Being First is Best: An Adventure Capitalist's Approach to Life and Investing, A Conversation with Dean Lebaron
11 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 1, 2013
A self-described “adventure capitalist,” Dean LeBaron is the founder and former chairman of Batterymarch Financial Management, recognized as one of the most innovative investment management firms in the industry. As an “investment futurist,” LeBaron was one of the first to see the potential of quantitative investing, implementing computer-driven technology and modeling techniques at Batterymarch to systematically analyze data, trade, and manage investment portfolios. Under LeBaron’s leadership, Batterymarch pioneered indexing as an investment strategy. An early adopter of a contrarian philosophy, LeBaron followed his own advice that “in the investment field, you should be where everyone else is not,” leading Batterymarch to become one of the earliest (or first) institutional investors in the emerging markets of China, India, and Latin America. His interest and work in Russia resulted from an invitation from the government of President Mikhail Gorbachev to help privatize the Soviet Union’s military industrial complex. With more than five decades of experience as an investment manager, LeBaron often has been the right man in the right place at the right time, following his maxim that “if the choice is limited to being best or being first, being first is often best.”
In June 2013, LeBaron spoke with members of the Journal of Investment Consulting Editorial Advisory Board about his reasons for going into investment management, his views on past, present, and future investment strategies, and his philosophy that being first is best—and also more fun.
Keywords: Dean LeBaron
JEL Classification: G10, G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation