Scott Minerd, the global chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners, has died after suffering a heart attack during a regular workout, the Chicago based financial firm announced said on Thursday.
A former competitive bodybuilder, Minerd joined Guggenheim shortly after its founding in 1999. He became a well-known commentator on markets, with pronouncements on macroeconomic trends that were closely tracked by investors and on Twitter, where his followers numbered 169,000. He was considered one of the great bond investors of the past few decades.
Minerd, who was 63, was a high-profile face of Guggenheim as it transformed itself from the private investment office of the wealthy Guggenheim family into one of America’s biggest money managers with $285bn in assets. He was also a key adviser to US central bankers as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets.
“I have known Scott for over 30 years and we were partners much of that time. Scott was a key innovator and thought leader who was instrumental in building Guggenheim Investments into the global business it is today,” Mark Walter, chief executive and a founder of Guggenheim Partners said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed by all. My deepest condolences are with his husband, family and loved ones.”
The FT reported in 2017 that Minerd and Walters were engaged in a years-long power struggle over the direction of the firm they had built together, and had clashed heatedly over specific personnel decisions. The two came close to parting ways but ultimately decided they were better off working together.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Minerd attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and worked briefly at accountants Price Waterhouse. He then moved to Wall Street, doing stints at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley as a bond trader and then working closely with Bob Diamond, later Barclays chief executive, while both were at Credit Suisse First Boston. Minerd then retired to Southern California in his 30s.
In the late 1990s, he met Walter, who was running an insurance and investment firm, Liberty Hampshire, which would eventually become the foundation for Guggenheim Partners.
Guggenheim, known for its secretive culture, grew into a Wall Street powerhouse featuring not just Minerd but also Todd Boehly, now CEO of Eldridge Industries and co-owner of Chelsea Football Club in the UK and Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers. Later the firm would move into investment banking with the star adviser to top executives, Alan Schwartz, leading its Guggenheim Securities business.
Minerd was a fixture of the Los Angeles finance scene and a friend and acolyte of Michael Milken. Married to Eloy Mendez, he was a long-time resident of Santa Monica but had recently bought two Florida condominiums. Minerd was also a major benefactor of the Union Rescue Mission, Los Angeles’s oldest and largest emergency shelter, and he served on the board of overseers for the Hoover Institution, a free market conservative think-tank.
Body building was one of Minerd’s greatest passions. After moving to Venice Beach, Los Angeles, he joined Gold’s Gym, known for being the mecca for weightlifters and home to the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. At his peak, Minerd could bench-press 495 pounds 20 times and competed in the Super Heavyweight division, according to a Bloomberg interview.
“Scott was a fixed-income master — brilliant at deciphering intermediate and long-term changes in interest rates. He was a dear friend and supporter. I will miss him,” wrote Bill Gross, the founder of bond-focused investment house Pimco.