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39 President of Famous Managed Futures Firm Tells All with Mike Harris of Campbell & Company – 1of2

“At the end of the day it’s about being correlated to the industry, but also being different so that we can justify our role in peoples’ portfolios.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)

This episode goes in-depth into the history of one of the most well-known managed futures firms in the world, Campbell & Company. We explore the beginnings of the company, how they have dealt with challenges a long the way and how they have succeeded to overcome them, as well as the current state of the company and the systematic models their products are built on. Our guest is current President of the company, Mike Harris, and you’ll hear about how he entered the industry as well as his path to becoming Campbell’s President.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to this discussion and please welcome our guest, Mike Harris.

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In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How Mike explains what he does.
  • How his grandfather gave him money to invest in his first stock as a child.
  • How his interest in the financial markets started young and how he structured his whole education around working in this industry.
  • About his first job out of college.
  • About his time as a Futures Broker.

    “When I picked up the phone and it was a CTA calling wanting to buy 10-Year futures, I was wondering what’s happening systematically that’s causing them to want to put that trade on.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)

  • How he joined Campbell & Company in 2000, starting at the European Trading desk.
  • How he came to be President.
  • The story of how Keith Campbell started the firm in 1972.

    “One of the keys I think to Keith’s success and one of the things that makes him different from many of the other CTAs is that he was not a scientist.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)

  • The history of Campbell & Company.
  • How they dealt with drawdowns in 1994 and ’95.
  • Why Mike has always been an avid reader.

    “There are a lot of experiences that you can gain as an individual by learning from the mistakes of others through reading their stories.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)

  • How Campbell’s 2nd President, Bruce Cleland ran the business for 20 years and how I met him back in 1993.
  • What the company’s product offering looks like today.
  • How the company’s 130+ employees are organised.
  • How they outsource things on the technology side of the business.
  • What he looks for when adding staff to his research team.
  • How Mike builds a strong company culture.
  • How investors should make sense of the track record of Campbell & Co since they have such a long history.

    “If you want to be laser-focused on what that the portfolio is going to look like in the future, focusing on the last 3-5 years is probably most applicable.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)

  • Changes they have made to the trading models after 2007 and 2008.
  • The ways the company uses long term, medium term, and shorter term systems.

    “The fact that we have a 25% commitment to commodities is a real differentiator.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)

  • Where the company wants to grow and how big it wants to get.

Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:

This episode was sponsored by Swiss Financial Services:

Connect with Campbell & Company:

Visit the Website:

Call Campbell & Company: +1-800-698-7235

E-Mail Campbell & Company:

Follow Mike Harris on Linkedin

“I’m one of the few people in our industry who literally have been part of managed futures since the first day when I started on Wall Street.” – Mike Harris (Tweet)