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Guggenheim CIO Scott Minerd Has Died

His unexpected death casts uncertainty on many of the firm’s strategies.

Securities In This Article
Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Instl
Guggenheim Total Return Bond Instl

Guggenheim Partners chief investment officer Scott Minerd died on Dec. 21, 2022, according to a statement by the firm. Minerd, who was 63, served as a comanager on several Guggenheim funds, including flagship offerings Guggenheim Total Return Bond GIBIX and Guggenheim Macro Opportunities GIOIX. We are therefore bringing the Morningstar Analyst Ratings under review for several of the firm’s funds.

Minerd was responsible for developing the distinctive managerial framework that governs Guggenheim’s funds. Although it could be loosely categorized as a system of team management, his approach was more nuanced. Minerd was an adherent of the comparatively young discipline of behavioral finance and sought to incorporate its insights into Guggenheim’s investment process. To that end, he hired Nobel laureate and behavioral finance expert Daniel Kahneman as a consultant to assist in its development and ongoing refinement.

In particular, Minerd was focused on the delineation of thought processes into groups that Kahneman referred to as system one and system two, the former typified by intuitive, fast, and automatic thinking, and the latter by thinking based on slow, effortful, logical cognition. While recognizing important situational advantages, Kahneman theorized that system-one thinking, by its nature, was much more susceptible to errors based on cognitive biases, and that system-two thinking provided more opportunity to neutralize them.

Believing in the value of applying system-two thinking to investing, Minerd designed Guggenheim’s managerial framework with a separation of its members into specialized groups with distinct decision-making responsibilities, with each group being allowed more time and focus to avoid errors and provide checks on each other’s cognitive biases. In practice, that has translated into teams that are distinctly focused on and responsible for macroeconomic research, portfolio construction, sector and security research, and portfolio management.

It’s difficult to say what the long-term effects of losing a leader could be for any organization, but inherent in Minerd’s design was a desire for resilience and even redundancy. Given his death, we are bringing all of Guggenheim’s fixed-income strategies with Morningstar analyst coverage under review and will be assessing whether to make any changes to their Analyst Ratings.

The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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Eric Jacobson

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Eric Jacobson is director of manager research, U.S. fixed-income strategies, for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. He is a voting member of the Morningstar Medalist Ratings Committee for U.S. and international fixed-income strategies and shares responsibility for determining coverage and research priorities. Jacobson has focused on a variety of taxable, tax-exempt, and nontraditional fixed-income strategies, including several from asset managers such as Pimco, BlackRock, PGIM, and Guggenheim. He has also covered strategies from J.P. Morgan, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, TCW, Vanguard, Loomis Sayles, Putnam, T. Rowe Price, American Century, Eaton Vance, FPA, and American Funds. He is the team's lead analyst on Pimco.

From 2006 through mid-2008, Jacobson was director of fixed-income strategies for Morningstar Indexes and was responsible for the design and launch of Morningstar's original suite of U.S., global, and emerging-markets bond indexes. Before assuming that role, he was a senior analyst, associate director, and fixed-income editorial director for the fund research team. Before joining the company in 1995 as a closed-end fund analyst, he worked for Kemper Financial Services.

Jacobson holds degrees in political science, Hebrew and Semitic studies, and integrated liberal studies from the University of Wisconsin.

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