Global Head of Equities, Multi-Asset and O'Connor, and Group Managing Director, UBS Asset Management

Dawn Fitzpatrick understands the importance of bench strength. When asked to name a significant management decision in the past year, she cited hiring her successor after being promoted.

Previously Fitzpatrick was the global head and chief investment officer of UBS O'Connor, a $5.7 billion-asset hedge fund manager. She took on the additional responsibilities in January of overseeing $215 billion of equities and $90 billion of multi-asset investments.

She recruited Kevin Russell from Citigroup to take over her CIO role at O'Connor, and he in turn played a key role in strengthening the overall team by bringing on additional talent.

The focus on team building also shows in the culture of O'Connor, where Fitzpatrick started her career 24 years ago. Among the operation's more than 60 professionals, no single individual typically accounts for more than 10% of the returns generated by the flagship multistrategy funds in a given year. The best contributors tend to change from year to year. This makes the funds resilient, since they don't depend on a star manager or trader sticking around.

In an industry where people can be guarded about what they're up to even with colleagues, Fitzpatrick encourages collaboration. Every investment professional across the globe at O'Connor can see everyone else's positions in real time. In the post-crisis financial markets, having more eyes on risk is increasingly important, Fitzpatrick said. Under her leadership, O'Connor's funds have performed better in the seven years since the 2008 crisis than in the six years before it.

Fitzpatrick serves on UBS Asset Management's executive committee and on the global investment committee of its parent company. She also is one of 15 industry members of the New York Fed's investor advisory committee on financial markets.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.