Following Investment Week's inaugural Trailblazer Awards in June, we speak to a different winner each week regarding some of their greatest achievements and the challenges they have faced over their career.
Next up is Paul Higgins, senior portfolio manager at SG Kleinwort Hambros.
What has been your most successful asset allocation decision so far?
Selling out of property funds prior to Brexit (and the subsequent suspension due to lack of liquidity). Also, keeping stable equity allocation (and subsequently increasing) during the sell-off in Q4 2018 as risk metrics suggested the sell-off was unjustified.
Name the three biggest challenges in your role and how you have overcome them
Adhering to regulatory change, implementing MIFID and target market initiatives. Secondly, dealing with pressure to raise AUMs while simultaneously defending book of clients. Finally, selecting funds within new asset classes not used before within the company. All of these have been overcome with lots of hard work, initiative and proactivity.
What attracted you to join the investment industry?
I am very much a people person and enjoy meeting both clients and fund providers. I am also very technical and enjoy learning the dynamics of different funds and their selection. I believe that it is imperative to look at the breadth of the industry before taking decisions and the hard work appeals to me.
Who has been your role model and why?
In the investment world, Charles Munger, as I have always admired the way he practices what he preaches. In non-investments, the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, as he refused to take no for an answer and had the courage to strive for things that people thought impossible.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be confident. It is easy when you are younger to fall into the trap of following the herd and listening to whoever shouts the loudest. Have trust in your own ability and keep faith in your beliefs. Just because you have a different opinion to somebody, doesn't mean it is wrong.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Aristotle - A genius who identified and tacked almost every problem known to mankind.
Dalai Lama - the China/Tibet question has always fascinated me, and having seen it first hand in Lhasa, I would love to have the chance to meet this great man
Thierry Henry - I'm a huge Arsenal fan, so the greatest player in our history would certainly be a welcome guest!