Research Affiliates always seemed so isolated in Newport Beach, California. It may be the hometown of the vast Pimco fixed-income business, but otherwise you need to go up to San Francisco or over the Rockies to find the next serious fund management players.

But in the age of coronavirus, nowhere is isolated. Most of us still associate Research Affiliates with its bombastic founder, Rob Arnott. It is no accident that its most famous product, the Rafi, is often called the Rob Arnott fundamental index. But the business is now run by Katy Sherrerd, who spent 19 years building up the CFA (Chartered Financial Analysts) Institute into the leading asset management research body in the world. CFA is the most prestigious acronym in investment, comparable with SJs (Society of Jesus or the Jesuits) in the Catholic Church...

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