Overview

Bruce is responsible for investment strategy at Sentinel Trust, overseeing teams responsible for all asset classes and making tactical allocation decisions across all portfolios. As the firm’s first dedicated investment professional, he created the investment platform around the unique needs of wealthy families.

He has a special interest in real estate and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Real Estate Investment Trusts. Prior to joining Sentinel Trust, he worked with several real estate development families to diversify their holdings.

Bruce has over thirty years of experience investing on behalf of wealthy families. He speaks to family office and academic audiences, including Rice University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Professional Background:

  • Director of Non-Real Estate Investments, Hines (Gerald D.) Interests, Houston, TX (1987–1998) – First dedicated family office employee. Was responsible for investing assets outside of this family’s high-profile core real estate business. Invested tactically (and directly) in numerous asset classes, both traditional and alternative, including a full range of credit, international, derivative, and commodity based strategies.
  • Director of Investments, Taubman Investment Co., Bloomfield Hills, MI (1985–1987)

Education

Harvard University, PhD in Business Economics, Joint degree of the Harvard University Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School (1986)

Williams College, BA in Economics (1976), Phi Beta Kappa

IN THE COMMUNITY

Community Involvement:

  • The Fay School, Former Trustee, Treasurer and Chairman of Finance and Search Committees
  • Houston Committee on Foreign Relations, Member
  • Harvard University Houston Schools Committee, Interviewer for admissions
  • EMERGE Fellowship, Mentor
  • Refugee Services of Texas, Volunteer
TALKS

Talks:

  • “Getting Started in Private Equity” – Opal Investment Forum
  • “Confessions of a Mean-Reversionist” – Rice University, Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems
  • “A Family Office Perspective on Venture Capital Investing” – Mohr Davidow Annual Meeting
  • “Real Estate Investment Opportunities: Putting the Pieces Together” – Marcus Evans Private Wealth Management Summit

Publications:

  • “Global Warming-Not Just Yet”
  • “The Bubble Years: Were They Just a Dream, Dr. Greenspan?”
  • “Capital Market Assets: Dead Men Walking?”
  • “New Age Economics: Do You Believe?”
  • “The New Carry Trade: Let’s Make a Deal”
  • “And Then There was One”
  • “Economic Recovery Plays OK, U.S. Equities Not the Way”
  • “Sentinel Horizons”
  • “Investment Themes for Year 2000 and Beyond”
INSIGHTS

Markets – July 2018

June market action was very much a function of geography, with US markets little changed, but less benign results seen elsewhere depending on the proximity to increasing trade tensions. China and other emerging markets were at the epicenter. While giving the appearance that the US is “winning” the trade war, the strength in the dollar and US asset prices was primarily due to exceptionally strong second quarter growth. Commodities were a real wild card, depending on the mix of double-digit West Texas Intermediate oil gains or trade-war-inflicted losses in grains and industrial metals. While central bank actions were not unimportant, they were overshadowed by geopolitical developments.

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Markets – June 2018

Despite starting with the worst first day of the second quarter since the Great Depression, global equities ended the volatile month modestly higher. The combination of plateauing overseas growth and higher Treasury rates contributed to dollar strength that boosted European equities, but not emerging markets. Overseas developed markets outperformed the US by nearly 2%, but emerging market equities finished modestly in the red. News flow over the month included increasing Russia sanctions, US labor costs, tariff threat uncertainty, as well as airstrikes in Syria and potential new Iran sanctions (which fueled a 6% rally in crude oil).

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Markets – April 2018

Following February’s market gyrations, which saw inflation fears exacerbated by the unwinding of ill-fated short-volatility strategies, March promised to be a month of rest and recovery as global growth was plateauing at a high level and the monthly employment report presented a remarkable combination of strong employment growth, higher workforce participation and little sign of wage pressures. In addition, North Korea tensions eased while NAFTA and South Korean trade talks advanced smartly.

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Markets – March 2018

Following January’s equity melt-up, February saw the sharpest equity reversal in seven years as “warmer” economic reports and the enactment of additional fiscal stimulus triggered U.S. inflation fears. The unwinding of various flavors of short volatility strategies—risk parity, commodity trading advisors (CTAs), short volatility exchange traded funds (ETFs), and targeted volatility insurance products—contributed to the speed of the decline, as the VIX (equity volatility index) reached its highest levels since 2015. Global equities fell 4% uniformly across segments; bonds were unable to serve as a portfolio anchor, losing 1%, as it is hard for a hedge to be effective when it is the catalyst for the equity market decline. The dollar ended higher after a volatile month, while weak energy prices weighed on the commodity complex.

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