34 episodes

The world of finance has a huge impact on all of us. This show aims to explore and unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the investing business. The Money Maze Podcast has been created by two industry veterans. Through direct, entertaining and insightful interviews with masters of the real life money maze, we hope to learn about different approaches to allocating capital, making investment and business decisions, and navigating the pitfalls that line the paths to prosperity. Whether a current or aspiring investment professional, a regular investor, or a student exploring career options, we hope you gain some helpful insights and enjoy the shows. Thank you for listening. 

The Money Maze Podcas‪t‬ Simon Brewer and Will Campion

    • Investing
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The world of finance has a huge impact on all of us. This show aims to explore and unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the investing business. The Money Maze Podcast has been created by two industry veterans. Through direct, entertaining and insightful interviews with masters of the real life money maze, we hope to learn about different approaches to allocating capital, making investment and business decisions, and navigating the pitfalls that line the paths to prosperity. Whether a current or aspiring investment professional, a regular investor, or a student exploring career options, we hope you gain some helpful insights and enjoy the shows. Thank you for listening. 

    Anne Richards: CEO, Fidelity International

    Anne Richards: CEO, Fidelity International

    Our guest today is Anne Richards, CEO of Fidelity International, who offer investment solutions, investment services and retirement expertise to more than 2.5 million customers globally. As a privately held, purpose-driven company with a 50-year heritage, they think generationally and invest for the long term.
    Fidelity International operates in more than 25 countries and with $706.3 billion in total assets, their clients range from central banks, sovereign wealth funds, large corporates, financial institutions, insurers and wealth managers, to private individuals.
    Anne describes her upbringing in Edinburgh, the decision to study electronic and electrical engineering, spending time at CERN, before going to INSEAD for an MBA. She describes the purpose of Fidelity International and the changing demands of the investing population. Anne discusses the ability of technology to serve clients (of whom they have 2.5 million!), as well as developing a culture that embraces and encourages the “brave/bold/curious/compassionate”. 
    Anne explains how ESG principles are embedded into all their research work and why their approach to ESG does not necessarily mean divestment is the optimal course. She talks about the decline of public market listings, the importance of research in public and private investing and giving their managers enough room for manoeuvre. Finally, she talks about her drive and hunger to have more women work in finance and gives great advice to “worry less” for those thinking about their careers.

    • 52 min
    Simon Hallett, former CIO of Harding Loevner and owner of Plymouth Argyle Football Club

    Simon Hallett, former CIO of Harding Loevner and owner of Plymouth Argyle Football Club

     Simon Hallett, former CIO of the $80 billion Asset manager, Harding Loevner, describes his journey from Plymouth, England, to Oxford University and then to Finance. Starting at Midland Bank, Simon moves to Jardine Fleming in Hong Kong, and he describes an amateurish investing world that was transforming, and his decision to swap continents and join Harding Loevner, then a start-up in 1989.


    Harding Loevner’s impressive 30 year track record in managing global equities is examined, with a discussion that covers behavioural biases, the need to restrict portfolio managers’ freedom, to the increasing reliance on quantitative disciplines to enhance the investment process. He describes the challenge of staying with winners and the difficulties of dealing with losing companies, in a portfolio context, and what happens when a firm’s assets halve three times in 30 years during bear markets and the challenge of swimming against the current.


    He explains why top-down thinking should be strictly limited in building an equity portfolio, why their firm has only 2 Bloomberg terminals and stock-price watching is actively discouraged. He also discusses the merits of being partially owned by Affiliated managers Group, AMG. 


    He then explains his decision to buy Plymouth Argyle Football club – heart over logic, possibly, but why the management of a football team and player selections have more in common with selecting stocks than you might think. Finally he gives some great advice to “keep your nose clean” and “ stay the course” – applicable for both football and investing!


