What is the most surprising investment you ever made?
I made an investment in Jersey Boys and became one of the producers. We won a Tony Award. It's sitting on my desk. That was surprising!
The last thing a client said to you that made you smile?
“I forgot to mention, I have this other account worth eight million”
Greatest recent technological innovation for your business?
We find new ways to use Microsoft Excel almost every day, like downloading stats and crunching them into usable stuff for our models.
At 38, you're the youngest president the La Jolla Playhouse has ever had. What brought you to the Playhouse?
One of my clients was a trustee and invited me to a development event at the theatre. They maneuvered money out of me, and a couple of years later I was asked to be on the board. I've been a trustee six years now and a passionate fundraiser.
Size of the largest endowment you manage?
$19 million. Some are as small as $1 million. We like nonprofits.
Your favorite work of theatre?
La Jolla Playhouse recently commissioned Most Wanted, written by Jessica Hagedorn and Mark Bennett. It's a rock musical that tracks the parallel stories of a spree killer and an ambitious journalist whose lives intersect and feed off of each other, helping each of them become more famous. This will be a very controversial play, and I'm a big fan. You're not an ambitious journalist, are you?
Short-selling: good or bad?
Short-selling, as a hedge, makes perfect sense for some investors.
Philosophy of investing?
We manage portfolios on a discretionary basis for a fee. We've developed our own proprietary models that range from conservative to aggressive.
Cold Call: Ralph Bryan
Interview with Ralph Bryan of the Financial Strategies Group for Wachovia Securities