market Provides Cambridge Associates a Door to Asia

Pensions & Investments

Cambridge Associates Chairman and CEO David Druley had a wide-ranging discussion with P&I’s Asia Bureau Chief Douglas Appell, discussing CA’s commitment to Asia, the firm’s significant experience across OCIO/investment management including running private investment portfolios, and the opportunity set among the ultra-high-net worth, pensions, and other large institutional investors in Asia and globally.

Key highlights include:

  • “Cambridge was founded a little more than 40 years ago as an endowment and foundation shop, but today private clients and pension funds are about “half of our business, and that’s where we see significant opportunity here” in Asia, said Mr. Druley.”
  • “Unlike in the U.S. and Europe, where a family office would typically hire one OCIO to oversee its entire portfolio, at present an ultra-high-net-worth investor or family office in Asia will often give more than one outsourcing firm a few hundred million dollars each, looking to learn how each invests, noted Alvin Tay, Cambridge’s Singapore-based managing director and head of Asia.”
  • “[OCIO/staff extension] doesn’t mean showing up once a quarter,” Druley said. “It means every day helping them think about how to invest, risk management, sourcing ideas, things of that nature.” … That part of Cambridge’s business has come to account for about 80% of the firm’s revenues, far more than its revenues from traditional, non-discretionary retainer consulting relationships.
  • “…High-net-worth clients have been a significant part of the firm’s business for 10 or 15 years, a natural evolution over the past three decades ago as “wealth generators” on boards and investment committees “came to us and said, ‘we see what you’re doing for our foundation or our endowment. Can’t you help us?’”

Read the full feature here.