John F. Casey & Kevin P. Quirk
Chairman, founding partner and principal, and founding partner and principal, Casey Quirk & Associates LLC, Darien, Conn.
When money manager CEOs seek strategic advice, many turn to John Casey and Kevin Quirk.
Mr. Casey is the elder statesman, based on his 40 years of experience in consulting to pension funds and money managers. His first money manager project: In 1987, executives of General Electric Co.'s in-house pension management team asked Mr. Casey to analyze whether they could compete for external asset management business.
In another milestone project, Lawrence Lasser, CEO of Boston-based Putnam Investments in 1990 sought Mr. Casey's advice on how to transform the then $40 billion fixed-income manager into a larger diversified firm. Over the following decade, the firm grew into a growth equity titan with more than $420 billion under management as of March 2000, before market losses and client defections prompted by the bursting of the technology bubble and the firm's involvement in a market-timing scandal left Putnam with $186 billion in client money at the end of 2007.
(He's the) oracle, said Dana Troxell, CEO of AG Asset Management, New York. (Mr. Casey) brings decades of experience in the space and an objective, quite skeptical worldview, born of spending his life on airplanes, listening to the problems of people in the industry.
I'm in a part of the industry where longevity is a friend, not an enemy, Mr. Casey said. I've watched the industry we see today evolve from its very beginning. Money management was just a cottage industry that exploded with assets growing so rapidly because of pension funds and the rise of mutual funds.
Messrs. Casey and Quirk started their eponymous firm in 2002. Mr. Quirk has worked directly with more than 50 companies during the past 16 years, and leads the younger generation at their firm.
Kevin is one of those rare individuals who has great perspective at the 50,000-foot level and the one-foot level. He can get as deep into the details as you want, but he also is adept at stepping back and looking at the much bigger picture, said Matt Scanlan, managing director and head of the institutional business at Barclays Global Investors, San Francisco. Kevin is the person I call to bounce ideas or new strategic initiatives on. He's been important in helping us decide about new approaches, new strategies, but he doesn't always support everything we propose, as many consultants might. He's probably kept us out of trouble this way. He's the closest thing I have to a colleague who isn't paid by the company and that's a good thing, because it gives him objectivity. He's not swayed by group think. He's not a yes man.
Added Lawrence C. Salameno, executive vice president of hedge fund-of-funds manager Permal Group Inc., New York: Kevin is my sanity check. Mr. Salameno said Mr. Quirk advised the firm on growing its institutional business and its U.S. presence during the past six years.
Final words: Mr. Quirk is clearly one of those people who love their job. It's all about the intellectual challenge for me. I'm dealing with some of the smartest people in the world with some of the toughest problems. It's the huge challenge that is really exciting for me, he said.