Last month, you read about Bowmore’s research in the press, our charitable endeavours, and success both in awards and exams.
This month, there is much to report from Bowmore HQ. Our colleagues’ involvement in the epic Ride for Precious Lives continues; plus, we hear from a young member of the Bowmore Asset Management team about her role.
In conversation with Stephanie White
Stephanie White is a trainee investment manager here at Bowmore. We caught up with Stephanie about her journey at Bowmore so far, and her hopes for the future of sustainable investing.
So, Steph, when did you join Bowmore?
It’s coming up to three years – I joined in September 2019. Time flies…
What was it like joining the team so close to the start of the pandemic? That must have been tough.
When I joined, we all got to know each other very quickly. We work collaboratively and communicate all day every day, so when we started working from home, luckily it wasn’t too hard. I am very lucky to have some outside space at home and I don’t live alone, which made it all easier too.
What drew you to the role of investment manager?
It was really natural. I’ve always had a passion for sustainability, so seeing the massive popularity of responsible investing grow, that was something that really excited me. I think we’re at a tipping point – things are changing and I want to be part of that change.
Following on from that, how has it felt to be learning this role in an unprecedented era of volatility?
It’s unique, I suppose. I find it really interesting speaking to more experienced team members who remember the financial crisis and learning what that era was like.
Yet this time is completely new – we’re living in a very strange time. It’s easy to get bogged down in all of the negative news and crises happening. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share the lessons I’ve learnt during this time with new colleagues in years to come.
How do you look after your mental health in a job where so many external forces will affect the outcome of your work?
Well, it’s important to remember that the market can behave like a very young child. The child has a toy, then it throws the toy away and picks up a new one.
So, everything will pass. It’s unlikely that we’ll face the same issues in five years’ time that we are facing today. Knowing that time will progress everything along really does help.
Plus, at the moment, I’m studying for an exam – that takes my mind off things and helps me focus.
Which exam are you studying for?
My next exam is the CFA ESG. It’s an important accreditation within sustainable investing, so I’m both excited and nervous.
It’s also very different to the others because it’s not at all mathematical. Instead, it drills down into the major themes of sustainable investing and the meaning behind certain words, like “responsible” and “ethical”.
I’ve done six exams so far and will have three more to do before I’m fully qualified. I’ve got to know the people at the test centre now, which is nice.
Good luck for it. It sounds like you’ve got a great routine going. Coming back to your role, what would you say is your favourite thing about training in investment management?
I’m really enjoying the research side of the investment process at the moment. I’m very lucky to be guided by Johnny (Webster-Smith) and Owen (Moore) from the investment team, who have a great deal of experience behind them.
On the other side of things, is there anything about your role you have found unexpectedly challenging?
Right now, it is just confidence building, which takes time. Having the confidence to ask questions, for example, or request an explanation when you don’t understand things.
For example, it does take confidence to put your hand up and say, “I don’t understand.”
I’ve been really lucky with how supportive the team is, so I suppose it’s about building my own confidence over time. There’s no shortcut, really, and I believe working up my confidence is better than being overconfident on day one.
Lastly, what advice would you give someone – particularly a young woman – who wants to train as an investment manager?
I would say: “Go for it!”
There’s room for everyone. Build up your experience, get your qualifications, work hard and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Duncan and Mark continue their training for the 205-mile Ride for Precious Lives
Since February, our financial planner Mark Millet and paraplanner Duncan Harvey, have been training to complete the Ride for Precious Lives 2022 in support of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).
Mark and Duncan are fast approaching July’s big race date. Before we hear from them, here is a reminder of the work CHSW do and why Bowmore are committed to supporting them through this charitable endeavour.
About Children’s Hospice South West and the Ride for Precious Lives
CHSW supports terminally ill children and their families through the unthinkable every single day.
For more than 30 years, the centre has provided palliative care for children, a sibling service for other children in the family, support for parents and a bereavement service.
On average, children’s hospices receive only 17% of their budget from the government; the rest of their care is funded by generous donations by members of the public.
For CHSW, providing support to ill children and their families costs £11 million a year.
The Ride for Precious Lives is one of CHSW’s most important annual fundraising events. Each year, hundreds of cyclists complete a 205-mile journey through the south-west to raise money for the hospice.
This year, the three-day event will be held between 8 and 11 July. Our colleagues, Mark and Duncan, have taken on the challenge of completing the ride in support of CHSW.
You can read about the incredible work CHSW does every day on their website and can donate to the Ride for Precious Lives via our JustGiving page.
Words from Mark Millet as the Ride for Precious Lives 2022 approaches
“Well, it’s about six weeks now until we embark upon the challenging Ride for Precious Lives. Eek!
“Everything is becoming very real – our weekly training is going well, with the emphasis now being on hills and the challenges they bring. We are not calling them ‘hills’, just ‘undulations’ – it helps us mentally.
“We have had our fair share of trials and tribulations so far with training, the latest of which was the steering failure on my bike. Fortunately, we found out about that before I was hurtling down a hill!
“I’ve had my second bike fit and am now trying to decide on the most comfortable saddle for the ride. This is clearly a delicate matter; a high degree of comfort is essential, given the 205 miles we intend to cover.
“We are building our sponsorship which has gone up steadily, but we still need your support. You can donate to support CHSW via our JustGiving page or by scanning the QR code.
“Many thanks to those that have already given. It’s such an important cause and your generosity will assist up and down those hills. I mean, undulations…”