Liz Ann Sonders says her job is to educate, rather than make predictions.
"I differ from my CIO brethren in that I'm not asked to make bombastic forecasts about where the S&P will close at year end," she says. "I'm really just supposed to interpret what's going on in the market and the economy for our clients."
By her own estimate, Sonders' output has increased twenty-fold over the past year as the credit bubble burst. As Congress was debating the size and scope of the financial bailout last fall, Sonders was writing a couple of times a day, often well after midnight.
Sonders has supplemented the bi-monthly reports and breaking online commentary she writes with half-hour video presentations, called market snapshots, that are available online and are also widely used by brokers to inform their clients. She also has an internal blog that allows her to quickly respond to concerns or questions clients raise with brokers or other people in the company, without having to go through compliance reviews. "When a question is posted, I answer it, and it's there for everyone [in the company] to see," she says.
Sonders says her interaction with clients through live appearances, and the feedback she receives on her videos and commentary, give her a sense of what's on people's minds. "It's been a huge effort to stay in front of clients... and help them digest what's happening."