Charles D. Ellis, CFA, is chairman of the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Given the multiple dimensions on which investment organizations compete and seek to excel, the present and future leaders of the world’s many investment organizations would not be surprised to find that history’s masters of Grand Strategy — Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and Mahan — all have important lessons in leadership to share with the leaders of contemporary investment management firms.
Although some critics grouse about them, most investors have long thought that investment management fees can best be described in one word: low. Indeed, fees are seen as so low that they are almost inconsequential when choosing an investment manager. This view, however, is a delusion.