Davide Zur Goldstaub is the Managing Director and Business development director at Nomura Asset Management, and he is responsible for Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal,
Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Cyprus, Israel. Davide joined Nomura Asset Management in 2007 as a Business Development Director covering Southern Europe, prior to joining Nomura, he was a Senior Portfolio Manager USA and EU long only equity fund at ING Luxembourg. He studied Banking Sciences at Universita Cattolica Milan, and he is an EFFAS Certified Financial Analyst.
When and how did you start your career in the financial industry? Did you have any other vocation?
In the 90s, when I moved back from Los Angeles to Milan for my last year of High School, I was given by my host dad (a successful lawyer in Beverly Hills), a book to read during my long journey back to Italy: “One Up on Wall Street” by Peter Lynch. I finished the entire book during my flight. I was inspired. The day after I arrived, I sent my application to attend a brand new course at The Catholic University of Milan: “Banking, Finance and Insurance Sciences”.
I graduated Cum Laude with a thesis focusing on Commodity Futures, and I was offered an assistant role to a famous professor at the Faculty. I realised very fast that the academic career was not for me. I swiftly accepted an Equity Portfolio Manager position offered by ING in Luxembourg.
Following years of being immersed in Dividend Discount Models, Monte-Carlo modelling etc. etc. ,I decided that I would become the most successful Business Development Director in Europe. Being a former portfolio manager plus strong interpersonal skills has enabled me to build solid client relationships. This is how my story started at Nomura Asset Management in London, where I have been happily working for the last 14 years.
How does a normal day as a managing director at Nomura Asset Management Europe looks like?
I am one of those lucky guys that need very few hours of sleep per night. I wake up at around 6:30am, I do my morning workout with CNBC on, and by 8:00am I am on my laptop. As I have a wide European coverage, I spend most of my morning on the phone with my Israeli, Greek, Swiss and Benelux clients, whilst the afternoon is for my French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese clients. I am out for dinner most of my evenings usually with a Portfolio Manager, a client or another sales guy like myself.
What is the most interesting part of your role? What do you enjoy the most?
Being a Business Development Director in the financial industry gives me the opportunity to meet very smart and interesting people. I still remember very well a couple of my clients and portfolio managers predicting far ahead the financial crisis of 2008.
Most of the people find prospecting, cold calling… difficult, I find it easy, it is naturally in my DNA. I enjoy ambitious sales targets and I for sure, prefer them to the performance targets of my buy-side colleagues, … especially in the current market environment.
What are your clients more interested in at the moment?
At the moment many are de-risking their portfolios with so much market uncertainty continuing. It will be interesting to see – who will be fastest to go back to the markets at the right time, which could well be quite soon.
In your opinion, what are the key drivers for successful fund distribution?
Fund Distribution is very different in Europe, Asia and America. The winner is the asset manager who is able to build a fund distribution strategy in each of these regions, recognising the differences in their needs, legislation etc etc. That is really the only way to be profitable and to become a trusted partner to the major Global Financial Institutions and other clients in our industry.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the asset management industry?
The Asset Management Industry has changed a lot since I started. Management fees have decreased dramatically; building strong relationship with clients has become very difficult with the new “work from home” environment.
My suggestion for a new graduate is to find a unique boutique asset manager that sells strongly differentiated products. Look out for a firm with strong margins with a very unique story that will make your prospects come back to you again and again.