SECOR recruits 2 former Hewlett-Packard CIOs to head new office, lead Asia push

Kenneth Frier and Gretchen Tai have joined SECOR Asset Management as partners and co-heads of a newly opened office in Palo Alto, Calif.

In an interview Friday, both Mr. Frier and Ms. Tai said they will seek to expand New York-based SECOR's business, including investment advisory, overlay and liability-driven investing strategies, to clients on the West Coast and in Asia. Currently, the firm's clients have been primarily located on the East Coast and in Europe.

In addition, they will launch a new institutional equity strategy for SECOR later in 2017. Mr. Frier said the strategy will aim to perform at least as well as global market indexes but also offer downside protection. “All investors face the same issue; we all want to avoid major losses during market downturns,” he said.

Ms. Tai said she has been developing the strategy for the last two years but declined to offer additional specifics. “We want to help institutional investors and chief investment officers in a challenging environment,” she said.

Mr. Frier was most recently chief investment officer at Atlas Capital Advisors in San Francisco. He also worked as CIO at Hewlett-Packard Inc. and the Stanford Management Co.

Ms. Tai replaced Mr. Frier in 2010 as CIO at Hewlett-Packard, overseeing about $45 billion in retirement plan assets. She left last year. Hewlett-Packard split into two companies — Hewlett Packard Enterprises and HP Inc. — in November 2015.

Officials at HP and Atlas Capital Advisors could not be reached by press time for comment on replacements.

SECOR has $41 billion in assets under management.