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Meet Paul Dimitruk of Partners Capital Investment Group in Financial District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Dimitruk.

Paul, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We started the business in London and Boston to offer a different model of investment advisory services to endowments, foundations and family wealth.

First, we completely separate investment advice from asset management. Traditionally, banks and other advisors offer both advice to clients on their investment programs and then recommend their own investment products to their clients, or products where another managers agrees to share the economics of the client relationships. This is an obvious conflict of interest, which is still widely found to this day. It is a very poor foundation for trust or for assuring that the client’s best interests are served. So we completely separate the role of investment advisor (Partners Capital) from the asset manager. We don’t claim to be among the best asset managers in the world, we claim to be able to find and get access to the best asset managers in the world. And we build client portfolios around these asset managers.

Second, we are an institutional quality business with a boutique client service model. Most investment firms fall into one of two categories. They are either institutional—normally very large, focused more on gathering client assets than servicing them, with a cookie-cutter approach to client investment portfolios—or they are boutiques—normally local or regional, with limited investment and operations resources, that offer a narrow array of products and services. Partners’ Capital sought to combine the best of both. We are global, with operations in Europe and Asia as well as in the US. We create a bespoke investment portfolio for each client across all asset classes and geographies. We have a turn-key operational platform that provides clients with complete middle and back office support.

Third, we treat investing like a science—so first and foremost we are driven by data and analytics, by an ethos of continuous innovation, and by the use of technology wherever we can.

The result today is a firm of 135 professionals, in five offices globally, managing $21 billion on behalf of clients. The clients include the Milton Academy and Berkshire School here in Massachusetts, the Metropolitan Opera and Cancer Research Institute in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, 10 Oxford and Cambridge College endowments and the National Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The biggest challenge–not a struggle but a demanding ethos–is to make sure making more money doesn’t diminish the dedication to the client’s best interests. This requires making the ethically right decisions, small and large, day after day, year after year. It requires inculcating our youngest team members with this ethos when they first walk in the door. The second challenge is maintaining the passion, competitiveness and work ethic that drove the founders, Stan Miranda and me, on our first day. The third challenge was dislodging the big banks that traditionally sat in the top perch of the investment advisory world. Our ability to do this successfully had a lot to do with meeting the first two challenges.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Partners Capital Investment Group – what should we know?
We provide comprehensive, bespoke investment programs to school endowments, charitable foundations and entrepreneurs, built on what we regard as ‘best of breed’ independent asset managers with specialist expertise. We seek to provide the most advanced institutional investment practices to all client portfolios. We are probably best known for the intellectual rigor we bring to the science of investing, drawing in part from the fact that many of our team including several of our partners came from Bain & Co. or McKinsey. We are most proud of the actual investment results we have produced for our clients over time, which have been materially greater than they would have derived simply from the markets.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Foremost, lead a purposeful life.  Seek to contribute to both your workplace and your community in concrete, measurable ways.  As you gain experience, become a mentor, become someone younger people want to emulate because of your values (not just your success).

The best metric is the breadth and quality of your relationships.  Do you have life-long friendships, are you sought out by others for advice, have you created strong bonds with people across the social spectrum, including outside your day to day business world?

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