Issue 02 Spring/Summer 2017
I liked university, but I have always enjoyed City life more; I love the fast pace, the full-on nature of it, and the hilarious banter with so many colleagues (now friends) over the years
I’ve always held the view that university teaches you to write better, and be disciplined to meet goals, and that the topic you study is less relevant. My first job was at an inter-dealer broker in the City, and it bore more than a passing resemblance to the film the Wolf of Wall Street. I bored my friends rigid while watching that film by repetitively exclaiming the similarities (minus the illegal parts, of course!). A sense of humour was the most important trait in that role, and it even quoted that in the job advert as an essential trait! There were 650 applicants for two places. I got lucky, and the first task I was given was to write to all the unsuccessful candidates... Is there a common trait or traits between you and your colleagues? Fast thinking; there’s just not time to faff about, as focused decision making is required. I would like to think my immediate colleagues are also very client-orientated. What do you do at Invesco Perpetual? In my job at Invesco I am a non-executive director on the board of one of their investment trusts, Invesco Perpetual Select Trust. This is a publicly listed investment company on the London Stock Exchange and my role, and that of my fellow directors, is governance oversight of the company and its service providers. The trust has four contrasting portfolios, which gives me exposure to
four different investment strategies, their fund managers, and the views of Invesco’s wonderful economist, which is a privilege. What would you say has been the most useful advice anyone has ever given you? I’m not sure that I’ve ever been given much advice – I tend to be self-taught, and that is the way I like it. My parents didn’t put too much pressure on me, they just said something along the lines of, “we can’t make you study, you have to make your own choices, but if you don’t work, and you end up on the till in Woolworths (showing my age now!), that will be your decision”. I believe that drive, determination, and the energy to succeed come from within. What advice would you give to those aspiring to work in the asset management/investment field? It’s hard work, is often cut throat, but the rewards can be good. It’s not all about academic qualifications, as the right personality is far more important. The most important things to remember are that life and work are all about relationships, but you must deliver the assignments and objectives too. Oh, and the customer is always right! Make sure you focus on market demand and customer needs, not internal challenges (too many larger businesses make this mistake).