Leaders in Investment Management: Lukasz de Pourbaix

This article was first published by Kaizen Recruitment

Lukasz de Pourbaix shares valuable insights to help benefit professionals seeking to advance their careers in Investment management.

Brief Overview of  Your Career to Date: 

My career has largely focused on helping clients implement, formulate and research their investments and strategies for their clients. Most recently I started and led Lonsec’s Investment Solutions as Executive Director, CIO managing over $8 billion in assets in managed accounts. Prior to that, I led Lonsec’s investment consulting services having joined ING Australia where I managed the manager research function for the aligned dealer groups.

How did you get your first position in the industry?

My first role in the industry was at BT Investment Management in client services in the late 90s. The training provided by BT at that time was incredible and provided a great introduction to the industry. Client services is a great way to get into the industry as it teaches you to deal with an array of people and we are in a people business. It is amazing how many people in the industry began their careers at BT many of who have been clients over the years or I have been their client. Never burn your bridges.

You have recently joined Fidelity as a Global Cross Asset Specialist. This is a very unique title. Can you provide an overview of your current position, what do you do on a daily basis?

The position is broad in its remit which attracted me to the role. There are three key areas including market facing, leveraging Fidelity’s vast array of global insights and investment capabilities, helping the business identify and broaden its product offering in the Australian market, and contributing to the growth of the Australian business as part of the Australian executive team.

What is unique about Fidelity’s business?

From my initial observations, Fidelity is truly a global integrated company. Being on the other side of the fence for many years I saw many global companies present their pitch decks with the first slide being a map of the world and in some instances, many of these businesses operated in silos and weren’t truly global, this is not the case with Fidelity. There is a strong sense of global collaboration and sharing of ideas which is a strength in my view. Secondly, the global insights and investment capabilities across different asset classes and investment strategies is extensive. This provides a big opportunity to broaden Fidelity’s footprint in the Australian market.

You worked at LONSEC as CIO for over a decade, what kept you so engaged with this business over such a long period?

I was with Lonsec for 14 years. During that time the business and market have evolved significantly which created a dynamic environment to work in. It also provided me the opportunity to establish and grow a new business within the group, Lonsec Investment Solutions which by the time I left was one of the largest and preeminent providers of managed account portfolios in the Australian market. But above all, I worked with a great bunch of people over the years.

From our observations achieving the title of CIO is the pinnacle for many investment professionals. What made you decide to explore a new opportunity?

I felt it was the right time and opportunity. I was proud of what I achieved at Lonsec and felt that I was leaving it in good shape. I wanted to help grow something else and the opportunity to work within a large respected global asset management firm was attractive. In exploring the opportunity with Fidelity I met a lot of the team both domestically and globally and the culture of Fidelity resonated with me and I felt that Fidelity had all of the building blocks to build on the success it has achieved to date.

During your career have you ever had a mentor? If so, how do you manage this relationship?

Yes, I have had a mentor in the past. I had one during the time I was starting the Lonsec Investment Solutions business. It was invaluable to be able to bounce ideas of someone who was outside of the organisation and who had had a successful career within asset management which was particularly useful in thinking about the business plan.

What do you believe are the attributes that make a successful Investment professional?

The common attributes I have admired in successful investment professionals be it executives, investors, financial advisers, etc are integrity, focus, attitude, and hard work. Sounds simple!

What do you see as the main opportunities and challenges for investment markets for the year ahead?

Over the years that I have been in the industry periods of market uncertainly such as the one we are in now never feel good at the time but on the flip side as markets tend to overreact on the down and upside this does create opportunities for investors that can see through the market fluctuations and are patient. I believe we are in such an environment now. In terms of challenges the key challenge remains inflation and to what extent will central banks continue to tighten policy as this will have a significant impact on households and ultimately consumer confidence which underpins a significant part of growth.

If you could give one piece of advice about developing a career within the Investment Management Industry, what would it be?

Absorb as much as you can and always extend yourself beyond your comfort zone.