Two minutes with: M&G’s Claudia Calich

Emerging market debt manager says the asset class is more egalitarian than most


M&G’s Emerging Market Bond fund manager Claudia Calich, was the Platinum winner of the Emerging Market Fixed Income category at Portfolio Adviser’s Fund Awards in January 2019.

Calich chatted to PA about her biggest career regret and her biggest pet peeves about the asset management industry.

What would you change about the asset management industry as it is?

I find that the asset class is relatively egalitarian in the sense that if a fund manager’s outperformance is consistent, it will be recognised by clients and peers, regardless if the manager is a man or a woman. Having said that, women are still underrepresented in the industry, particular as fund managers.  I would encourage a higher participation of female applicants in the industry.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you and why?

Seeds so that I can plant fruits and vegetables; books so that I can continue learning; a first aid kit that I hope I will not have to use.

What was the last book you read that has influenced your day job?

The last book is ‘The Allotment Guidebook’. My allotment helps me to maintain a healthy work-life balance between my indoor, computer heavy and occasionally stressful financial career with nature and healthy living.

What is your biggest career regret?

I had changed jobs a few months before the Russian financial crisis in 1998 as I wanted to start getting closer to investing after my prior positions on emerging markets research. In hindsight, the timing was wrong as the Russian crisis changed the priorities of the firm. They decided against increasing investments in emerging markets and they no longer needed me for the position I was hired for. Although they offered me two alternative positions for me to stay at the bank, neither was related to emerging markets debt and I ended up leaving the firm less than a year after I had joined.

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