After 18 years at the helm, this is my last issue as editor of Pensions & Investments.
I'm turning over control of the day-to-day newsgathering and editing to my indispensable long-term colleague, Nancy Webman.
I'm not going anywhere, just moving up one notch to editorial director. Nancy has waited in the wings as my executive editor long enough. Now she gets to wear what I regard as the best title in journalism: Editor of Pensions & Investments.
Nancy is ready for it, has been ready for it for several years. I just refused to give it up. I can't refuse any longer. She deserves the title.
Nancy has been with P&I since 1982, starting as our Dallas reporter. Her talent was so strong, and she learned about institutional investing so quickly, that I moved her to Chicago as managing editor in 1983.
Three years later, in 1986, I promoted her again, to executive editor. As executive editor she was more than my deputy. She oversaw not only the reporting, but also the production of the publication.
It was Nancy who held the publication together beautifully for almost two months two years ago when I was out of action.
No one is better at finding holes in reporters' stories - those unasked or unanswered questions that frustrate readers if they remained unasked and unanswered.
Nancy is insightful and decisive. No one is better at getting to the heart of a matter in a non-threatening way than Nancy. If a reporter tries to bluff his or her way past Nancy, she cuts through the bluff. If the subject of a story tries to slip out of a tough question, Nancy uses her wonderful sense of humor to induce the person to answer it.
Many of you already have met Nancy. Many more will be meeting her in the future. None of you will forget her. I'm sure, now that she is out from under my shadow, she'll put her unique stamp on the publication and make it better than it is.
As for me, I will still be involved in P&I. But my involvement will be one step removed. I'll be looking for ways to make P&I better, too, but more from a long-range perspective: Are there trends on the horizon we should be gearing up to cover? Can we use our staff more effectively? Can we make the publication more readable?
Already, since this decision was made, I have begun to see P&I through different eyes, to see things Nancy and I can do to improve both the look and the coverage of the publication. I've been standing so close to the trees for so long I haven't been able to see how the forest looked.
One factor driving this change is that I also will be overseeing a new publication we are starting, InvestmentNews, which is aimed at financial planners, and also a number of other ventures that have grown up under the shadow of P&I and need more attention.
I hope to get out of the office more often to get my finger on the pulse of the industry. And I hope to get back to writing more often, reporting and commenting on the industry. The opportunity to meet more of you and exchange views makes moving one step back from the frontlines exciting.