As a teenager I started investing in stocks and shares in the 1980s thanks to the hugely popular and profitable raft of privatisations. I remember selling many of them within the first few days of trading for a sizable profit. Naively I thought investing was simple!
In fact, I knew nothing about investing. The stock market crash on 19th October 1987 taught me that investing wasn’t a one-way bet. I had no investment discipline, my portfolio wasn’t diversified and I had no idea what asset allocation meant.
However, stocks and shares was in my blood, so armed with my Business Studies degree I joined JPMorgan Chase (a global financial services firm and leader in asset management), who supported me through my CFA examinations, which have become the most respected and recognised investment management qualification in the world.
Today, diversification, discipline and risk management form the cornerstone of my investment philosophy, having built-up strong investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills, over the past 20 years managing UK, European, North American, fixed income and multi-manager portfolios.
As Investment Director, I head up a team of 7 investment professionals, responsible for both the investment strategy and asset allocation of our clients’ life savings on a discretionary basis (which means we can react and adapt to changing market conditions by making instant portfolio changes to our clients’ portfolios).
Although each team member brings a different skill set and speciality, we operate on a collegial basis, working closely together and sharing research and investment ideas. This ensures our investment decisions and convictions are both consistent and informed by a wealth of experience. However, risk management is just as important to me as investment performance and returns, and the team work within a strict risk controlled and disciplined process.
Although my passion for my job and the global financial markets is all consuming (as Gordon Gekko said in Wall Street ‘money never sleeps’), my full time job starts when I am at home in Cheshire. I have been married to Tanya, an Accountant for a US provider of payment solutions, for the past 20 years and we have two fantastic children, James and Henry.
I have managed money for over 10 years and the main lesson I have learnt is that financial markets don’t always behave as you expect in the short-term. Economies run hot and cold, sector trends change and technology advances. I invest in companies at varying stages of development, and so active management is key. I look forward to company announcements and enjoy meeting company management, as there is always something new to discuss. With so many new developments, diversification is paramount, as it is important to not over expose our clients’ life-savings to one idea or theme. Whilst the companies I invest client life-savings in all have very different characteristics and sell different products, the one thing they have in common is quality.
Away from the office, I enjoy most things technology related and have a young family to whom, I give as much of my time as possible.
I have been in the wealth management industry for nearly 15 years, as being a Fund Manager is something I have wanted to do since I was a ‘lad’. My personal life very much reflects the way I manage money, as having a keen interest in cars, everything from classic UK sports cars to American muscle cars has taught me that things of quality and beauty, whether that is a car or an investment, can appear anywhere globally and at any time. When I’m researching investments and constructing portfolios, ‘open mindedness’ and diversification is key.
Choosing a blend of slower pace and faster pace investments to ensure portfolios are able to limit the impact of any market fall, and gain any benefits when the market rises, is at the core of my research process. Managing in this way has always enabled me to act quickly to changes in the economic backdrop.
I manage our Fixed Interest investments. For clients who have a need for income, I buy a range of corporate bonds with the intention of holding them to maturity, as this should provide our clients’ with certainty (as redemption dates and proceeds are known and the annual coupons fixed). I believe that diversification is paramount as this ensures our clients are not overly reliant on any one single issuer for income to be generated. I also select the Fixed Interest funds within our growth portfolios. Here, I look for funds with robust processes and a variety of strategies concurrent with our clients’ investment objective.
I studied Maths at university and also have a Master’s degree in Finance. Outside of work, I try to stay as active as possible: I play football, and go to the gym whenever I have time (not much lately!). I also, you might think unfortunately, have an Everton season ticket.
I have worked in the Financial Services industry for over 15 years for firms including Rathbone Brothers plc, Pershing Limited and Legal & General PLC; before joining Wealth at Work Limited in 2014. Over this period I have attained multiple industry qualifications including the CISI Diploma in Operations and the Investment Management Certificate, and am currently progressing through the CISI Chartered Wealth Manager Qualification. This knowledge is put to good use in my current role as an Investment Analyst where I assist Jonathan Wiseman with the research of international investments, as well as managing our cash position.
After graduating with a degree in mathematics, I wasn’t ready to put my calculator away, and joined a graduate scheme to become a Financial Adviser for Quilter Private Client Advisers. In 2021, after achieving Chartered Financial Adviser status, I joined Wealth at Work Limited as a Portfolio Specialist.
My role sits within the Investment Management team, providing training and regular investment updates to Advisers, and providing a friendly face to answer any queries. This ensures Advisers have the ability to advise clients with confidence, and ensures that the rest of the Investment Management team can put all of their focus into their areas of speciality.
In my spare time, I enjoy racing on my bike, swimming, running (sometimes all three) and spending time with my English Springer Spaniel, Toby!