Short Overview: Vikram Mansharamani
Global Trend-Setter and Lecturer, Harvard and Yale Universities, Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst
- Named #1 on Linkedin’s 10 Top Voices in Money & Finance for 2015 and 2016
- Teaches popular courses at Yale covering lessons in business ethics from the financial crisis
- Author of Boombustology, focusing on trends to spot unsustainable booms before the burst
- Shows audiences practical ways to spot financial opportunities and reduce risk
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Dr. Vikram Mansharamani is a global trend-watcher who shows audiences how to anticipate the future, manage risk, and spot opportunities. He first gained widespread attention with the release of his book Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst. Since then he’s gone on to show corporate leaders and investors how to look at the world differently in order to navigate today’s radical uncertainty. His strategies help them peer into the future on crucial areas like China, food, the global economy, Africa, housing, investing, financial cycles, energy, and much more. So valuable are his insights that LinkedIn named Vikram #1 on their 10 Top Voices for Money, Global Economics, and Finance for both 2015 and 2016. Worth magazine listed him on their “Power 100” list for 2017 – one of the 100 most powerful people in global finance.
Vikram believes that the future doesn’t have to surprise us – and won’t – if we regularly step away from our expertise and look at the world through multiple lenses. He calls this the generalist’s mindset. When encountering information that seems irrelevant most people think, “So what?!” Generalists think instead, “Isn’t that interesting,” and look to connect disparate dots. When they do, the conclusions they draw and decisions they make may be very different from the more narrow-focused “experts.” Vikram shows audiences practical ways to use this approach to spot opportunities and reduce risk.
From 2009 until 2017, Vikram was a Lecturer at Yale University where he taught three popular classes: “Financial Booms and Busts,” “Economic Inequality,” and “Adventures in Business Ethics.” He is now a Lecturer at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences where he teaches a course called “Humanity and Its Challenges.” His research is focused on navigating complex uncertainties and risk.
Vikram is also global equity investor with more than 20 years’ experience investing in public and private markets. He served as Managing Director of SDK Capital (and its predecessors) and today manages the Kelan Global Opportunities Fund, a global thematic investment partnership founded to exploit his generalist approach to developing market insights.
Vikram’s ideas and analysis has appeared in numerous online and offline media, including the PBS Newshour, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, YaleGlobal, The South China Morning Post, The Korea Times, The Khaleej Times, and The Daily Beast, among others. He also contributed the summary chapter for the book A Force for Good (2015) synthesizing lessons drawn from the collection of essays written by the world’s most prominent thinkers on the role of finance and capitalism in today’s increasingly interconnected and unequal world.
He is a frequently sought-after speaker by a wide range of organizations. And while corporations from virtually every industry have sought his insights, he continues to have a very strong following in the investment community. He regularly speaks with those focused on allocating large pools of capital. Audiences of sovereign wealth funds, family offices, endowments, foundations, and registered investment advisors have found tremendous value in his unconventional thinking.
As a consultant, Vikram helps clients analyze the business impact of global trends, with an emphasis on economic, political, and social risks that might generate instability and risk. He conducts many executive education seminars for senior leadership teams on how to integrate disparate (and seemingly contradictory) information into actionable analysis to drive business decisions. His thematic analysis and risk management is always focused on identifying opportunities within the risks.
He earned a Ph.D. and MS from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, an MS in Political Science from MIT, and a BA from Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He currently lives in Lexington, MA with his wife, daughter, son, 2 cats, and a golden retriever.
ZOOM OUT! – THE GENERALIST ADVANTAGE Every day, we are confronted with radical global uncertainty — new policies and regulations, the impact of populism and protectionism on global business, fluctuating commodity prices, shifting political influence, interest rate and currency risk, and a myriad of other trends. To cut through the noise and confusion, we have increasingly come to rely on hyper-specialized experts. This trend has helped us to solve important problems, but not without a cost. The result is that we live in a world that overvalues expertise and specialization. Has the pendulum swung too far? Vikram Mansharamani thinks it has – and it’s impacted our ability to manage risk, navigate disruption and uncover hidden opportunities.
GLOBALIZATION: RETURNING WITH A VENGEANCE? Political upheavals are signaling a widespread rejection of globalization. And it’s not just happening in the North Atlantic. Nationalist movements are popping up the world over. Meanwhile, global trade growth has been slowing. What’s driving these seismic shifts, and how should we navigate the great uncertainty they generate?
CONSUMPTION BOOM AHEAD Every day, the media trumpets warnings of a global economic slowdown. The price of oil and other commodities have crashed, damaging emerging and developed economies alike that depend on them to be high. In a world of persistently low interest rates and easy money, people have struggled to find good investments. The IMF has downgraded its global growth forecasts. And as populism and nationalism rise, globalization and free trade are in retreat.
THE END OF CHEAP FOOD Food is emerging as one of the future’s most volatile assets. Political, economic, climatic and societal change all factor into the equation. Vikram Mansharamani shows why the era of cheap food may soon be over and describes the geo-political and geo-economic ramifications of this possibility – from Wall Street to Pudong. The implications of land grabs, fertilizer availability, climate change, water scarcity, and price-related food (in)security will have profound impact on our world.
AVOID SURPRISES – SPOT BUBBLES BEFORE THEY BURST Vikram Mansharamani contends the ability to identify financial (and other) bubbles before they burst is easier if you step outside your expertise. Narrow focus can lead to tunnel vision. Instead, it’s best to zoom out and look through multiple lenses – to art markets, architecture, popular culture, economics, politics and more. In this speech Vikram empowers audiences with practical tools and assures them that they don’t need to be an expert to effectively anticipate the future.
Vikram was fantastic. He’s such a nice man. Really personable and genuine. Our conference attendees loved his presentation – and I mean loved! I suspect that he will be the highest rated speaker at this event. I will share the results of our conference evaluation with you when it is ready.
Vikram gives a dynamic presentation that pulls disparate trends together to make compelling and thought-provoking arguments about future outcomes and investment opportunities.
Vikram, I would like to share with the news that we are still receiving the best reviews from many attendees in regards of your conference, among them, one of the most prominent economists of Colombia. Your presentation was certainly a success and we will surely want to see you in Colombia on upcoming opportunities.
Vikram is a wonderful speaker. He engaged the audience from his opening comments and kept them entertained and informed until the end. The Q and A session was equally beneficial. He handled all the questions with colorful concise answers and encouraged everyone to participate. The audience clearly enjoyed the presentation and gave him great reviews in the survey. I would certainly recommend him to any group that needs insight into Bubbles and the Global Economy.