     

    • 43 min
    [REPLAY] Bo Knudsen, CEO of C Worldwide Asset Management

    [REPLAY] Bo Knudsen, CEO of C Worldwide Asset Management

    In this Money Maze Podcast edition, we travel north east from the UK, beyond Norwich, and further than Hamburg, to a country of less than 6mm people, a country which has the oldest national flag, dating from 1219, and is consistently reported as having the world’s happiest people. Home to Lego and with some of the nicest people in the world, it’s Denmark of course.
    The guest on this podcast is a veritable Viking of the investment management industry, Bo Almar Knudsen, CEO of C Worldwide, formerly known as Carnegie.
    Bo starts by describing a little of it how it feels to be Danish, and of the respect and trust Danes have for their institutions. He speaks of their intrigue with travel beyond their borders which has been demonstrated with Danes travelling and settling around the world over the centuries, and in some ways mirrored in the global portfolio C Worldwide has managed for 30 years.
    Bo describes his decision to study in San Francisco as well as Denmark, then starting out at Danske Bank before beginning his own journey at Carnegie Asset Management in 1995. Today, his firm manage nearly $20 billion, and have achieved world class investment returns in their core equity portfolio which has made 60x an investor’s initial investment, outperforming the world equity index by 10 times!
    Bo details their investment approach, the very long term perspective they adopt, and speaks about the challenge of building a culture that encourages open dialogue and recognition of mistakes, but also of avoiding complacency and being patient.
    He makes an unusual point that the investment industry is one of the great time-wasters, whilst at the same time the challenge is to gain “lasting knowledge” and not be distracted by daily noise.
    Finally, as one of Denmark’s top veteran tennis players, he shares life lessons he has learnt from studying Roger Federer, why his favourite book is Sapiens by Harari, and his favourite band unexpectedly, is Depeche Mode. So - back to the 80s!
    To celebrate our upcoming episode with Simon Hallett (Former CIO of Harding Loevner), we are re-releasing our insightful chat with Bo Knudsen. Stay tuned for plenty more inspiring interviews!

    • 36 min
    Tilly Franklin, CIO Cambridge University Endowment

    Tilly Franklin, CIO Cambridge University Endowment

    Established over 800 years ago in 1209, Cambridge University is one of the oldest surviving Universities in the world and has spawned more Nobel Prizes than any other institution. In today’s conversation we welcome Tilly Franklin their Chief Investment Officer, whose education includes Cambridge, Harvard and LBS. She discusses her academic experiences before her journey through McKinsey, Virgin, Apax and Alta prior to accepting the job at Cambridge University.  
    Tilly discusses some of the key skills she acquired at these institutions from understanding businesses at McKinsey to learning how to negotiate deals at Apax. She then discusses the goals of the Cambridge University Endowment, its target of achieving inflation +5% , the disbursements that have totalled nearly £1 billion over the last decade, and structuring the team since her recent arrival. She discusses their asset allocation and investment committee, their increasing allocation to private equity, the ownership of real assets which includes a large proportion of property and their search for less correlated assets.
    She unpicks the dilemma of the Endowment’s long term perspective and occasional agitations for policy change from students and provides a compelling insight into Cambridge’s work on the energy transition and the investment consequences.
    Tilly then discusses the charity she helped establish, GAIN, GIRLS ARE INVESTORS, a  community set to change the staggering lack of gender diversity in investment management, from the ground up. Finally she discusses why she enjoys her job, what a first time visitor to Cambridge should see, the challenge of raising two daughters against this current backdrop and some great advice to young folks who should worry less about “knowing what they want to do”!
     
