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No spin: how Envestnet's gatekeeper picks PMs – Tim Clift has his eye on the ball. Envestnet’s chief investment strategist tells Andrew Jones about his 12-step process for assessing asset managers and some of his favorite high-conviction players

Tennis fan Tim Clift is used to reading spin both on and off the court.

During a match this can involve adjusting to a devilish slice or sprinting to reach a sly drop shot.

In his professional life, as chief investment strategist for turnkey asset management platform Envestnet, this means cutting through the marketing junk and finding out the truth about portfolio managers.

‘When you’re meeting with an asset manager, they put a lot of spin on their products,’ he says. ‘We train our analysts to cut through the spin and get right to the meat of what we’re interested in finding out, which is the alpha thesis, and if they are able to continue generating excess returns.’

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