Investment committees play a key role in the deployment of the trillions of dollars of institutional assets in the United States. More often than not, it is an investment committee that establishes strategy, oversees critical asset allocation decisions, and selects the people who take day-to-day responsibility for running the money. Like the operation of any multimillion- or multibillion-dollar enterprise, the successful operation of an institution's investment committee is a fluid and complex business. There are a lot of things to consider. Getting it right is not always easy.

This paper focuses specifically on the operation of investment committee meetings. Some of the most common complaints about investment committee meetings are

  • Too much is done with no clear purpose
  • Too much time is devoted to minutiae, and too little to the strategic decisions that ultimately lead to success or failure
  • Committees can be petri dishes for behavioral errors, such as groupthink or overconfidence
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