Current Employer/Organisation Name
Highclere International Investors
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I have over 25 years in financial services. I currently work for Highclere, a UK-based investment management firm with >$5bn in AUM. Highclere invests in non-US small and mid-cap equities on behalf of a primarily US institutional client base. It is my job to manage these existing relationships and to develop new ones. Prior to this I was in London for 3 years with Knight Capital, where I helped establish a bond trading business, and with UBS for 4 years in international convertible bonds. I spent 5 years in this business with UBS in the US. I moved into convertible bonds after 8 years in FX, where I handled hedge fund relationships.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I knew wanted to be in sales/marketing and I was very interested in financial markets having studied economic history at Exeter. Citibank was my first employer and they taught me about the latter and enabled me to develop my skills in the former. I remain fascinated by financial markets and their role and I continue to enjoy discussing this in my interactions with clients.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
Outside of my degree my focus at Exeter was sport. I was the Club Captain of the Exeter University Men’s Hockey team in my final year. It was an honour and taught me a lot. I enjoyed the responsibility and the opportunity to continue to grow the club, which already had a long and storied history that today’s team and Captains have grown even further. Some of my greatest friends today were team mates. I also played cricket for the University. 5 University championship (what we then called “UAU”) runners-up medals in 3 years taught me that I hate losing. But I learned from it.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
I had always been interested in economic history especially having studied American history at A level. I enjoyed taking that a stage further and putting it with economics and politics with a focus on development. Understanding why some countries develop faster than others and what drives that was and is of great interest to me. To study this at the same time as the Berlin Wall came down underlined its importance, although I probably didn’t fully appreciate this at the time.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
The interactions with my professors in both economic history and politics. They were great teachers and legends in their field.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
Luckily I was an “Oxbridge reject”! This allowed me to study what I wanted and Exeter was ahead of it’s time in offering a broader degree and a broader range of subjects that you could study (the beginning of the “modular” approach). Exeter’s location in the SW was also a huge attraction.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
Understanding people, different personalities and how they interact is key in any field. I have been fortunate to work with and for some great people and have learned from their advice and experience (and still am).
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Understand what you don’t know, read (tons) and learn. Network. Then network some more.
What are your plans for the future?
In my 20’s I thought a good career goal was to retire by 40. I am fortunate to have found a career that I can see myself doing even into my 60’s.