When did your interest in financial markets start?
I have always had a keen interest in finance and spent a large part of my career working in the leverage and acquisition finance area of an investment bank. My interest in investing sparked after university when I opened an online share trading account, and one poor investment made me realise that investing was complex. This grew a desire to learn how financial markets worked and how to make sound, deliberate investment decisions.
What did you study and why?
Having always had an interest in business I studied a Bachelor of Business Science with Finance Honours at UCT.
What do you think equips you to do this job properly?
Working in the banking sector for 10 years helped me hone an analytical mindset. I also appreciate that being too analytical can result in a failure to see the wood from the trees and I always endeavour to bear this in mind. I enjoy building relationships and engaging with people. My role involves facilitating interactions between clients and the investment team and positioning Northstar’s value proposition according to client investment requirements. I feel strongly supported and equipped by working in a team, which I believe in.
What do you love about investing?
I appreciate the deep complexity and essential fundamental research required to fully understand a company prior to making any investment decision. In particular, I enjoy appreciating the key areas of governance, sustainability and durability of a company’s competitive advantage. ‘Closer to the Truth’ encapsulates this for me.
What do you find the most challenging part of your role?
A challenge for me is managing the misconception that bigger is better in the asset management industry. That said there is a steady drift away from this as specialist managers are increasingly outperforming the larger players. Smaller managers are able to offer highly personalised levels of service and are nimble enough to make quick, team based decisions. Northstar has been built with the institutional structure equal to that of a large manager, but with the nimbleness of a smaller one, and this is the assurance we give our clients.
Why do you think clients will do well at Northstar?
Clients truly do come first. In every decision or action the question is asked, how will this impact our clients? We follow a very disciplined and structured approach to our investment process, which gives clients comfort in knowing that the people managing their investments are doing so in a strategic and responsible manner. There is also a culture at Northstar to continuously improve in every area of the business and this will see us go from strength to strength.