In this Q&A interview with Richard Romer-Lee, HSBC Global Asset Management's Andy Clark describes what he looks for in a fund manager
What is it like working for such a huge business?
It is wonderful working for a global brand which resonates with the client and ensures we can service globally. The Group is very collaborative and thoughtful, more than anywhere I have been before. There is nothing I have wanted to do that hasn't been possible. Occasionally it can take longer than I would have liked - but I see this as thoughtfully delayed.
What do you look for in a fund manager?
Resilience, openness and understanding of whose money they are looking after. I will always appreciate fund managers who are excellent in explaining their thinking and have the intelligence and ability to articulate themselves to the team and clients.
How did you make the transition from sales to CEO?
If you can understand and take a wider view of your business, as well as get on with people its do-able. Nowadays, the business is so complex, leaders can come from any part of it. For me, there was some initial reactions and raised eyebrows along the way, especially from those waiting for me to prove myself. However, the best CEOs I have worked for have been leaders and have come from all corners of the industry.
What do you think about diversity?
I think about it a lot. Diversity of thought is vital. What's the best mix within a team that makes a brilliant team? How do we do more to bring the right people in? The best teams are a mix of everybody - a blend of many things including cultures, countries, backgrounds - it's a great advantage at HSBC as we have quite a mix. I'm proud that our business is engaged closely with diversity projects and helps raise awareness to the industry. Being global helps.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the industry?
Asset management has matured in the last 25 years from almost a ‘cottage industry' into a wider acknowledged economically vital and robust industry. In addition there is increasing polarisation in asset management, a trend I feel will continue as the industry continues to grow.
How do you turn the dial in such a big business?
We tend not to shout about our victories, but here's a prime example. Back in 2005 we were 134th out of 140 in the Investment Association's asset manager net sales figures. We have been in the top 20 since 2008, and in the top 10 for the last six quarters in the Pridham report. Dial turned.
Richard Romer-Lee is managing director of Square Mile. You can read more Talking Withs here
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