What’s the future hold – for the economy, investing, geopolitics, health care, emerging markets and food? So much is changing so rapidly – on a global scale – that it’s hard to know what’s relevant. Keeping ahead of what’s coming next starts with paying attention to the right signals and connecting the dots. The future doesn’t have to blindside you. Vikram Mansharamani helps audiences see a new way to uncover valuable insights on the drivers of change impacting business.
He shows business leaders and investors how to look at the world differently in order to manage risk and navigate radical uncertainty – and his strategies help them peer into the future on crucial areas like China, food, the global economy, Africa, housing, investing, financial cycles, energy, and much more.
Vikram Mansharamani first gained widespread attention with his book Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst. Since then he’s gone on to show business leaders and investors how to look at the world differently in order to manage risk and navigate radical uncertainty. His strategies help them peer into the future on crucial areas like China, food, the global economy, Africa, housing, investing, financial cycles, energy, and much more. So valuable are his insights that LinkedIn named Vikram #1 on their 10 Top Voices in Money &Finance for 2015 and 2016.
Vikram believes that the future doesn’t have to surprise us – and won’t – if we regularly step away from our expertise and look at the world through multiple lenses. He calls this the generalist’s mindset. When encountering information that seems irrelevant most people think, “So what?!” Generalists think instead, “Isn’t that interesting,” and look to connect disparate dots. When they do, the conclusions they draw and decisions they make may be very different from the more narrow-focused “experts.” Vikram shows audiences practical ways to use this approach to spot opportunities and reduce risk.
Vikram is Lecturer at Yale University where he taught three popular classes: “Investment Management”, “Financial Booms and Busts” and “Adventures in Business Ethics.” He is also Lecturer at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences where he is co-teaching a course called “Humanity and Its Challenges.” His current research interests include bubbles in both financial and non-financial markets, the unsustainable dynamics of food and fuel, and the relative value of experts vs. generalists in navigating complex uncertainties and risk.
Vikram Mansharamani is a global equity investor with more than 20 years’ experience investing in public and private markets. He served as Managing Director of SDK Capital (and its predecessors).
Vikram is currently regular contributor to Worth magazine and a columnist for the PBS News Hour. He has also contributed to Bloomberg, Market Watch, CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Yale Global, The South China Morning Post, The Korea Times, The Khaleej Times, and The Daily Beast, among others. Vikram contributed the summary chapter for the book A Force for Good (2015)synthesizing lessons drawn from the collection of essays written by the world’s most prominent thinkers on the role of finance and capitalism in today’s increasingly interconnected and unequal world.
Vikram Mansharamani is a frequently sought-after speaker by a wide range of organizations. And whilecorporations from virtually every industry have sought his insights, he continues to have a very strong followingin the investment community. He regularly speaks with those focused on allocating large pools of capital. Audiences of sovereign wealth funds, family offices, endowments, foundations, and registered investment advisors have found tremendous value in his unconventional thinking.
As a consultant Vikram helps clients analyze the business impact of global trends, with a particular emphasis on economic, political, and social risks that might generate instability. He conducts many executive education seminars for senior leadership teams on how to integrate disparate (and seemingly contradictory) information into actionable analysis to drive business decisions. His thematic analysis and risk management is always focused on identifying opportunities within the risks. He currently serves on the board of the Africa Opportunity Fund (LSE: AOF), is a strategic advisor to Peter Kiewit & Sons, and regularly helps the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
He previously served on the boards of the Association of Yale Alumni, the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, Interelate, and Managed Ops. He earned a Ph.D. and MS from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, an MSin Political Science from MIT, and a BA from Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
“The Generalist Advantage: Zoom Out To Anticipate The Future”
Blinded by expertise and single-minded focus? It happens. But in a fast-paced world driven by complex and diverse factors, connecting the dots is often more important than developing the dots. “The future doesn’t have to surprise you,” so says Vikram Mansharamani, global trend-watcher, Harvard Lecturer, author, and investor. Mansharamani shows audiences how to look differently at their industry and business with the goal of helping them spot risk and capture opportunities others miss. The overwhelming flood of political, economic, technological, social, and market forces that bombard us every day is distracting. It prevents us from paying attention to what really matters. Our usual response to the noise is to focus narrowly or turn to specialists for help. But is that the right path? Have we been blinded by focus? Has the mantra of expertise and specialization misled us? Vikram thinks the pendulum has swung too far. He offers scores of compelling real-life examples that show how a narrow lens can lead us to miss the most important signals – the ones we’re least primed to see. The advice he offers is counter-intuitive. He advocates opening up to get a broader view; to zoom out. He calls the logic the generalist’s approach. Breadth, Vikram argues, is as important as depth. Generalists win by paying attention to more than their area of expertise. Vikram’s generalist framework for looking at the world differently is at the center of what he delivers in his speeches and can be focused on just about any subject.
