Bernard Winograd, whose wide-ranging career included helping to build Prudential Financial Inc. and serving as a top adviser in the Department of the Treasury, leaves a legacy of leadership in management of investment organizations, in advocating allocations to alternative asset classes and in criticism of securitization and modern portfolio theory.
Mr. Winograd, 63, died March 1 of cancer, said Robert DeFillippo, Prudential chief communications officer.
He retired in 2011 as executive vice president and chief operating officer of all of Prudential's U.S. businesses.
Mr. Winograd joined Prudential in 1996 as CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors. In 2000, he was named senior managing director of Prudential Private Investments and, in 2002, president and CEO of Prudential Investment Management Inc. In 2008, he moved to the positions helping to oversee all of Prudential's U.S. businesses.
His colleagues at Prudential admired Mr. Winograd for his “sharp mind and legendary wit,” John Strangfeld, Prudential chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Mr. Winograd's “dedicated leadership helped to build Prudential into the financial services company it is today,” he said.
Mr. Winograd was a “mentor to a lot of people who truly respected his guidance,” Mr. DeFillippo said. He “was always willing to help people at Prudential.”
He was passionate about his work on the board of Local Initiatives Support Corp., New York, a community development financing organization, Mr. DeFillippo said.
LISC in a statement called Mr. Winograd one of the “unsung champions” of community development, saying “he brought great dignity and commitment to the work of rebuilding low-income neighborhoods.”
At the time of his death, he was a member of the boards of directors of Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP , Toronto, its Bentall Kennedy (U.S.) LP, and Cohen & Steers Inc., New York.
The $286.4 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, nominated Mr. Winograd to the Bentall Kennedy boards in 2012. CalPERS along with the C$102.8 billion British Columbia Investment Management Corp., Victoria, each own one-third of the company, said Shaun Little, Toronto-based interim director of communications, Bentall Kennedy.
Theodore Eliopoulos, CalPERS acting chief investment officer and senior investment officer for real assets, said in an e-mail, “Bernard was a truly remarkable man. He was kind, generous and thoughtful in sharing his time and his gifted mind with me over the years. The power of his intellect, the clarity of his thinking and his deep experience made him a trusted adviser and respected fiduciary. He will be greatly missed.”
Mr. Winograd was called a Renaissance man for his varied career in business as well as his government service.
He started his career in 1977 as executive assistant to W. Michael Blumenthal during Mr. Blumenthal's term as secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Jimmy Carter, according to information provided by Prudential. He went on to Bendix Corp., holding the positions as director of public affairs and treasurer. From 1983 to 1992, he was president of Taubman Investment Co. and from 1992 to 1996, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Taubman Centers.
From his position at Prudential, Mr. Winograd was a prolific commentator and writer on investment management, pension funding and retirement security issues and his views commanded attention from institutional investors.
“Financial markets are not born efficient, they are made efficient by arbitrage trading,” he wrote in an August 2003 Prudential Investment Management report, “Sympathy for the CIO.”
In August 2007, as the financial market crisis was bearing down, Mr. Winograd wrote in another PIM report that securitization's promises look “a little less benign in hindsight. Securitization enthusiasts have argued that it would allow for the rapid repricing of risk in part because the holders of risk would be more widely diversified … Unfortunately, we now know that spreading risk that widely can also have the effect of paralyzing everyone at once.”
Writing in 2002 in a PIM report “Hamlet and Modern Portfolio Theory,”Mr. Winograd said, "Risk has no common measure across all asset classes. The standard measure of risk in MPT is volatility of results … However, the fact that the paradigm measures risk in a way that is nearly meaningless for private asset classes remains a significant obstacle to the use of these strategies, regardless of their potential to increase the alpha of the portfolio in an uncorrelated — and therefore highly valuable — manner.”
In the area of alternative investments, Mr. Winograd touched on his views in a Pensions & Investments interview in 2004. The “best managers of private equity generally add more value — read 'excess return' — with greater persistence over longer time periods than managers investing in public markets,” Mr. Winograd said, adding, “because these asset classes are difficult to benchmark and measure, many institutional investors have a deep bias against them. But portfolio construction is supposed to be about finding uncorrelated sources of return, not just doing what is easy."
Mr. Winograd is survived by his wife, Carol, and their two children, Simon and Christina, as well as a brother, Morley Winograd.
Funeral services will be at 3:30 p.m. March 13 in Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Ave., at 81st St., New York. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the American Cancer Society or to a religious organization of choice.