Excellent financial knowledge and a head for numbers are both required if you are interested in launching a career as a fund manager, but that’s not all. In a recent article, The Times quizzed Anthony Bolton, who managed Fidelity’s Special Solutions Fund for 28 years, on what crucial personality traits make the ideal fund manager:
A cool, level-headed approach is vital in investment banking. The sector is so volatile and fast-paced that some mornings it can feel like walking into a war zone. Fund managers need to be able to retain their composure and keep on making logical, effective decisions no matter what the circumstances. According to Bolton; “If you are a very panicky person, you won’t make a good fund manager. You might be able to control your tendency to panic to a degree, but not wholly.”
Fund management is all about exploring new ideas and opportunities, in order to generate revenue for your clients. Constant innovation and reinvention is what keeps the entire industry moving forward; you can’t simply rely on existing practices to get the job done. Bolton says; “You need to have a genuine interest in how things work and an appetite for examining things.”
Communication skills are an absolute must in pretty much any role in this industry, and for fund managers in particular. Whether you are engaging with front and back-office analysts, or delivering presentations to clients, you have to be able to express complicated, multifaceted ideas in a way that is both concise and easy to understand for the uninitiated. Or, in Bolton’s words: “You need to be able to make the complex simple.”
And finally, it doesn’t hurt to be a little bit contrary. Thinking for yourself, making business-critical decisions and then standing by them are all important parts of a fund manager’s job. Bolton’s advice is that “human nature tends to take comfort from going with the crowd, but you have to be prepared to be a bit of a loner. A herd mentality is no use to a fund manager.”
Want to build a successful career as a fund manager?
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