John Hackney
Chief Compliance Officer & Operations Manager

As one of the longest-tenured employees of CornerCap, John has shepherded CornerCap employees and clients alike through the constantly evolving regulatory landscape of investment management for over 25 years.  He has also developed a deep working knowledge of client needs, which also continue to evolve over time.  He keeps CornerCap’s policies and procedures up to date, and he regularly trains all CornerCap employees on best practices for maintaining a “culture of compliance.”

Education

BA – University of Virginia
MAR – Yale Divinity School

How do you spend your time outside of the office?

I have a life-long interest in medieval chant, medieval and renaissance polyphony, and chamber music of any period.  Years ago, I provided harpsichord and organ continuo for a few amateur groups.  Today, my efforts are more academic, and I am involved in the online publication of music and text associated with the ‘Use of Sarum,’ a form of Christian liturgy widespread in England before the Reformation.  I am also an inveterate film buff, and I take in at least 100 films every year, from blockbusters and Hollywood fluff to silent and classic and foreign film.  I also enjoy a wide variety of cuisines and all sorts of out-of-the-way restaurants, but I especially enjoy cooking at home.  I also love architecture and visual art, and I often plan vacations around an architectural monument I’ve never seen or a great exhibit that brings together some of my favorite works or artists.

What was your first job, and how did it influence your ultimate career path?

My first jobs were all some sort of library assignment, from cataloguing new acquisitions to re-shelving returned books.  But the job I remember the most was doing data entry for Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), an international non-profit organization that documents extant historical sources of music all over the world.  I was involved in a project to catalog music ephemera from the Library of Congress, which was fascinating on its own.  But the job involved typing the catalog entries into one of the networks that eventually became the internet, which at the time was exciting indeed. I can’t draw a direct line from those early jobs to my later career in the financial sector, but diligent research, thoughtful analysis, and methodical record-keeping (with lots of footnotes) are as important in compliance as they are in any academic endeavor.

What’s your favorite book, and how did it shape your thinking?

I read widely on the topic of religion in Western Europe from the Carolingian Renaissance to the Reformation, all of which is part of my ongoing research in that field.  But some of my favorite books involve the history of food, diet, and dining.  Two books in particular changed my entire understanding of food: Eating Right in the Renaissance by Ken Albala, and Domestication of Plants in the Old World, by Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf.  Those books are absolute page-turners, with insights into the past that give a new perspective to our own foodways today.