Ignatius L. Smetek started his own money management firm last month, Arcataur Capital Management LLC, Milwaukee. Mr. Smetek was an analyst and portfolio manager at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee, from 1986 until August 2002, when he resigned to spend more time with his family.
Thinking he probably would change careers, Mr. Smetek explored various possibilities but said, "I missed the markets. As bad as they were, I missed managing money."
He was the lead manager of Northwestern Mutual's charitable foundation and managed the equity portion of the insurer's $1.8 billion pension plan, as well as the Mason Street Asset Allocation Fund. The mutual fund has a four-star rating from Morningstar Inc., Chicago, and its strategy was derived from the asset allocation model Mr. Smetek developed for the insurer's pension plan.
Mr. Smetek manages an active domestic large-cap core growth strategy and is about to hire an experienced fixed-income portfolio manager with a high credit-quality focus. In addition to managing core bond portfolios, the new manager will handle the fixed-income portion of a balanced strategy for institutional and retail managed account clients. Eventually, Mr. Smetek said, he also intends to add domestic small-cap equity capability.
Although he left Northwestern Mutual on friendly terms and enjoyed his long career there, Mr. Smetek said he doesn't miss the corporate aspects of working for a big company.
"One of the advantages of starting your own company is that I was able to set it up to accommodate myself. I set my own hours. I am kind of a night owl: I get my second wind after 9: 00 p.m. So after my kids are in bed and my wife is ready to call it a night, I can go down to my home office and be very productive on all kinds of work-related matters," he said.
Mr. Smetek created the name of his new firm from astronomical sources by blending the names of Arktos, the bear-guard star (the word means "bearish" in Greek), and the constellation Taurus (the Latin word for bull).