One-on-One With Newly Appointed Cutler COO Greg Smith
Worcester Telegram – July 2018
By Amanda Roberge
Hailing originally from Easton, Mass., Gregory D. Smith has returned to the Bay State to become part of the growing workforce in Worcester in his new role as Chief Operating Officer with Cutler Capital Management, LLC. The new position marks the next step of his career in financial management, having worked most recently as director for alternative investments at Barings, LLC, an investment management firm owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, where he focused on product development and portfolio management. Before that, he served as corporate counsel and chief compliance officer at Wood Creek Capital Management, New Haven, Conn., which merged into Barings. Smith also served as corporate counsel and chief compliance officer at Wright Investors’ Service, Inc., of Greenwich, Conn. His job change has brought him into the city at The Grid, which is a unit of renovated apartments at the former Bancroft building on Franklin Street in Worcester, as he and his wife seek to buy a home in the outskirts of town to raise their family.
Tell me a little about your education and background that has brought you to this place in your career.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Connecticut worked in Boston for several years right out of school. In 2006, I attended law school back at UConn. I have been exposed to a fairly wide range of responsibilities and this position is a nice combination of the roles I have held throughout my career.
What drew you to Cutler, and what do you imagine drew them to you?
For me, I was ready for a new challenge in my career, and I became connected to the sophisticated investment strategies we use here, which are based on seeking out value positions and finding opportunities to gain appropriate rewards based on the level of risk we take. It’s a bit difficult to put in layman’s terms, but it’s a very unique way of doing things and I wanted to be a part of it. I can’t speak for what they saw in me, but I believe they were looking for a younger leadership team to take the company into the foreseeable future. Both myself and Geoffrey Dancey, who is the President, are in our late 30s and have a lot of dedication to maintaining the integrity of the company for years to come.
Are you able to speak to some of the current trends in investing that our readers might be interested to learn more about?
The general trend right now is in passive investing, where you watch what the market is doing and sort of follow along with what is happening. Our strategy is a bit more nuanced — we look at the fundamentals of specific investment and try to find areas that are undervalued, looking at the next level of potential reward inside each area of the market.
It’s only fair to ask you to reflect on the challenges of raising a young family while keeping up in the corporate world. Does this resonate with you at all?
Completely. My wife and I have an 19-month old son, and she works as a Clinical Therapist, so we have a lot of balancing to do. It’s a real struggle to have this complete devotion to work and to your family, and to giving everyone — not only my wife and son but also my clients — the attention they all deserve. Sometimes that means getting home, helping out with bath and bedtime, and then staying up late or waking up early to get other things done. This is something that is universally difficult for my generation — this drive to be a good husband and a good father while focusing on our careers.