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—Stephen McMenamin, Executive Director—
I am grateful for—indeed humbled by—the depth of commitment of so many friends, investors, and members. This was truly a team operating at its best. It would be difficult not to acknowledge first, Aleks Weiler, the leader of our Best Practices Working Group. Aleks went headlong into this project with a calm determination and a pursuit of excellence. He conducted all of the original focus groups that cut across investor types and asset classes and wrote the first draft. Ed Barksdale, a GR trustee and Chairman of the Education Committee, set the tone for the discussion when he suggested that we emphasize the qualitative aspects of portfolio construction. For more than two years he generously opened the doors of his offices for this diverse committee to meet. To say that Rusty Olson was invaluable would be an understatement. His clear thinking and his clean writing style transformed this work into a readable, enjoyable summary. His unselfish respect for other opinions served to inspire others to do the same. Meanwhile, GR staff editor, Alex Poletsky, was Rusty’s mission control. This former newspaperman tirelessly rewrote and negotiated over 20 drafts. Mark Silverstein provided most of our guidance on managing risk. His practical common sense approach was only exceeded by his humility and good natured cooperativeness. Ray Gustin provided a lot of our intelligence on hedge funds. His ability to articulate the nuance was invaluable. On her weekend retreats in New Hampshire, Lyn Hutton edited several drafts and provided many innovative insights. Lyn often provided a middle way to reconcile the philosophical differences between the quantitative and qualitative approaches. Bob Hunkeler, also a trustee of the Roundtable, kept us focused on the realities of the investment trustee’s experience. It was his idea to write with an eye on educating trustees who incur the liability and provide governance. Finally, Nathan Fischer opened our minds to organizing the portfolio along functional rather than asset class lines. 
We are deeply grateful to the members of the original focus group. Peter Bernstein challenged us to show how to “play by ear.” Charley Ellis urged us not to look at our neighbor’s work. Clarke Binkley unlocked the world of timber and John Hill guided our view on energy. Rian Dartnell painted the picture from the private investor’s view. Peter Lawrence, Sue Carter, and Alexis Palmer took us on an insider’s tour of the venture and private capital markets. Barry Sternlicht gave us a foundation to build our view of real estate. Neal Triplett and Mary Cahill offered the endowment perspective. We also appreciate the editorial insights of Ray Dalio, Mark Casella, Don Raymond, Afroz Qadeer, John-Louis Lelogois, and Wim Kooyker.