An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

~ Benjamin Franklin

ASC’s latest news, insights & happenings


Market Review

2Q21 Market Review
1Q21 Market Review
4Q20 Market Review
3Q20 Market Review

Retirement Insights

4Q21 Retirement Insight
3Q21 Retirement Insight
2Q21 Retirement Insight
1Q21 Retirement Insight

Market Environment

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Special Reports
Investment Committee Governance in the Age of COVID-19
Wall Street vs Main Street Is the Decoupling of the Economy & the Stock Market Sustainable?
2019-2020 Frontlines


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Asset Allocators

May 11, 2021

Tune-in for an informative discussion about DEI and the heightened interest surrounding this topic over the last 12-18 months.

David Gilmore, Deputy Chief investment Officer at the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Scott Bissett, Director at Case Western Reserve University’s Investment Office

Next Generation DC Plans: Decumulation Phase & Retirement Income
March 31, 2021
What happens after saving the proverbial nest egg and it is time to collect? How do you take a lump sum and covert it into income? In some respects, accumulating that retirement balance is easier than managing the payout to yourself. Listen to a brief history of retirement plans, the passing of ERISA, the evolution of DC Plans, the recent SECURE Act, and explore Guaranteed and Non-Guaranteed withdrawal options.

Stacy Heistand, CFP, AIF, QPA, QKA, QPFC
Sr. Consultant – Asset Strategy Consultants

Adam Meehan, Esq,
Partner – Smith & Downey, P.A.

Is the Endowment Model Right for My Endowment
February 12, 2021

2021 Global Capital Market Outlook
January 21, 2021

Company News

Juan M. Buendia joins as Senior Client Advisor to Institutions and Families

Baltimore, MD (April 1, 2021) – Asset Strategy Consultants (ASC), an independent investment advisory firm, today announces the deepening of its institutional investment office and private wealth practices with the hiring of Juan M. Buendia as Senior Client Advisor.  Juan brings over 30 years of global client experience and investment perspective to ASC, which today has more than $8 billion in institutional and family assets under advisement.

Prior to joining ASC, Juan advised endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, central banks and family offices worldwide and directed client groups at leading and pioneering global investing firms such as BlackRock and Brinson Partners in New York.  Most recently, he headed the Baltimore office for Hirtle Callaghan, an outsourced investment office specialist firm.

Juan’s hire is another step in ASC’s strategic and deliberate expansion into discretionary investment solutions tailored to institutions and families.  That effort was formalized in late 2019 with the hiring of Andy Conner, a former Deputy and Interim Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at the Johns Hopkins University Office of Investment Management, as the firm’s new CIO.  Later in early 2020, ASC acquired Belay Group, a Baltimore-based private wealth management firm led by investment veteran, Tony King.

“Juan’s arrival strengthens our value proposition of servicing clients with knowledgeable and seasoned professionals,” said Bobby Merrick, Principal at Asset Strategy Consultants’ Hunt Valley headquarters. “Additionally, Juan’s expertise for growing businesses will prove instrumental as we expand our discretionary investment services offering.”

“I am very excited to be joining the team at Asset Strategy Consultants,” said Juan Buendia. “ASC has an enviable list of long-tenured clients and the firm’s response to the growing interest in discretionary investment management is unique and impressive.  I am also particularly pleased to be joining a firm with a deep client service and consultative culture.”

Asset Strategy Consultants Acquires Belay Group

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Asset Strategy Consultants (ASC), an independent investment management consulting firm with more than $10 billion under advisement, has expanded their Wealth Management division with the acquisition of Baltimore-based RIA firm Belay Group and the appointment of its president, Tony King, as head of Private Wealth. Tony brings more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry to ASC, which specializes in customized consulting solutions to fiduciaries of endowments, foundations, retirement plans, operating reserves, and private wealth.

ASC’s acquisition of Belay Group and expansion of Wealth Management continues their recent efforts to enhance services offered to clients. Just last year ASC hired Andy Conner, former CIO and deputy CIO for the Johns Hopkins Office of Investment Management, to broaden their Outsourced Investment Office business. ASC Private Wealth uses the experience of their investment team and the tools available to service endowments and foundations and apply them to private wealth clients.

Prior to founding Belay Group, Tony served as a Managing Director with Wells Fargo for 21 years. He is a CFA Charterholder and holds an MBA in finance from American University.

