Portfolio Manager – David

Describe your job in couple of sentences:

I invest and trade in financial instruments (bonds and equities) for a family office investment company. This involves following the debt and shares of governments, financial institutions, and companies around the world, and making decisions on which offer value in order to invest in them.

When did you know what you wanted to do?

It has been a long journey, over 30 years of working in the finance sector, to that has brought me to this position. I knew from my first job in the sector (at Nomura in 1991) that financial markets would be the right path for me.

Did you go to university, go straight into the workforce or do an apprenticeship?

I went straight from finishing school to University.

What did you study?

The course was called Urban Estate Management. It taught me about the all elements of the property industry (planning, building, law, business, economics, valuations and finance).

 What was your first job:

Graduate in the Corporate Finance department at Nomura International

Does it relate to what you do now?

I learnt about how banks and companies could raise money through issuing bonds in the international capital markets. I now invest in these type of financial instruments.

Have you done other jobs in your life – if so what were they:

I worked at Nomura for 7 years, and then joined Deutsche Bank where I worked for 12 years.  I also ran a privately owned Fixed Income Brokerage company for 6 years.

Did they have any influence on what you do now?

Absolutely. I learnt all about the products that currently I trade, made a large number of contacts in the industry, and garnered years of experience in a variety of market conditions.

How did you find out about your job (how it existed)?

I became inspired by the industry (in particular the bond markets) after reading a book called “Liars Poker” by Michael Lewis which was an autobiography of when he started working at a bank.

How did you get the job you wanted- steps and process?

Honestly, it was by accident. I tried to find a job in the Property sector after graduating from University, however the property market had recently crashed and there were very few jobs around. I therefore had to look further and applied for investment banking jobs as the sector had been expanding significantly in the previous 2 years.

What qualities do you need to have to be successful in your field?

A mathematical mind, an understanding of economics and a strong work ethic.

Give 3 tips for someone hoping to follow in your footsteps:
  1. Be self-confident and charming when meeting and interacting with other people.
  2. Be curious. Never be shy to ask questions when you start out because you won’t know everything and shouldn’t pretend that you do.
  3. Be flexible and prepared to adapt when things don’t go as planned, and use failure as an opportunity to learn.
Who inspires you?:

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.