Jack Gray has departed, but GMO might have found an equally colourful expert for its asset allocation team in the form of Edward Chancellor, a journalist, author and economic historian.

Chancellor has written columns and editorial commentaries for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, and is the author of books ‘Crunch Time for Credit’ and ‘Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation’. Ben Inker, the director of asset allocation at GMO, said he first met Chancellor after he spoke at a GMO client conference. “We were impressed with the work he had done,” Inker said. “In 2005 he wrote about the oncoming of the current financial crisis – he has been right about a lot of things.” In his role as researcher within the asset allocation team, Inker said Chancellor would be able to spend a couple of months at a time becoming an expert in a particular area of finance. “For most of us our day jobs get in the way of us ever being able to do that kind of in-depth research,” he said. “Chancellor will broaden our understanding of certain markets and help us to better capture valuation inefficiencies.” At the moment, Chancellor is investigating whether there are opportunities in Japanese real estate companies – attempting to explain why Japan has been hit hard by sub-prime fallout when there hasn’t been a property bubble in years. Prior to joining GMO, Chancellor worked as deputy U.S. editor for Breakingviews.com in New York.