Jim Dunn is the CEO and CIO of Verger Capital Management, an Outsourced CIO business whose anchor client is Wake Forest University. Prior to forming Verger, he served as CIO of Wake Forest for five years. That transition from a sole client to an OCIO business, is a fascinating part of our conversation. Before joining Wake, Jim traveled the world as CIO of Wilshire Associates, where among other things he experienced the best story of a manager getting their foot in the door that I’ve ever heard. He got his start in the business trading death spiral convertible bonds at a now defunct hedge fund and got introduced to manager selection at Investorforce.
Our conversation starts with Jim’s career path, and covers a full range issues in allocating capital. We discuss defining risk tolerance, a factor-based approach to asset allocation, separating talent from luck in manager selection, the politics of endowment management, challenges using internal management, and culture. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear a few one-liners. Jim is chock full of gems and life lessons.