Publications

- July/August 2012: Vol. 24 No. 7

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Much Ado About Nothing: The Tale of the Scorpion and the Turtle

by Geoffrey Dohrmann

There seems to be a debate raging amongst investors today about the optimal way in which to access the markets — through allocators, who partner with operating partners to produce the desired results, or by partnering directly with the operating companies themselves, eliminating the so-called middle man.

On the surface, you would think that partnering with operating companies directly would be the obvious choice. You get access to local market expertise, relationships and experience, and you strip away a layer of fees that means more of the results produced ultimately will drop to your bottom line.

It would be nice if it were all that simple.

I hate to say it again, as I’ve said it so many times before in these columns. But the most important issue in manager selection — and the one most often overlooked — is the character of the company you’ll be keeping.

During the past 33 years, I haven’t learned as much as

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