Sometimes a company’s best investments aren’t in businesses or financial markets. When Jack Coates took over management of the pension plan for US forest products firm Weyerhaeuser in 1985, he was returning to full-time work after the company let him pursue a PhD while working part-time in his international treasury position. That investment was to pay off handsomely. His research led him to understand how alternative investments could be relevant to the challenge he saw before the Weyerhaeuser pension plan, which was under-funded and needed to generate higher returns without incurring too much downside volatility.
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