“I am thrilled to be joining Asset Strategy Consultants,” said King. “ASC’s independent open architecture model will be a great advantage for existing and future private wealth clients. Belay Group is the ideal fit for ASC as we continue building on our wealth management offerings.”

“We are excited to expand our expertise and practice with the addition of Belay Group and Tony King,” said Bobby Merrick, Principal at ASC’s Hunt Valley headquarters. “This is the second major hire we have made in the past year. Tony’s leadership in private wealth enhances the industry-leading financial services we deliver every day to our clients. We look forward to growing our business together.”

Baltimore-Based Asset Strategy Consultants Expands Leadership Team, Names Anne B. Hernandez as First Female Partner

Baltimore, MD (February 20, 2020) – Asset Strategy Consultants (ASC), an independent investment management firm, today announced that Anne B. Hernandez MBA, CFA, is the company’s first female partner. Specializing in customized consulting solutions to fiduciaries of endowments, foundations, retirement plans, operating reserves and private wealth, ASC has over $10.5 billion assets under management. A Chartered Financial Analyst, Anne has over 30 years of experience in investment management and has led research on traditional managers and alternative assets including private equity, hedge funds, and private debt.

When Anne joined ASC in 2004, the company had two analysts with $2 billion under advisement. Since transitioning from Investment Analyst to Senior Research Analyst and now Principal, Anne has witnessed the firm’s growth – both in terms of assets and its research team.

Prior to joining ASC, Anne was the Director of Client Service for large institutional clients at Legg Mason Capital Management and Assistant Portfolio Manager for Investment Counselors of Maryland, where she helped manage institutional and high-net-worth accounts. Anne graduated Cum Laude from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and holds an MBA in Finance from Loyola College.

“It has been an honor serving our valued clients for the past 15 years as part of Asset Strategy Consultants,” said Anne Hernandez. “As a member of the ASC Leadership Team, I look forward to ensuring that we continue to deliver in-depth investment research in helping our clients achieve their investment goals.”

“Anne’s dedication and work has guided Asset Strategy Consultants to become one of the most trusted, independent investment management consulting firms,” said Bobby Merrick, Principal at Asset Strategy Consultants. “She has been instrumental in growing our in-house research team and analytical capabilities so that we can provide our clients with expert oversight and advice that is customized to meet their financial goals.”

Asset Strategy Consultants Expands Outsourced CIO Services

Baltimore, MD (November 18, 2019) – Asset Strategy Consultants (ASC), an independent investment management consulting firm, today announced a key expansion of its outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services with the appointment of Andy Conner as the company’s Chief Investment Officer. Specializing in customized consulting solutions to fiduciaries of endowments and foundations, retirement plans and insurance companies, ASC has more than $10 billion under advisement. Andy has twenty years of investment experience, is a CFA Charterholder and was named to Chief Investment Officer magazine’s 2016 Forty Under Forty list.

The OCIO market is large and rapidly growing. In 2017, assets under full or partial discretion by an OCIO firm grew to $1.56 trillion. In the next five years, OCIO assets are projected to increase by $671 billion. Asset Strategy Consultants understands the increasing complexity and challenges that confront many institutional investors in overseeing their investment portfolios and sponsored retirement plans.

Andy spent 12 years as a senior member of the Johns Hopkins University Office of Investment Management, where he held leadership positions including Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Interim Vice President of Investments & Chief Investment Officer. While he was there, the Office of Investment Management oversaw $7 billion of University and Hospital financial assets, including endowment funds, the University’s operating cash and ERISA-qualified retirement plans. With first-hand experience employing the endowment model of investing, he has extensive experience investing globally in public equity, fixed income, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, real estate and real assets managers.

“Andy’s arrival is a watershed moment for ASC,” said Bobby Merrick, Principal at Asset Strategy Consultants’ Hunt Valley headquarters. “Through his experience at Johns Hopkins, Andy brings a wealth of knowledge in managing multiple billions of dollars of assets for the University and Hospital. His expertise will drive our growing outsourced CIO services and fill a pressing client need for fully discretionary consulting models.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Asset Strategy Consultants,” said Andy Conner. “ASC has a long history and a great reputation in investment consulting, and I look forward to leading the outsourced CIO services effort in delivering careful oversight and deep industry knowledge to our clients.”