Citizen-Soldier is money in the bank
September 14, 2013
Kevin McCreadie, president and CEO of PNC Capital Advisors, says he wishes he had more employees like Col. Martin Schulz, commander 3rd Brigade, 100th Division, an Army Reserve command headquartered at Fort Totten N.Y.
Schulz is managing director of PNC's International Equity Fund in his civilian capacity. The fund was ranked No. 1 out of 62 fund families in the world equity category for its 2012 performance by the financial publication Barron's. It currently has a five-star rating from Morningstar, an independent organization that assigns ratings.
Schulz said his military leadership skills along with language and intercultural skills he developed while working in the Civil Affairs and Military Information Support Operations career fields have helped him achieve success as an international investor.
"I'm usually in Europe or Asia at least once a quarter," said Schulz who's been a portfolio manager of international equities for approximately 16 years and a Soldier for 26. "Cross-cultural and interpersonal communication is something I spent many years doing in the military and is very helpful to me currently…as we interview and speak with investors."
Civil Affairs and MISO Soldiers function internationally. They're expected to understand what's important to the cultures in which they function and they're expected to know what influences the population. For example, Civil Affairs officers facilitate relationships between the U.S. military and the people of the nations in which those forces operate.
"When I was in Afghanistan, and also in Haiti where you have to speak with local decision makers and coordinate how you're going to help them, that's like sitting down with a marketing manager or maybe a CEO or CFO of a company," Schulz said. "In those meetings, I have to try and understand what their strategy is, and at the same time be very cognizant as well as respectful of their culture. The Army has provided an understanding of some of these cross-cultural communications issues."
"If you're some bright eyed bushy eyed kid out of Harvard, even if you're the smartest in the world, and you go over to Japan, where they view Americans as being very direct, and you're in a meeting with some CEO and you're pounding away asking, 'Why are you doing this?' They're going to shut down and not answer you," Schulz said.
McCreadie said that Schulz's military background, his experience as well as his discipline makes him a terrific resource in the international market.
"To be able to invest in some of those markets and be able to navigate through all the turmoil takes someone with in-depth understanding of some of the areas…which most of us couldn't begin to appreciate," said McCreadie. "PNC has an outreach effort to our veterans because we appreciate all they do, but especially so in the case of Martin."
Schulz's advice for young people looking to join is that the military provides many potential avenues of learning and skill development. It's an important factor in helping to grow the civilian labor force as well as the military.