               
     

    • 39 min
    [REPLAY] Christina McGuire, CEO, Elephant Asset Management

    [REPLAY] Christina McGuire, CEO, Elephant Asset Management

    It’s difficult enough to train to become a Doctor and then practice in some emerging countries with fragile health systems like Papua New Guinea. But then to switch tack completely, give all that up, win a place at Harvard Business School and join Goldman Sachs in asset management before going on to launch your own fund in emerging markets, may be considered brilliance or heresy, particularly when you come from Germany, a country that reveres technical expertise and is less enthusiastic about the merits of finance.
    So in this conversation I am delighted to unravel an unconventional journey and welcome Dr Christina McGuire, CEO of Elephant Asset Management as our guest. We discuss her upbringing and German attitudes to finance, before touching upon her medical journey, her decision to go to Harvard Business school and then join Goldman Sachs.
    She discusses working and investing in China, the skills taught and culture encouraged at Goldmans, before she explains her decision to go it alone. She describes the investment approach of her firm Elephant Asset Management, where she manages a concentrated, stock-specific, emerging market equity fund. She explains her philosophy and style, detailing geographic, sectoral and company disciplines as well as the significant opportunities created by the post-Covid world for her domestically-focused companies.
    She describes the due diligence process, the need to eye ball CEO and CFOs and why she believes company visits and sitting in the staff canteen of investing companies are great ways to gauge culture, and sense the mood. Christina also explains why the S&G in ESG are significantly more measurable in the countries in which she invests.
    Finally Christina talks about how women should really think about asset management as a career, and offers some other great advice for young people thinking about their futures.
    To celebrate our upcoming episode with Tilly Franklin, CIO of the Cambridge University Endowment Fund, we are re-releasing some past interviews with other inspiring women in finance.
    In this episode, Simon spoke to Dr. Christina McGuire, who discusses her extraordinary journey from working as a doctor in low income countries to becoming an emerging market equity fund manager. 
    Are you a young woman looking to break into the investment industry? Discover free resources, news, events and support at www.gainuk.org. To learn more about the charity, listen to our new episode with Tilly Franklin, who co-founded the organisation (alongside running the endowment fund of one of the world's most renowned universities!). The full interview is out tomorrow, so stay tuned!
     

    • 48 min
    [REPLAY] Helen Watson, CEO, Rothschild & Co., Wealth Management, UK

    [REPLAY] Helen Watson, CEO, Rothschild & Co., Wealth Management, UK

    Helen Watson describes her untypical journey into finance. After attending multiple schools and then being advised to go to secretarial college, Helen finds a job in finance in Gibraltar before moving and being hired by Morgan Stanley in London.
    From there, starting as a sales assistant, she overcomes initial resistance to win a place on the Morgan Stanley graduate training programme and becomes a broker. She describes the “terrifying” experience of beginning to call clients, and her subsequent route to become the first female Managing Director in their Private Wealth Division in Europe. Her journey then takes her to Rothschild & Co’s Wealth Management business, where she rises to become CEO, a Partner and member of their Group Executive Committee.
    She talks about the consistent problem of wealthy families losing their wealth within two generations, the underlying causes, and suggestions to overcome this including; candour, communication, clearer planning, good partners and a dose of discipline in staying the course!
    She discusses the Rothschild & Co investment approach, the importance of preserving real purchasing power, setting the right benchmarks and expectations, as well as managing difficult market episodes.
    Finally, Helen offers some invaluable insights for women in the work place, advice for progressing, encouraging cognitive diversity in the hiring process and why portfolio and wealth management are well suited for women. Finally, she discusses the relevant topic of the cost/benefit of attending university and why it may be becoming a less inevitable path than has traditionally been thought.
    To celebrate our upcoming episode with Tilly Franklin, CIO of the Cambridge University Endowment Fund, we are re-releasing some past interviews with other inspiring women in finance. 
    In this episode, Simon enjoyed an enlightening discussion with Helen Watson, CEO of Rothschild & Co., Wealth Management (UK), who describes her untypical journey into finance. 
    Are you a young woman looking to break into the investment industry? Discover free resources, news, events and support at www.gainuk.org. To learn more about the charity, listen to our new episode with Tilly Franklin, who co-founded the organisation (alongside running the endowment fund of one of the world's most renowned universities!). The full interview is out tomorrow, so stay tuned!

    • 31 min

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