We talk to Philippe Rohner, Senior Investment Manager with Pictet Asset Management. He tells us what's different about being a 'thematic fund manager', what helps him in his work and how he winds down after a busy week.
Philippe Rohner is a Senior Investment Manager in the Sector and Theme Funds unit at Pictet Asset Management. He joined Pictet Asset Management in 1998 as an equity analyst with responsibility for the Swiss Chemicals sector.
What’s your responsibility as a Senior Investment Manager?
Thematic fund managers have a dual role at Pictet Asset Management. As investment managers we perform the function of a buy-side analyst for the stocks we cover and at the same time each investment manager is responsible as a portfolio manager for the implementation of their respective views and convictions. Thus, like my colleagues, I look after a part of the stocks that constitute the investable universe of the Pictet-Water fund.
Most fund managers for UK investors are based in London – where are you based and what do you like about that?
Like the rest of the Pictet-Water team members, I am based in Geneva. It is a big plus to have all team members at one location in my view. That said, we do have daily contact, both on a regular morning call and on an ad-hoc basis with our buy-side and portfolio manager colleagues in London.
What does a typical day look like?
In my view, there is no such thing as a "typical" day for investment managers. Yes, there are certain elements of the job that perhaps have a routine dimension, such as attending meetings, discussing one's views with colleagues, seeing company managements, talking to sell-side analysts and presenting to existing and potential clients, consultants, etc. That said, one must not loose sight the all important role of monitoring the performance of the portfolio in general and one's holdings/convictions in particular.
What makes the biggest difference to your working life?
Working in an open office structure with colleagues that enjoy working together.
What are your top predictions for investors in 2012?
Personally, I am not a big fan of trying to predict or speculate about the future especially when it comes to investment decisions. I am more concerned with seeing that in this case the portfolio is well constructed and is able to provide the best risk adjusted returns going forward.
How do you unwind after a busy week?
On the weekend I tend to unwind by spending most of my time in the company of my family and friends.
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