As a boutique wealth-management firm, what makes Pendragon Capital Management stand out is the team and each member’s commitment to clear, thoughtful, individualized expert financial advice. This starts with Pendragon’s founder and president, Ian Green.
Meet Ian Green, Pendragon Capital Management, Focused on Individualized Expert Financial Advice
PCM: Ian, tell us about yourself and your background.
IG: I attended Marist College. It’s a liberal arts undergraduate college that happens to have a respectable business and economics department. I started with economics, then had a great accounting professor who put the content into a business framework and I was hooked.
Marist is a flexible school so I double-majored in accounting and economics. And, to fully embrace the liberal arts curriculum, I minored in art history. I love how liberal arts teaches you how to think and appreciate many disciplines. This has helped me professionally and personally.
After college, I worked for KPMG, a large Certified Public Accounting firm. A few years later, I decided to go to business school and studied finance at Columbia Business School. As an MBA, I spent a few years at Citigroup in corporate treasury and then decided to launch Pendragon Capital Management.
PCM: How did you get interested in money management?
IG: While I was at KPMG, my parents lost two-thirds of their investments. I took over their portfolio and built it back up.
That was a powerful experience – learning first-hand about investment tools, understanding my parents’ goals and their risk tolerance, and helping them regain trust in investing. It led me to get involved in finance and attend business school.
PCM: You mention your parents. How bad was their situation?
IG: As I mentioned, my parents lost two-thirds of their investment portfolio. Unfortunately, they assumed their stockbroker knew more than he did and trusted that he would do the right thing for them.
Instead, he invested their money in things that weren’t suitable such as high-risk limited partnerships. My folks’ families were affected by the depression and didn’t trust the stock market. They were more comfortable with certificates of deposit and similar low-risk investments.
The stockbroker never took the time to understand them and what their financial goals and timeline were. He was essentially a salesperson selling brokerage products posing as a financial advisor.
PCM: How did you get them back on track with their investments?
IG: The first step was to understand their goals and timeline, and then educate them about the financial products that would help them achieve those goals. Listening carefully was really important. I wanted to give them the confidence to invest for the long term, and understand risk and returns on those investments.
At the same time, I immersed myself in market research so I could answer their questions and provide recommendations.
And I educated them about the value of time. When you invest, the more time you have, the more opportunity you have to reach your goals. Ideally, you have a 20-year time frame so you can weather ups and downs and find valuable purchase opportunities.
I also encouraged them to set money aside regularly and consistently to invest little by little. You see, it’s impossible to time the market, so if you do your research and have cash available you can make sound decisions. That way you steadily invest over time, making tweaks/changes over time.
That’s what I do with every one of my clients.
PCM: Why did you launch Pendragon Capital Management?
IG: While I was at Citigroup, I realized that I remained interested in securities, options, and bonds. People I knew regularly asked me for advice and I enjoyed being able to offer them individualized investment advice.
They appreciated my unique perspective as an accountant with an MBA who could offer a more sophisticated perspective on the marketplace. Finally, I felt strongly about their experience as customers and delivering on that commitment.
So I launched Pendragon Capital at the end of 1996 so I could provide individualized expert financial advice. At first, it was just me, and I started with family and friends as clients. Then, I brought in more experts as the business expanded.
PCM: How did you come up with the name Pendragon Capital?
IG: I’m a history buff, and love reading about history. My favorite periods are the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the American Revolution, and the early 20th-century.
Pendragon was the family name for King Arthur.
PCM: You’ve been a money manager for 25 years. What keeps you motivated?
IG: I find it very rewarding to help individuals and families reach their goals, creating and preserving wealth. Following the markets is an entree into a wider learning experience, you begin to pay attention to new technologies, global events, and political/legal changes. All of these affect the investing environment.
No year is the same. You have to stay in the know with an eye to the future which keeps me completely invested in doing what love.
PCM: How does Pendragon differ from the other options available?
IG: Other investing options include doing it alone, or working with large brokerage organizations. Pendragon Capital Management is better than either of those options. Here’s how.
