State of Wisconsin Investment Board invokes Mars, the god of war, as well as powerful symbols of the color red, fire and a circle to bring to life and infuse with energy its new ARIES portfolio management system.
Michael Williamson, executive director of Madison-based SWIB, which oversees $104.1 billion in assets, unveiled the system under a name he chose with the acronym for Agile Reliable Investment Enterprise System.
Mr. Williamson explained in an April 16 memorandum to the trustees, the allure of the name and “why we think it represents the new system well”:
- “Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and those born under the Aries sign are often the first to start — and the first to finish — whatever they set out to do.
- “Aries marks the beginning of the zodiac and we are on the cusp of a new journey and a new way of doing business in SWIB.
- “Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of War, who was unafraid to do battle.
- “Aries have energy and vitality, and they can stay in the game longer than most anyone else.”
As for the color, Mr. Williamson wrote:
- “Red is the color and fire is the element associated with Aries. Red is also associated with power and importance.
- “The circle is a symbol that draws you in and invites you to be included in the experience. This particular circle represents the fusing of separate entities into one.
- “This is symbolic of our move from multiple systems into one cohesive system.”
Mr. Williamson concludes by writing, “We believe that each part of the name, the image and the colors captures the essence of what we are about and symbolizes the true nature of what lies ahead. Onward and upward!”
The moon is in the seventh house and SWIB has aligned with Mars.