Brendan Mulhern is a global strategist and economist at Newton Investment Management, a firm that is part of BNY Mellon [BK] — the seventh-largest asset manager in the world with $1.9trn in assets under management.
After joining Newton Investment Management in 2017, he quickly took to developing the firm’s top-down macroeconomic investment approach. However, such an approach was not always popular at the firm.
“I think many equity analysts see themselves as purists [and] they're dismissive of a top-down approach or macroeconomics,” Mulhern says.
He is sympathetic though: “The way that macroeconomic research is conducted in many places, it doesn't really have much relevance or add any value to [equity analysts’] data in the job of picking stocks”.
Mulhern was able to implement a “macro, top-down process” that he felt dovetailed with what equity analysts at Newton were already doing. “I think I have had relative success in doing that too,” he adds.
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When providing tactical recommendations to the investment management team, Mulhern draws on key insights he’s learnt from Dan Gardner and Philip Tetlock’s book, Superforecasting, in which the authors identify patterns of successful forecasters.
“The [authors] found that [successful forecasters] tend to all have a series of frameworks, or that they're effectively going around applying different frameworks that they'll absorb into their own process,”
It’s a constant process of iteration, much like the markets, Mulhern considers.
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