A passion for performance…
Our founder, David Spaulding, had no ambition of starting a company. While working on his MBA in the late 1970s he took a “marketing for the entrepreneur” course, but only because he liked the professor. But in December 1989, while working at a NYC-based investment advisor, he received a Christmas gift from a consultant who worked for him: Tony Robbin’s Unlimited Power 30-day program. Dave hadn’t heard of Tony, but committed to listen to the program. And on January 1, 1990 he began doing just that. Within two weeks he realized that he should be running his own firm.
And so, he began working on a business plan. In July, while still working for the advisor, he was contacted to be the “industry expert” on a software development project, and so he quit his job and started TSG, Inc. His initial plans were to provide technology and operational consulting to the investment industry, which would address all aspects of asset management, including portfolio accounting and trade order management.
But in 1992, just as the AIMR-PPS® were becoming a reality, he realized that another opportunity existed: to offer verification services for these new standards. At his prior firm, Dave designed and oversaw the development of a performance measurement system, and was responsible for the performance measurement function, so he had a background to draw upon.
In 1993, seeing increased interest from many to gain insights into the status of the standards, he launched the first survey to uncover important information about its acceptance and implementation: this was the beginning of TSG’s research services.
In 1997 he wrote his first book on performance measurement, because he was aware of the need for guidance in many aspects of the profession. Shortly thereafter, he decided to launch The Journal of Performance Measurement®.
The following year, 1998, Patrick Fowler joined the firm. Patrick led the effort to see what other services the industry might want to see. As a result of this study, the firm launched its formal training program, as well as the Performance Measurement Forum.
As a result of this research, we also learned that the industry had interest in a certification program for performance measurement professionals. And so, Patrick and Dave began work on this. However, within a few months we learned that AIMR was doing the same thing, so we decided to back away from this effort. After several years of no progress on it, however, the firm, through the Performance Measurement Forum, created a non-profit corporation and formed a “blue ribbon committee” to develop the certification. But once again, after several months of work, we learned that the CFA Institute was going to develop a program. And so, we decided to discontinue our work, and to turn our work product over to them. We continue to support the CIPM program.
In late 2002, Dave’s older son, Christopher Spaulding, joined the firm to head up its sales efforts. We wanted someone dedicated to this effort, and because of Chris’ prior work, personality, and drive, he was a perfect choice.
A few months after Chris joined, his younger brother, Douglas Spaulding, came on board, to assume the role of editor for the Journal. Doug had just graduated from college, with a minor in English, and we felt he had the basis for this position: we were right.
The year 2003 saw the introduction of the Performance Measurement, Attribution & Risk (PMAR) conference: which has become the leading performance measurement conference in the U.S. This was followed in 2010 with PMAR Europe. Both events are held annually, and both have garnered a great deal of attention, respect, and following, for its speakers, contents, and innovations.
The following year, 2004, Patrick’s sister, Jaime Fowler Puerschner came on board. With the firm’s conferences, training and forums, we were hosting many, many events, and needed someone dedicated to this function. Jaime had expressed interest in event planning, and has since obtained the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification.
In 2005, John Simpson joined the firm, to head up our west coast office. We had known John for several years, and respected his industry expertise and accomplishments. We also liked him a great deal, and knew he’d fit well within our culture.
Building off the success of the Performance Measurement Forum, TSG launched the Asset Owner Roundtable in 2014 to focus on the unique needs and challenges of pension funds, endowments, foundations and other asset owners.