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The Factors That Factor Into Factor Investing:
Everything From the Basics to The Death of Style Boxes!
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Episode Guest:

Stacey Tovrov
Defined Contribution Investment Strategist
The podcast series where employers find candid, in-depth interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events. 
Recap, highlights, and my thoughts

Today we tackle and I think make more familiar the topic of factor investing.  I will be the first one to admit that I am one of those people who is familiar with factor investing but have been confused with the role it can or does plan in workplace retirement plan investment menu design.  So, I was personally excited to have Stacey Tovrov, a Vice President and Investment Strategies within Blackrock’s Defined Contribution business join me on the podcast to break this down. 


It seems  like with many in the investment community anticipating a low rate or return environment in the future the “buzz” word when I speak with various investment firms lately has been factor investing and specifically what I learned is a subset of factor investing smart beta.  For example, it seems we hear more that the XYZ strategy uses a factor based approach to accomplish this or that, or our ABC strategy uses an index based smart beta strategy and so on and so forth.  During my conversation with Stacey, we address these statements, whether the average investor will understand this, how to measure performance and much more. 


She also shares some really unique insights on whether factor based investment labels could eventually replace the current style box or asset class based labels used to construct investment menus. 

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Thanks for listening! 

Sincerely Your Host, 

Rick Unser

Guest Bio

Stacey Tovrov, Vice President, is an Investment Strategist within BlackRock's US and Canada Defined Contribution business. She is responsible for representing DC capabilities to plan sponsors, investment consultants, and advisors. The team partners with Sales, Research, and Product Development to evolve the firm’s suite of DC solutions, provide thought leadership, and develop client analytics.

Prior to moving to her current role, Ms. Tovrov was a member of the Multi-Asset Strategies group building the firm's sustainable investing platform. Previously, she was part of the Strategic Product Management group leading product development and strategy. She was also a member of BlackRock's Portfolio Management Group helping drive strategic initiatives across the firm's investment teams. Ms. Tovrov joined BlackRock in 2008 as an analyst in the institutional client business, where she was responsible for sales and servicing the firm's central bank, sovereign wealth fund, and other official institution clients globally.

Ms. Tovrov earned a BA degree in economics and international relations from Tufts University.

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