“The End Of Cheap Food – A Global Forecast”
Food is emerging as one of the future’s most volatile assets. Shifting political, economic, climatic and societal change all factor into the equation. Vikram Mansharamani applies his multi-lens bubble-spotting approach to the key drivers of food prices in a global marketplace. He suggests that the era of cheap food is over and describes the geo-political and geo-economic ramifications of such developments – from Wall St. to Pudong. Audiences will leave with an understanding of the dynamics of land grabs, water scarcity, and the implications of food (in)security for national defense.
“Global Prosperity – Why Everything Is About To Change”
As the middle-class booms in emerging nations, a global consumption boom is likely to have an unprecedented impact on a wide range of commodities – food, fuel, precious metals – that will impact the global standard of living. The result will be geopolitical and economic uncertainty. Vikram Mansharamani untangles these dynamics through easy-to-understand, entertaining, and engaging analysis that evaluates the effect of a ballooning middle-class on an unlikely collection of industries — from education and entertainment to defense, finance and healthcare. Mansharamani’s insights help audiences look differently at the nature of global prosperity and how it may shape their business and their future.
“The Global Economy – An Unconventional Look”
Europe falling apart? China collapsing? Treasury bubble popping? Japan economic implosion? Social networking bubble? Alternative energy dynamics creating geopolitical unrest? Vikram Mansharamani applies a unique combination of practitioner experience and academic perspective to help audiences navigate the seemingly unending cross-currents of global economic, financial and political developments. While audiences often find themselves agreeing with Mansharamani each step of the way, they’re frequently surprised by what turn out to be unconventional conclusions.
“Spotting Bubbles Before They Burst”
In a globally dynamic environment, boom and bust cycles are more frequent than in the past. It seems there’s always something that has reached unsustainable levels. The trick, of course, is recognizing it and taking action before the bubble bursts. In direct contrast to the views espoused by most academics, Vikram Mansharamani makes a persuasive case that it is possible to identify financial (and other) bubbles before they burst. He draws on entertaining and engaging examples from art markets, architecture, and popular culture – as well as economics and politics – and powerfully demonstrates that you do not need to be an expert to effectively anticipate the future. Audiences walk away empowered to think independently and to connect obvious dots to generate not-so-obvious conclusions.
“Dr. Mansharamani is a talented speaker who connects with his audience. He is able to distill broad themes into relatable bites through illustrative and effective storytelling and use of visual images. He invites the audience to engage directly with him and they do! He is adept at and seems to enjoy responding to questions and challenges to his point of view. Dr. Mansharamani was among the best speakers we’ve had in our Author Series – evidence: the long line of people who sought to meet him and ask more questions following his presentation.”
– Suzannah L. Susser, Deputy Director, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
“Rare is the speaker that offers a perspective culled from a variety of disciplines. Seeking such a person, we booked Vikram to speak to our group, which is comprised of CFA charter holders with a wealth of experience in financial markets. He was someone we thought would inspire outside-the-box thinking, and he delivered in spades. Vikram offered a broad, macro-level presentation that exposed our audience to potential opportunities and threats facing the world. He’s an incredibly knowledgeable, dynamic speaker whose presentation just might change your worldview – he certainly changed a few among our group.”
– Sayer P. Martin, CFA, President, Sagacious & Programming Chair, CFA Society of Iowa
“Vikram is a lively and engaging speaker. Right from the first moment Vikram steps on stage he captivates the audience and involves them in the session- no one is looking at Blackberries or leaving the room – they are all fascinated with what he has to say. Vikram is a very versatile speaker- he can give thoughtful and entertaining solo presentations communicating a clear and relevant business message but in addition he is a real asset to panel discussions- he encourages debate and creates a compelling dialogue. You can trust Vikram to add value, insight and personality to any conference.”