Investing on your own
When you manage your own investment portfolio, you may not be looking at everything and all of the elements that affect risk. It’s also difficult to have the experience to evaluate the various financial products available.
Because we are completely immersed in the markets and financial products, Pendragon can offer solo investors perspective, financial planning and money management advice, and full attention so you meet your financial goals.
It’s hard when you invest on your own to manage your emotions and that’s where a financial advisor can really help.
Investing with large brokerage organizations
Large investment houses have two downsides:
- Considerable minimum investment requirements
- The sales department often forces investments whether appropriate to the individual investor or not
As an independent boutique wealth-management firm, Pendragon Capital can work with any level of investor. Regardless of what you have available to invest, we will work with you as an individual to create a financial solution that addresses your needs and goals.
We give our full attention to our clients and can take on independent ideas and products that address your family’s issues and opportunities.
Other benefits associated with investing with Pendragon Capital Management
Pendragon can also refer you to other professionals for expert advice. We aren’t tied to only working in-house.
Ultimately, the relationship is more holistic and personal because every client is unique. Clients are people – not numbers or percentages – and we value our clients. We’ll work with each one to create an investment portfolio that makes sense.
We emphasize money management and maintaining a long-term timeline. Even if that’s boring. Preserving and growing wealth is a long-term, steady-as-you-go venture.
PCM: Ian, why set up a Climate Impact Portfolio?
IG: Pendragon has created several differentiated portfolios such as the Pendragon Special Value Fund LP that specializes in small banks.
The Climate Impact Portfolio is that and much more given the importance of finding alternate energy sources and generally addressing climate change. Furthermore, Andrew Fairbanks who co-manages the Climate Impact Portfolio with me has considerable expertise in the energy sector.
We have discovered through our research many exciting companies that are passionate about what they do, how they do it, and how they are more efficient than traditional equivalents. For example, did you know that salmon farming throws off considerably less CO2 than cattle farming?
PCM: How has Columbia Business School influenced your investment thinking?
IG: Columbia Business School (CBS) has such a strong focus on investing in the Graham Dodd value investing tradition.
I learned a great deal from professors such as M. Suresh Sundaresan who taught me about options, and others who are part of the CBS financial/teaching community such as William N. Geotzmann who now teaches investment management at Yale.
The value tradition makes us think of in terms of ownership in companies rather than as traders in pieces of paper.
And, of course, there’s the sage from Omaha and a Columbia Business School alumnus, Warren Buffett, the penultimate value investor.
PCM: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get started with a company such as Pendragon Capital Management?
IG: First is to have that very important conversation with your financial manager about how much money you have available to invest, what your objectives are, and what your risk tolerance is.
At Pendragon, that is our first order of business. Sometimes it’s a difficult conversation because having more money later often means spending less now so you have cash to invest. Investing is about balancing future and current needs.
You’ll want to discuss what you’ll need for retirement each month, and whether you’ve set aside one to two years of expenses in savings. (If the unexpected happens, you don’t want to have to sell your investments to come up with cash.)
Other topics include tax considerations. I try to be tax-efficient and factor tax implications into investment decisions. And, don’t forget life events. They can throw your investments off.
That information will help set expectations so your investment manager keeps your portfolio on track.
PCM: Ian, what do you like to do outside of Pendragon?
IG: I’m an art museum geek. I love to read about art and travel to see art.
I spend a great deal of time outdoors hiking, gardening, biking, fly fishing, and generally appreciating this beautiful planet, and its bounty.
If you receive my newsletter (if not, please subscribe), you’ve surely seen my gardening tips and favorite cartoons and quotes.
Let’s not forget fantasy football…
PCM: Thank you, Ian.
Here is a 1:50-minute video where Ian introduces himself.
Are You Looking for Individualized Expert Financial Advice?
If yes, then consider reaching out to Ian Green.
The Pendragon Capital Management team is ready to answer any questions you have about expert financial advice that’s tailored to your individual needs.
Thanks for reading.
— The Pendragon Capital Management Content Team
Note: This blog article is intended for general informational purposes only. Nothing in it should be construed as, and may not be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or hold, an interest in any security or investment product.