A recent article in Institutional Investor profiles Jeremy Getson, AQR Capital Management’s head of North American sales, who “leads a rarefied class of the ultraconnected in a disparate industry, according to dozens of investors, competitors, trade reporters, and other insiders.”
The article describes Getson as one of the “best-connected people in the game” not only for the number of investor relationships he has forged, but also for the impact of those connections.” Getson joined a “fledgling” AQR fourteen years ago and, according to one source, and was instrumental in establishing their niche in factor investing and alternative beta “before most institutional investors really knew what they were.”
AQR co-founder David Kabiller, who assembled the sales team that includes Getson, said he wasn’t looking for “salespeople,” adding, “When we started AQR, I felt there had to be mutual respect and a real partnership between sales and research.” Rather than hire people to play golf or wine-and-dine prospective clients, AQR brought in the smartest people they could find in order to build trust with clientele.
For AQR, which currently manages $224 billion, the strategy has worked well, and Getson is one of the most highly respected in the industry. Institutional investors, the article explains, often prefer to conduct manager discussions face-to-face. “They find in-person value not so much in what a manager says (which could be communicated over the phone), but rather in what the manager does while saying it.”
The article quotes one insider’s description of him: “I’m not even sure he owns a suit. Jeremy is the real deal. No BS.”