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A Day In The Life Of: A Director, Asset Management

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What does a day in your life look like?

9:00 am: Breakfast meeting at Dubai Capital Club with prospective client, a leading government-owned financial institution. We discuss the financial markets, their investments, recent performance of their fixed income portfolios and I reiterate our bank’s interest in managing a portfolio of their assets. He promises to send us a RFP to fill out and return.

11:00 am: Back at office and I review the RFP my Associate completed for managing a balanced portfolio of another governmental institution’s assets. The work is perfect but I insert a few edits here and there and select another account to show as an example in our performance history Appendices. I also have some questions about the composition of the index being selected as a benchmark for their asset management.

11:15 am: Interrupted by a client calling to enquire about their performance for the week. Markets took a sharp swing to the downside the week before and this client wants to know how their portfolio has fared. Luckily I am very well versed with the positions the portfolio managers have taken in the portfolio of this client and have updated myself this morning on their performance by chatting with the portfolio managers on the way to my desk so I can explain the different positions and performance in detail.

12:00 pm: Call our key hedge fund clients to explain the negative performance for the week, how we have hedged their portfolios to mitigate risk and how we have limited the downside in the turbulent markets. In times of very negative performance it is particularly essential to anticipate client concerns and get on the phone with them proactively to explain positions, performance and risk management strategies in place. I call 6 top clients while my Associate calls the remainder.

1:00 pm: Cold-calling time for some clients in Jeddah and Riyadh. The sales cycle with acquiring institutional assets of the sizes I am responsible for can be anything from 6 months to 1 year so I maintain a close dialogue with prospective clients, visit regularly and stay abreast of their news constantly.

3:00 pm: Monthly client servicing meeting with a client – I take the portfolio manager with me to the meeting as they will be asking technical questions about their positions and investments. We have a detailed presentation ready with their performance for the month broken down by market and investment strategy.

4:00 pm: Weekly conference call with London and sales directors all over the region to discuss status reports on different clients and prospects. I go through my list of clients and prospects and explain status of each as do all other sales directors on the call.

5:00 pm: Read through my Associates’ monthly entry for the Consultants that track us. I get a lot of business through Consultants and its very important that I engage them in constant dialogue, keep them updated with the performance of the portfolios they track and supply them with all information they need on a regular basis. I meet with consultants on at least a quarterly basis and regularly try to get new top Consultants on board.

5:30 pm: Meet with portfolio manager to discuss a huge new account we have just acquired following a successful proposal and presentation that culminated a 8 month prospecting process. The portfolio managers are very excited about this account. Discuss performance of all accounts while I’m with the portfolio team.

6:00 pm: Finalize my presentation for my upcoming trips – I will be giving performance review presentation for existing clients and generic introductory presentations to prospective clients this trip. I will also give one highly customized presentation to a prospective client I already met with who requested a very precise proposal.

6:45 pm: Collect my plane tickets, agenda and bound customized presentations from my secretary – I will be in Bahrain and KSA for the rest of the week meeting with clients and prospects. Head home.

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