Athena’s Michael Lear Interviewed by The New York Times
On March 4, 2016, The New York Times highlighted commentary from Athena Capital Advisors’ Michael Lear, Vice President, Portfolio Management, on impact investment strategies and his concerns about the potentially risky nature of exchange-traded funds (“E.T.F”).
In the article, Lear gave his opinion on a recently launched E.T.F. that seeks to advance the role of women in the workplace by investing in U.S. companies with gender diversity on their boards and in management.
Lear said he could see the interest in impact E.T.F.s for some investors, but cautioned that they can be riskier than people imagine. “E.T.F.s are creating new benchmarks or indices, and there’s a risk inherent in that,” Lear said to Times columnist Paul Sullivan. “They’re trying to create something new, and they’re making their best efforts, but this mechanical exercise of having an E.T.F. invest by different weightings can fail.”
Michael Lear is a senior member of the Portfolio Management Team, responsible for delivering investment advisory services including asset allocation, portfolio construction and other portfolio management-related services. In addition, Michael helps oversee the firm’s New York office and also advises clients on the subject of impact investing.