When did your interest in financial markets start?
I completed my Chartered Accountancy designation with Deloitte, Cape Town and was lucky enough to have asset management clients in my portfolio. They quickly became my favourite clients and I was able to gain great exposure to the industry. I found, and still find, the industry dynamic, interesting and knew then that I wanted to work in it!
What did you study and why?
I started an Engineering degree, before quickly realising it wasn’t for me. I was more interested in the finance space so I wrote a letter to the Dean of Accounting for a transfer.
What do you think equips you to do this job properly?
Working at Deloittes helped me develop strong soft skills, in addition to the technical skills that naturally come through completing the CA process. I have lived on four continents and worked in three: namely Africa, the US, the UK and Asia. This has helped me appreciate different cultures and market characteristics.
What do you love about investing?
I love that you can unlock value that others can’t, whether in a stock or bond. The ‘ever elusive chase’ of intrinsic value is exciting. In my own experience, I started my own share portfolio and quickly learnt that watching daily moves made me feel a bit nauseous. Choosing great stocks and then doing “nothing” seems a better approach.
What do you find the most challenging part of your role to be?
Positioning Northstar in a relatively saturated space where big brands have established footprints.
Why do you think clients will do well at Northstar?
Northstar is an asset manager that I personally invest with. Their strong downside protection, which is built into every product, helps me sleep at night. Ultimately, I think clients require the same assurance. Strong performance and strong downside protection as well as impeccable client service is what any client is in for with us!