James River Capital: Approaches to Better Leadership

Founded in 1986 and initially going by the name KP Futures Management Corp, James River Capital has its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. The firm previously served as a variant arm of Kidder, Peabody, and Co., later developing into a separate investment company in 1995. This change came as a result of two officials of the department, Paul Saunders and Kevin Brandt securing the firm from Kidder, at the time Paine Webber purchased Kidder.


The firm as currently constituted lists as an investment consultant with the SEC, as well as a Commodity Trading Consultant and CFTC Commodity Pool Operator. By July, 2018, the firm had in the region of $570 million under administration. Paul H Saunders is the current chairman and Chief Executive of the new firm, while Kevin M Brandt is the President, with the firm serving a customer base around the United States.


The firm views leadership as a branch of both science and art, skill is required to develop and manage a team effectively. Adjustments to leadership approach can result in rewards on the time and effort spent. According to research, three alterations result arise from better leadership approaches. The first approach indicates supporting the team rather than leading it, with companies like Facebook having managed to shift the mentality of their organizations using this method. This change, in turn, has altered the leadership interaction with the team as well as roles approach. In exercising slight modifications significant impacts are realized, sometimes the small changes are equated to just wordings.


Research has shown a significant 85% of employees withhold responses to their superiors as a way to avoid retrospective action. Limited communication works against creativity, originality, cooperation, and involvement between the firm and its employees. The research resulted in google coining the term “psychological safety” referring to what management teams should strive to achieve. Any operation should aim to ensure there is a free flow of information to ward off problems, difficulties, and to provide for improvements. The research recommends encouragement and accommodation of growth, while at the same time appraising progress. It also emphasizes the provision of a feedback mechanism in meetings.


There is a need to remove hindrances of team member growth. Observations of this handicap are in meeting settings, where it is essential to have a list of attendees and note their contributions. A proactive stance can then be taken to engage the members that make little to no contributions with an aim of getting their input on matters. However, discussions have to flow naturally without seeming to be pushing for their comments. Primary to this approach is the creation of an comfortable and enabling environment where everyone feels appreciated and valued by the organization. Learn more: https://paulsaundersjrcc.wordpress.com/


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