James M. Stevens Jr.
Deputy Chief Investment Officer
James Stevens serves as Deputy Chief Investment Officer of Sapere. In this capacity, he works directly with Scott Trease and Jack Scott on macro investment allocations for Sapere’s portfolios. Specifically, Mr. Stevens helps to formulate, research, implement, and manage investment ideas within the context of an absolute return construct.
Prior to Sapere, Mr. Stevens was the Chief Financial Officer of the Fuqua family office in Atlanta, GA for more than a decade. He focused on investment, tax, and risk management issues. He coordinated internal and external professionals on matters such as estate planning, insurance, entity structuring, derivatives trading, charitable planning, credit facilities, and tax compliance. He played an active role in the establishment of strategic and tactical asset allocation and was involved with the day-to-day implementation and monitoring of the allocation. He was responsible for the co-management of the family’s hedge fund of funds portfolio. Mr. Stevens continuously monitored the underlying style/strategy allocations of the funds to maintain a consistent risk profile in accordance with the fund’s investment policy. Mr. Stevens worked with the family patriarch until his death, and thereafter with the son of the patriarch doing due diligence on fund managers and on direct investment deals. Mr. Stevens oversaw the accounting, tax planning and tax compliance for the family’s myriad of entities (including corporations, partnerships, complex trusts, foundations, etc.). Mr. Stevens routinely evaluated, and when appropriately implemented, various option strategies that served to mitigate risk for investment positions both at the individual level and at the consolidated family level.
In regards to real estate, Mr. Stevens oversaw the ground-up construction of a multi-million dollar vacation residence, the build-out of a small office building, and has been involved with various renovations of personal residences. Mr. Stevens worked with architects and builders during the bidding process and monitored costs to budgeted estimates throughout these real estate projects. Additionally, Mr. Stevens managed the operations of a 1,500-acre farm for the family. He led a significant private equity transaction from the initial start-up and funding phase, through four years of operations as an active board member, which culminated in the profitable sale of the business to a public company.
Mr. Stevens also worked as the Corporate Controller for a multi-billion AUM hedge fund that focused on fixed income markets. He managed all aspects of tax compliance and tax planning for the management company, onshore/offshore feeder funds, and the managing partners. He prepared cash flow planning reports related to the management company that utilized dynamic forecasting of the investment portfolio so as to evaluate various management and incentive fee payout scenarios. Mr. Stevens conceived, implemented, and managed a tax-advantageous offshore entity to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales/use taxes. Mr. Stevens also conducted “personal CFO” responsibilities for the managing partners.
Mr. Stevens is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Taxation degree. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni award in 2003. Upon graduating from university, Mr. Stevens was a tax and business valuation consultant with a regional public accounting firm for 3+ years. In public accounting, Mr. Stevens worked extensively on individual income and tax planning issues, including family partnership structuring and valuation.