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Alexandros Polythodorakis from Alpha Bank is our Sales Manager of the Month

Alexandros Polythodorakis from Alpha Bank is our Sales Manager of the Month

Alexandros Polythodorakis, Senior Area Sales Manager at Alpha Bank is our Sales Manager of the Month.
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11 APR, 2023

By Constanza Ramos


He has been working for Alpha Bank for 24 years. Currently, as a Senior Area Sales Manager for Gold Personal Banking and managing a team of 32 Relationship Managers. Previous to this role, he worked for 6 years as Gold Personal Banker in several Branches. Prior to that, he held positions in Private Banking as an Economic Analyst and as a Private Banker. He holds a degree MSc in Banking and Finance from the University of Athens and a BSc in International Management from the American College of Greece.

What made you decide to go into the financial sector? Did you have any other vocations?

I began my career in banking in my early twenties and never really changed sector since. Uncertain as I may have been in the beginning, I quickly became very interested in understanding why the financial markets have such a powerful impact on the economies of the world. For me, the financial sector is filled with non-intuitive relationships and a lot of changes.

How should investors orient their portfolios in this environment?

Investors should focus on balanced portfolios with an overweight position in the fixed-income asset class. Let me explain why. Last year we experienced a unique situation, as Bonds and Equities posted significant losses at the same time, mainly due to a very high inflationary environment. Consequently, balanced portfolios suffered, and they didn’t provide diversification. In 2023, inflation is easing somewhat, and downside risks have slightly moderated, indicating that financial markets will respond differently compared to the previous year. I believe that traditional investment portfolios will provide again diversification benefits and returns will be above the expected medium-term inflation in this new environment. Bonds provide attractive carry after the previous year’s material repricing. Moreover, IG bonds will outperform in a risk-off or in an adverse economic scenario.

How is the relationship with your clients in times of market crisis? How do you manage emotions?

In market downturns and periods of economic crisis, the relationship with the clients is more difficult and challenging. For most of our clients, the pain of losing money is more than the pleasure of gaining money, so in highly volatile markets and economic crises, episodes are very difficult to manage clients’ emotions. What’s important is to try to recognize when clients are about to make decisions that are subject to emotional biases and try to explain what a more rational decision will bring them. If it is not possible to overcome the bias, I try to adapt.

Give us an example of a fund that you have held for a long time in your portfolios and why.

One of the investment themes that I found myself holding for a longer time within client portfolios is infrastructure; the theme is well-diversified and corresponds to changing market needs. It is less volatile compared to the MSCI World Index, and more attractively valued. Infrastructure projects (transportation, power, water, and telecom systems) are expected to increase due to government plans, China reopening, and the energy transition.

What differences do you observe in the way new generations invest?

I notice that younger clients are more interested in technological innovation, tech startups, and in machine learning investment opportunities. The new generation of investors seems to be more aggressive and more confident. Often, they overestimate their abilities and accept excessive risk to generate high returns, while most of the old-generation investors allocate their money using discipline investment approaches and listening more carefully the investment advice. The younger generation is more ready to embrace new ideas and explore new paths in investing. If we also consider that by default the investment horizon of younger people is longer than average, and the risk tolerance higher, we can justify the interest on thematic investments and specialized ideas on equities.

If you had to define yourself with 3 words, what would it be and why?

I’d say: communicative, consistent, and agile. I chose communicative because I greatly enjoy collaborative work and the interaction with the clients; consistent because I’m always working towards a new goal and refuse to give up if met with any obstacles; and agile because especially in the last years the ability to adapt to changes and find solutions is the only way to go forward.

What are your hobbies?

I love spending time with my family, playing tennis, and traveling. In the summer, I do spearfishing and in the winter I enjoy skiing.

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