Investment Management

Second Quarter 2024 Insight

May 10, 2024

John Allen
John Allen

Chief Investment Officer, Partner

John joined Aspiriant in 2014 as Chief Investment Officer. As CIO, John is primarily responsible for leading the firm’s overall Investment Strategy & Research Group, broadly consisting of 12 professionals. The group is responsible for asset allocation, portfolio construction, manager selection and risk management. John also chairs the firm’s Investment Committee and serves on a number of other committees. He has over 20 years of experience in investment management, investment banking, corporate finance advisory and business strategy consulting.

Prior to joining the firm, John was a senior member of the client service team at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo (GMO), which manages approximately $80 billion across a wide-range of public equities, fixed income, hedge funds and asset allocation funds. In that role, John had primary responsibility for 80 clients and $6.5 billion in assets under management.

Prior to joining GMO, John was the Head of Investments at a large family office in Los Angeles. There, John had responsibility for managing the firm’s overall investment portfolio as well as its direct investments. Previously, John established his career working in the investment banking department at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and in the business consulting practice at Stern Stewart & Co. Throughout his career, John has served on the boards of directors of three private companies.

John earned a Bachelor of Science degree with high distinction from the Economics Department at the University of Virginia. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation. He is also a member of the CFA Institute and CAIA Association.

John lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Marc Castellani
Marc Castellani

Managing Director in Investment Strategy & Research, Member of Board of Directors, Partner

Marc joined Aspiriant in February of 2015. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Marc oversees the firm’s private investment offering (private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and private real estate), and actively works with his colleagues on asset allocation, investment strategy and manager selection. Marc is a member of Aspiriant’s Investment and Client Service Committees.

Prior to joining the firm, Marc worked at the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Los Angeles in a senior client management role and worked with families and high net worth individuals on portfolio management, tax planning, liability management and wealth transfer strategies. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Marc worked for several years in New York City in the Mergers and Acquisitions departments of J.P. Morgan and Banc of America Securities. In that capacity, Marc advised large multinational clients and privately held, family-owned businesses on a range of strategic alternatives including sales, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs and growth equity financings.

Marc earned his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and his graduate degree in finance at the University of Rochester.

Marc lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife and children.

Camila Kremer
Camila Kremer

Senior Research Analyst in Investment Strategy & Research, Partner

Camila joined Aspiriant in 2019 as a Research Analyst on the Investment Strategy & Research team. She has over 11 years of experience within the investment management industry working with both private and institutional clients.

Prior to joining the firm, Camila worked at Kairos Investment Management Company focusing on private markets and impact investments. She began her career at a private research firm in Boston specializing in alternative investments.

Camila earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Lehigh University. She is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and a Chartered Financial Analyst® charter holder.

She is passionate about economic development and empowerment through education. Camila is originally from Brazil and currently lives in Santa Monica, Calif.

1 Priced to perfection is a term used to describe investments assigned high valuations generally based on exceptionally optimistic expectations of future performance with little to no margin of error.

Aspirant is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which does not suggest a certain level of skill and training. Additional information regarding Aspiriant and its advisory practices can be obtained via the following link:

Information contained herein is considered confidential, private and Aspiriant proprietary inside information that is intended only for the audience to which Aspiriant has knowingly distributed this presentation to, either by way of request or voluntarily. Any redistribution of this material without our prior express written permission is a violation of Aspirant’s privacy policy adopted to comport with various state and federal privacy laws that may subject any unauthorized distributor to legal action.

All opinions, figures, charts/graphs, estimates and data included in this document are as on date and are subject to change without notice. The statements contained herein may include statements of future expectations, for general market performance or economic conditions, and other forward-looking statements that are based on our current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions, current beliefs and expectations. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, estimates, risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: economic, business, market and geopolitical conditions; U.S. and foreign regulatory developments relating to, among other things, financial institutions and markets, government oversight, fiscal and tax policy. Any forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by Aspiriant or any other person that estimates or expectations contemplated will be achieved, as the future is not predictable.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. There can be no assurances that any strategy will meet its investment objectives. All investments can lose value. The performance and volatility of an investor’s portfolio will not be the same as the index. Indices are unmanaged and have no fees. An investment may not be made directly in an index. The data used in this material was obtained from third-party sources the firm believes are reliable and internally. Aspiriant is not responsible for the accuracy of any third-party data used in the construction of this presentation. This information alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. It should not be construed as investment advice to any party. Investing in securities, such as equity, fixed income and mutual funds, involves the risk of partial or complete loss of capital that prospective investors should be prepared to bear. Any reference to securities, directly or indirectly, is not a recommendation and does not represent a solicitation to buy or an offer of a solicitation to sell such securities. Any statistical information contained herein has been obtained from publicly available market data (such as, but not limited to, data published by Bloomberg Finance L.P. and its affiliates), internal research and regulatory filings.

As used herein, the term “AI” represents artificial intelligence and includes machine learning and large language models.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used as a key indicator of inflation or deflation in the economy.

The Enterprise Value-to-EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) ratio is a valuation metric used to assess the valuation of a company as a whole relative to its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).

Fiscal deficit represents the shortfall between what the government spends and what it earns through taxation and other sources of revenue during a specific period.

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the monetary value of final goods and services produced in a country in a given period of time.

Magnificent Seven stocks include Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Tesla.

Net interest outlays refer to the total amount of interest payments made by the government on its outstanding debt, minus any interest income received.

Net migration tracks the net change in population due to migration.

Nominal wages refer to the actual dollar amount received by an individual for their work.

The Price-to-Book (P/B) ratio is used to assess the valuation of a company’s stock relative to its book value per share.

The Price-to-Cash Flow (P/CF) ratio is used to assess the valuation of a company’s stock relative to its operating cash flow per share.

The Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio is used to value a company’s stock by comparing its current market price per share to its earnings per share (EPS).

The Price-to-Sales (P/S) ratio is used to assess the valuation of a company’s stock relative to its revenue per share.

Real wages take into account the effects of inflation on purchasing power.

The wealth effect is a behavioral economic theory which suggests consumers spend more as the value of their assets rise and their wealth increases, even if their income does not.

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