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January 2017

Investment insights

Fierce, funny and feisty - Meet our new Managing Director


 
by Alva Devoy, Managing Director 

1. From Portfolio Manager to Managing Director to a Doctorate of Philosophy in Molecular Engineering, your experience and credentials are diverse to say the least. Can you tell us a bit about your career journey to date? 
 
The ability to research a topic and form a view is completely transferable whether it be work or study and that’s always been a passion of mine. I started my career as a tech analyst just as the tech boom began and couldn’t really put a foot wrong - everything was on the up. I thought I was a gun! As time went on, I realised just how much I didn’t know. I could research a stock but couldn’t construct a portfolio. I needed context - so I moved into Asset Management. Within three years I was managing a $2 billion US Equity fund - a massive role and a fantastic challenge. I progressed to European Equity Management and later Asset Allocation.  Then I came to Australia for a holiday and fell completely in love with the place. In 2009 I packed my bags and moved here knowing just one person and without a job.  But it all worked out, I joined RBS to Head up Equity Research and later became MD and then ultimately moved to Fidelity. 
 
2. You’ve been in the Managing Director role for 3 months now. What are your first impressions?
 
My first impression is that my timing is superb! The business is really on the move and I feel like I’ve been handed a gift. I stand on the shoulders of giants such as Paul Taylor who have done a fantastic job building the business and I get to drive the next evolution. There’s a lot of support from Senior Executives to grow and diversify the Australian business - It’s a really exciting time. It’s also been a very humbling experience. Being responsible for someone’s savings particularly their retirement savings is a huge responsibility and that’s something I think about every day.
 
3. What initially attracted you to Fidelity? 
 
An amazing brand name and a Pandora’s Box of great strategies is what first attracted me and that it has stayed true to its founding philosophy. As a family owned business, Fidelity isn’t accountable to shareholders which means the business can focus more energy on getting results for investors - that really appealed to me!
 
4. There are a number of high profile women working for Fidelity. How do you think companies can better attract and retain women in senior positions? 
 
I think you need to apply a more evolved way of thinking. Companies need to be ‘people’ orientated and really view their staff as assets rather than cost centres. We need to change the mindset and set up supportive frameworks that apply to everyone. Flexibility, and the understanding that people work quite differently is crucial.
 
5. What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in finance?
 
The advice I’d give anyone starting their career not just in finance would be to ask what you can do for a company rather than what a company can do for you. It’s that kind of attitude that gets you noticed. For finance specifically - become a student of sociology. An appreciation of human behaviour is just as important as being able to crunch numbers.   
 
6. In this country, Fidelity is probably most associated with Australian equities but you’re receiving some strong performance figures from Asia. Can you tell us a bit about those Funds?
 
Yes, we’ve got some phenomenal portfolio managers across Asia. We offer a China Fund, an Asian Fund, an India Fund and a Global Emerging Market Fund to the Australian retail market. We’ve been investing in the region for some time. Our Asia Fund for example was launched in 2005 and since inception has delivered 9.03% per annum*.  
 
7. Are there any plans to distribute more of Fidelity’s global offerings in Australia? Or via different structures?
 
Yes, we’ll be adding another Global equities fund to our retail offering. Fidelity FIRST Global Equities is a best ideas portfolio based purely on Fidelity Research which will launch here in April. On the institutional side there are a number of alternative strategies we can offer investors - it’s really dependant on their individual needs. Likewise we may look to offer funds via alternate structures if we receive demand from our clients.
 
8. What initiatives will you particularly be focusing on this year?
 
Globally, Fidelity is really focusing on building the institutional side of the business. We’ve got a breadth of capability in this area which we haven’t always fully utilised.  There’s an increased emphasis on creating flexible strategies which can be tailor-made to meet our client’s needs. 
 
9. Abigail Johnson took over the reins as Chairman late in 2014. Has this ‘changing of the guard’ had much impact on Fidelity in the APAC region?
 
Abigail was very highly involved even before she became Chairman. She’s an incredible business woman and a great source of inspiration and energy for the company. She can definitely take some credit for Fidelity’s current momentum. Both Abigail and Brian Conroy our President have trips scheduled to Australia this year which is exciting for the team.
 
10. What keeps you fresh? Gets you out of bed in the morning?
 
By nature I’m an optimist so I tend to bounce out of bed pretty easily. Stepping back and removing myself from a situation helps keep me fresh and gives me perspective. My partner, my dog and cat, meditation and sport all certainly have a place.
 
11. What frustrates you?
 
Not having enough hours in the day to do everything I want to get done frustrates me!
 
12. How do you relax?
 
Water sports - it’s one of the reasons I moved here. Swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking… I’ve given up on trying to learn to surf - I just can’t stand up! But I love the water. 
 
13. Three words that describe (attribute/qualities)
 
Loyal (fiercely), advocacy, reciprocity 
 

 

*Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Total returns (net) shown are as at 31/01/2017 and are calculated using mid-prices and are net of Fidelity management costs, transactional and operational costs and asusme reinvestment of distributions. No allowance has been made for tax or the buy/sell spread. Returns of more than one year are annualised. The return of capital is not guaranteed. Inception date: 29/09/2005.

This document is issued by FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009, AFSL No. 409340 (“Fidelity Australia”).  Fidelity Australia is a member of the FIL Limited group of companies commonly known as Fidelity International. 

 

This document is intended for use by advisers and wholesale investors. Retail investors should not rely on any information in this document without first seeking advice from their financial adviser.

This document has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider these matters before acting on the information.  You also should consider the Product Disclosure Statements (“PDS”) for respective Fidelity Australia products before making a decision whether to acquire or hold the product.  The relevant PDS can be obtained by contacting Fidelity Australia on 1800 119 270 or by downloading it from our website at www.fidelity.com.au . The issuer of Fidelity’s managed investment schemes is FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009. Details about Fidelity Australia’s provision of financial services to retail clients are set out in our Financial Services Guide, a copy of which can be downloaded from our website at www.fidelity.com.au. 

© 2017 FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited. Fidelity, Fidelity International and the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL Limited.

 

This website is intended to provide general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider these matters before acting on the information and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for any product named on this website before making an investment decision.

© 2017 FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009, AFSL No. 409340.
Fidelity, Fidelity International and the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL limited.

This document is issued by FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009, AFSL No. 409340 ("Fidelity Australia"). Fidelity Australia is a member of the FIL Limited group of companies commonly known as Fidelity International. Prior to making an investment decision retail investors should seek advice from their financial adviser. Please remember past performance is not a guide to the future. Investors should also obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statements ("PDS") for the fund mentioned in this document. The PDS is available on www.fidelity.com.au or can be obtained by contacting Fidelity Australia on 1800 119 270. This document has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider such matters before acting on the information contained in this document. This document may include general commentary on market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions which should not be construed as investment advice. Information stated herein about specific securities is subject to change. Any reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold these securities. While the information contained in this document has been prepared with reasonable care no responsibility or liability is accepted for any errors or omissions or misstatements however caused. The document may not be reproduced or transmitted without prior written permission of Fidelity Australia. The issuer of Fidelity funds is FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited ABN 33 148 059 009. References to ($) are in Australian dollars unless stated otherwise. © 2017 FIL Responsible Entity (Australia) Limited. Fidelity, Fidelity International, and the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL Limited.