Alumni Spotlight - Josh Bennett '93
Josh Bennett is a 1993 graduate of Lexington Christian Academy. After graduating from LCA, he earned a B.A. in economics from Wheaton College and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He is currently the Managing Director at Weatherbie Capital, LLC. Josh served on the LCA Board of Trustees from 2004-2011.
What brought you to LCA?
I arrived at LCA only six months after moving back to the U.S. from Spain, where my Dad had spent the previous 4-5 years working with churches along the southern coast in and around cities like Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Mijas. While I was born in the U.S. and lived here until I was 7, the years in Spain were an eye-opening experience that made me very comfortable with travel, languages, and different cultures from a young age.
How did LCA shape your faith?
The two institutions that most shaped my faith were LCA and Camp Brookwoods Deer / Run. It is no coincidence that these are the two organizations in which I’ve taken an active role as a Trustee over the past 10-15 years. While I came to LCA with a child’s growing faith, the experiences at LCA truly helped me make my faith my own. Bible classes provided an excellent foundation, but the experiences I had in New Life and on Chorale Tour with James Bergin (former LCA music director) had a deep impact on my faith as I was challenged to sing and share openly in prisons and even the Topsfield Fair. Teachers at LCA, like Jake Hoffman, helped me see the fingerprints of God in the complexities of chemistry and physics, while Lori Johnson pointed out God’s beauty in literature and poetry. I have no doubt that LCA shaped my faith through these experiences and through strong academics that didn’t shy away from infusing learning with a faith-based perspective. LCA can provide a TRULY liberal education, since it has the freedom to educate the student fully without having to avoid the obvious intersections of faith and learning.
What are your current responsibilities at your work?
I work as a Managing Director at Weatherbie Capital, a boutique investment manager focused on small and mid-cap investing right here in Boston. Essentially, I am part of a team that is entrusted with money from institutions and individuals. We invest that pool of money in a way that strives to outperform the market indexes through the cycle, within risk parameters given to us by our clients. My specific responsibilities are to serve as a portfolio manager and research analyst on two different funds: a small-cap growth fund that invests primarily in rapid-growth US-based companies, and a hedge fund that invests in similar companies with the added flexibility to use financial options and short positions. My day to day activity is a bit like a funnel: I search thousands of companies to meet with hundreds of companies to analyze ~200 companies and come up with the best 60-100 investments I can find at any given time. This involves meeting with the CEO/CFO of public companies (often at their headquarters), building financial models that project the earnings of those companies, evaluating their strategy, comparing my estimated value of the stock with what that stock sells for in the market, and investing in the best opportunities I can find. If you’ve watched “Shark Tank”, it’s a lot like that except I’m investing in companies you would probably know.
How did you get into this field?
I was first exposed to Investment Management through my Grandfather, George Bennett, who passed away last March at the ripe age of 102. He was a Godly man who had a tremendous impact: he loved the Lord, he loved his family, and he enjoyed his work in investments. When I was around 6-7 my Mom told me that if I gave Grandpa a quarter, he could “turn it in to” 50c in a year. I was a patient investor, and a year later (after I reminded him) he gave me a whole dollar! It seemed like magic, and I wanted to know more.
I left LCA focused on an initial career in science, thanks to Jake Hoffman (current LCA science teacher, LCA grad, Wheaton grad). My Senior Project at LCA was with Ford Motor Company, and I started at Wheaton as a Physics major with hopes of someday designing cars and eventually getting my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) to transition to the investment business. My first exposure to economics after my Sophomore year at Wheaton changed everything, and I graduated with an Econ major and Math minor and the strong desire to go straight into investments.
I had two key internships in college that helped me get a job at Fidelity from Wheaton. In fact, an LCA grad was my first connection to Fidelity. I completed a series of exams to be awarded my CFA Charter, worked to get my MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and continued in the investment business, moving from researching High Yield Bonds at Fidelity to researching stocks at MFS and now small/mid cap growth stocks at Weatherbie Capital.
How does your faith shape your work-life?
I was reminded recently by another LCA grad, Marv Wilson (LCA ’53 and Biblical Studies Professor at Gordon College) that work-life-faith were never intended to be as separate as we try to make them. The Jewish roots of our Christian faith are well grounded in the notion that work, life, and faith are all intertwined. I really strive to live this out in my daily life. My faith shapes who I am, and is a prime motivator in pushing me to give it my all every day in the work that I do, since I’m working as unto the Lord. That being said, no matter how extraordinary (or not extraordinary) my work “output”, if I neglect my wife Sarah (LCA ’94) or my two kids, I’m really not doing my work to God’s glory at all. I hope that people who know me at work and those who know me at home or in other contexts would see a consistency of who I am, regardless of the situational context. That is living with character and integrity, to God’s glory!
What are some challenges in your job?
Every minute of every work day, as long as the stock market is open, I know exactly how I’m doing in terms of my performance that day, that month, and that year. That’s a level of stress that energizes some, and may overwhelm others. I’m energized by that environment. The challenge of “beating the market” year in and year out, for the good of clients that are entrusting their savings, endowments, and pension money to us, is a very strong motivator.
Can you brag a bit about your achievements?
Funny thing is I don’t really think about my achievements in the context of my work. I enjoy my work, and the fact that I’m still in this performance-driven business after 14 years means I’ve done something right in terms of managing our clients’ investments well. However, I’m careful to not be defined by my work. When I think about my achievements, I’m much more focused on the amazing blessing of partnering with Sarah over 19 years of marriage, raising two amazing kids for whom faith is important, and recently taking the bold step of helping launch a new campus with Grace Chapel in Wilmington, MA. Achievements are meaningless if you can’t take them with you. Seeing our work together come to fruition and seeing God remain faithful through challenging times is the greatest achievement of all. If we get to the end and hear “Well done, good and faithful servant,” I’m convinced that any other achievement will pale in comparison.