– Victoria Chatterton, Conference Director, ICBI
“One of the most important topics in global economics today was presented with enthusiasm and humor, supported by well-researched analysis. This attention-grabbing presentation is a must for anyone who’s looking ahead to the Next Big Boom (or Bust).”
– Trey Seitz, Investment Manager, External Equities Department, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
“Vikram is a wonderful speaker. He engaged the audience from his opening comments and kept them entertained and informed until the end. The Q and A session was equally beneficial. He handled all the questions with colorful concise answers and encouraged everyone to participate. The audience clearly enjoyed the presentation and gave him great reviews in the survey. I would certainly recommend him to any group that needs insight into Bubbles and the Global Economy.”
– Richard L. Ware, CFA, Program Chair, CFA Virginia
“PwC engaged Vikram Mansharamani to conduct a two hour session in August, 2011 as part of the firm’s full day pension plan Trustee education session. I worked with Vikram prior to his presentation and found him to be very responsive and easy to work with. Roughly 20 people attended the session. We asked Vikram to talk about his book, Boombustology. We provided the book to the attendees prior to the meeting; however, time constraints prevented many of the attendees from reading the book prior to the meeting. Vikram’s presentation — the first of the day — was very engaging… We were entertained, but we learned a lot…His arguments were very specific and quite convincing. His methodical approach resonated well with our group of accountants and financial professionals. Vikram kept the group’s interest and also entertained them. His professorial approach made me wish I were back in school… Of the four groups that presented that day, I felt that Vikram’s presentation was the best. We still discuss his material six months after the presentation.”
– C. B. Bianco, Director of Investments, PricewaterhouseCoopers
“We host a variety of authors, professors, economists, doctors, and architects for a lecture and Q&A session. Typically, these lectures draw between 30 and 60 members. On Wednesday September 28, 2011, Vikram Mansharamani joined 50+ members to discuss his book entitled “Boombustology”. Our members thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were very impressed with Dr. Mansharamani’s engaging style and charisma. After the Q&A section of the lecture, members swarmed Dr. Mansharamani to continue asking their questions before he had to depart for a flight to another lecture. I received positive feedback about Dr. Mansharamani’s lecture from our members and am pleased that his lecture could kick-off our fall season of library lectures.”
– Lesley Kiger, Activities Manager, The Yale Club of NYC
“I want to thank you for the terrific presentation you made to the Hamilton Trust on November 10, 2011 at the Brae Burn Country Club. Our membership enjoyed your talk and thought it was one of the best presentations we have had. Our 60-person membership, consisting mostly of CEO types, is a very sophisticated and learned audience. As you know, I was initially concerned that your subject on Boombustology and Yale connection might be too academic and that you also might have a challenge in controlling the questions and debate from our group. Well, I was amazed that your presentation totally captured their interest without exception, and you controlled their questions without losing a beat on your subject matter. The members felt you were providing them with a completely new way to view the economic signals of booms and busts, and were taken with your energy and vibrant presentation skills. You came highly recommended from your previous engagements and, after this delightful experience, I would highly recommend you to any other groups looking for an entertaining and stimulating speaker. Finally, you should know that, after your presentation, I received four unsolicited e-mails from members congratulating me for bringing in such a terrific speaker.”
– David Quade, President, Berkshire Income Realty & Chairman, Program Committee, The Hamilton Trust
“I have had the pleasure of working with Vikram on a number of occasions. There are few Academics that are as abreast of market concerns as he, but even more, there are few market strategists that can remain on top of the latest research and thinking. Vikram remains one of Track.com’s top speakers and dinner guests. His insights and easy-going, straightforward speaking style make him the go-to expert for China and anything global.”
– Robert Savage, Chief Executive Officer, Track.com
“What a hit you were at our meetings! So many people commented on how much they enjoyed your presentation and how much they gained from it! Thank you for spending the time you did up front to really understand our audience.”
– Manager of Advisor Training, Lincoln Financial Advisors
“Great session by Vikram in my opinion, and informal feedback has been quite positive. He didn’t stint on the prep time (in fact he asked for more), and it showed in how well prepared he was for the Invesco audience.”
– People Development Adviser, Human Resources, Invesco