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Dry Powder: The Private Equity Podcast

A $140 Trillion Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside of an Enigma

Stanford’s Ashby Monk studies the inner workings of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, and foundations—in short, LPs that straddle the public and private sectors.

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A $140 Trillion Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside of an Enigma
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Today on Dry Powder, I have a lively conversation with Ashby Monk, the executive director of the Stanford Research Initiative on Long-Term Investing. Ashby studies the inner workings of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, and foundations—in short, all of those LPs that sit somewhere in between the public and private sectors.

You can listen to this episode of Dry Powder and catch future episodes by subscribing on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you may listen.

“That means that they are optimizing for things that are not entirely evident to just the casual observer,” Ashby says.

Ashby calls them “civil society organizations,” and he argues that no two funds are alike, even if they seem to be running identical investment models.

“Doesn’t matter if they tell you they run the Yale model or the Canadian model,” Ashby says. “All of the Maple Eight pension funds running the Canadian model are so different, one from the next, in terms of their philosophy, the maturity of their liabilities, the number of clients they’re dealing with. They’re all so different, and so we really do need detailed, granular information about each plan.” 

In this episode of Dry Powder, I ask Ashby to take us inside the $140 trillion universe of long-term investing and help us understand what these organizations are optimizing for.

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