Edward M. Kerschner, CFA
Edward M. Kerschner, CFA, has over 35 years of experience in the securities industry, beginning his career in 1974 with Cowen & Co. He joined PaineWebber in 1982 as Chief Investment Strategist and Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee. Upon the UBS AG acquisition of Paine Webber in 2000, Mr. Kerschner was the Chief Global Strategist for UBS Investment Research through 2003. In 2004 Mr. Kerschner joined Citibank where he served as the Chief Investment Officer for Citi Investment Research and the Chief Investment Strategist for Citi Global Wealth Management through 2009.
In 2009 Mr. Kerschner founded E.M. Kerschner, LLC — “The Thematic Research Group,” and, following the merger of Citi Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley, continued as a Senior Strategy Consultant to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and as a member of the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Global Investment Committee through 2013. In October 2013 Mr. Kerschner joined Emerging Global Advisors as Vice Chairman, and became a partner in EGA LLC.
Since 2001, Mr. Kerschner has also been Adjunct Professor of Finance at New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Since 2005 Mr. Kerschner has been a member of the Board of Overseers and the Finance Committee of the Board of New York University, Stern School of Business.
Institutional Investor magazine has called
Mr. Kerschner "one of the deans of thematic investing." As Mr. Kerschner explains it, thematic investing analyzes how demographic, technological and political trends will affect the economy and the financial markets, and identifies businesses, traditional and alternative investments, market sectors and individual securities that will benefit.
Mr. Kerschner received a B.S. degree from the New York University School of Engineering and Science and an M.B.A. degree from the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Mr. Kerschner has been called “a serious student of the relationships in the financial markets who has used his investment models to make some seriously good calls.”1 While the financial community has found fault with some “Wall Street gurus (who) often shroud their predictions in enough mist that they later can claim they were right, no matter what happens”2, Mr Kerschner has been credited for being “unusually blunt.”3 In that regard, Mr. Kerschner “won points with investors by turning strongly negative on stocks before the 1987 stock crash.”4 It was later noted that, “as stocks soared, just before the plunge, a few analysts saw signs crying ‘sell!’...With the precision of a seismograph, Mr. Kerschner's indicators showed the stock market was headed for a fall.”5
Mr Kerschner, whose quantitative approach to analyzing the market “has a strong track record,”6 has won “plaudits for expert stock market timing,”7 and has been called the “Best Market Timer.”8 One study noted that “a decade of results throws cold water on the notion that strategists exhibit any special ability to time the markets. . . . To be sure, Edward Kerschner of PaineWebber Group Inc. has a knack for timing.”9
Mr. Kerschner has been called “the true visionary of the great bull market of the ’90s. Consider: Kerschner called the 1987 stock market correction . . . . During the 1991 recession, he argued that consumers would start spending again, and he recognized early on that baby boomers would start saving for retirement and that there would be a ‘big shift’ into equities. Last October (1998), in the midst of the correction, he was one of the few strategists who said the market would rebound from its lows. Even his own brokers were questioning his bullishness, and there were rumblings around his office that perhaps Kerschner had lost his touch. But he stuck to his guns and kept telling people to buy, claiming he had never seen as good an opportunity.”10 At the end of the 1990s, it was noted that “Ed Kerschner has been consistently correct about the direction of this market for more than a decade now . . .”11
Mr. Kerschner has also been called “one of the deans of thematic investing.”12 To explain the concept of thematic investing, a leading business publication posed a question: “So what good are strategists, anyway—apart from their roles as firm spokesperson and TV talking head? Well, the good ones—the really good ones—can often point to specific stock groups that will shine over the long haul. And the strategist who does it best is Ed Kerschner of Paine Webber.”13
Over the years, his thematic approach to investing has won the support of clients. In 1998, it was noted that “as [Kerschner] anticipated, the ‘gorillas’ are increasingly dominant in what has become a largely big-cap market. And the consumer recovery he championed has, as one supporter puts it, ‘played out in spades.’ Kerschner rightly backed information-age technology stocks and was selective on Internet ventures. ‘Ed's been so consistently right,’ says one client admiringly, ‘it's been fun to watch him work.’”14 In 1999, another client commented that “He's always trying to get a little more deep than just the surface stuff. He's great for thematic investing,” citing Kerschner's work on such concepts as the technology revolution and the country's aging population in major research reports.15
Some observers said that Mr. Kerschner “really earned his stripes . . . when he called the top in the Nasdaq back in March (2000)”16 Another commentator noted that Kerschner's remarks in his market commentary of March 12, 2000 were “remarkably prescient,”17 noting the extreme disparity in valuations among smokestack America, established technology companies and the “new new industrials.” “What’s impressive isn’t so much that Kerschner turned out to be right…but, his reasoning is persuasive.”18
1. June 1985, Wall $treet Week's Louis Rukeyser
2. The Wall Street Journal (7/31/96)
3. The Wall Street Journal (7/31/96)
4. The Wall Street Journal (7/31/96)
5. The New York Times (11/8/87)
6. The Wall Street Journal (7/31/96)
7. The Wall Street Journal (3/12/92)
8. The Wall Street Journal (7/31/91)
9. The Wall Street Journal (1/30/97)
10. Smart Money (7/99)
11. CNN Moneyline Newshour (10/23/00)
12. Institutional Investor, October 2000
13. Fortune Magazine (7/24/00)
14. Institutional Investor (October 1998)
15. Institutional Investor (October 1999)
16. CNN Moneyline Newshour (10/23/00)
17. Smart Money (1/16/01)
18. Smart Money (1/16/01)