What made you decide to go into the financial sector? Did you have any other vocation?
I originally started working at a golf club after university but wanted to fully utilise my degree in Business and Accounting, so fortunately I moved to BNY Mellon in Manchester, starting out as a Fund Accountant here in the UK. I was never going to make it as a golf pro and had to start paying my student loan back!
How should investors orient their portfolios in this environment?
Unfortunately I’m unable to provide advice, but from working closely with clients it has been clear that historical correlations across asset classes didn’t really hold up in 2022, so diversification and investing for the long term remain key.
Last year was one of the worst periods on record for markets, amid rampant inflation, geopolitical conflict and dramatic monetary tightening. With much of the world economy potentially sliding into recession, investors are likely going to have to gird themselves for returns that are subdued in 2023, but time will tell! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
How is the relationship with your clients in times of market crisis? How do you manage emotions?
In volatile times, it is not always about distributing funds, but just being available for clients and supporting them with any queries or requests, trying to help them understand market movements and dynamics impacting performance etc. Building trust with clients takes time, I’ve been at LGIM 12 years and I’m still developing relationships with clients I met on day one. From my perspective, being able to listen, communication and transparency are key.
Give us an example of a fund that you have held for a long time in your portfolios and why.
As something different (obviously a part of a diversified overall set of holdings) I invested in our Hydrogen ETF when it launched at the beginning of 2021, the potential this has to help the climate and wean us of fossil fuels is huge, it’s a long term holding as performance so far has been challenging. This in combination with exposure to ETFs investing in other major thematic trends like Cyber Security and Robotics.
What differences do you observe in the way new generations invest?
There is a greater focus on the immediate need for information but in a way you can access it on the move and be able to read things offline. Investors of all different shapes and sizes like to be able see and easily understand what they are invested in, but also having the ability to analyse the underlying dynamics behind different asset classes. Its about having things at your fingertips when you want and need it, obviously that’s where technology comes in like having an iPad etc but having lost 2 iPads whilst travelling Im not the best with technology!
If you had to define yourself with one word, what would it be and why?
Agile. Given the challenges with hybrid working, our teams international remit and clients across Europe and further afield, you need to be nimble and able to support clients and their evolving investment needs.