Our series "Meet the Team" continues with an interview of Jonathan Sheridan from the Sydney office
Associate Director – Fixed Income Sales
Jonathan grew up in Kent, England, where he studied biology before becoming a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London. He now lives in Sydney with wife Alison and their two young children. Jonathan is a keen advocate for fixed income investment and is one of the presenters of FIIG’s Introduction to Fixed Income seminars. He is also a regular face on Sky Business News where he comments on fixed income markets. Below, Jonathan tells us why he moved to Australia, his top piece of advice for clients, and his top bond pick.
Why did you move to Australia?
I came over initially following my wife when she got a job at an accounting firm. My wife wanted to stay for only two years but that quickly disappeared and we’re here for the long term now. We bought a house here in 2008 and we’ve got two children. We got our citizenship in 2011.
Why did you decide to stay?
England and London have been really tough since the GFC so that was a factor. But it was more a lifestyle thing for me. I was commuting to London which was taking me three hours a day and I wanted to play rugby as well in a new environment.
It’s difficult with family being over there and we don’t have any family over here. But I think everything else just outweighs that. I wouldn’t want to change here for my own home town. I live in Sydney which is one of the most beautiful cities that there is and I live pretty close to the city and the harbour and it’s a walk to Balmoral Beach from my house. You just can’t replicate that anywhere else.
Did you keep playing rugby in Australia?
Yes, I played for Northern Suburbs in the Sydney Grade competition for nine years. I had started off as a full back but as I got older and slower I moved into the forwards. Two years ago I stopped playing and I joined the club board.
Why did you join FIIG?
When I worked at Credit Suisse I ended up running their accounting function. Part of my role was having daily contact with the trading desk and that got me much more interested in markets. Then I made the move at the start of 2011 to their Private Bank as an advisor to high net worth clients. My experience there convinced me there was a massive opportunity in Australia generally for fixed income and also for FIIG. One of my private clients recommended FIIG to me and then wrote me a nice reference as well as so it was a good fit all round.
Have you had any feedback from your television work?
I don’t get stopped in the street but a few of my former colleagues have emailed me to tell me I’ve got a good face for radio!
What are your other interests?
I’ve got a scientific background. I did a biology degree so I’m really interested in that sort of stuff. My degree is in whole system ecodynamics. Looking at the way whole ecosystems interact at the large animal level. Things like large mammals, jungle ecosystems, shorelines and that sort of stuff interests me.
What have you learned from your clients?
You can’t just be narrowly focused. You’ve got to be a citizen of the world these days and consider all sorts of different things. Having a broad interest base and education and being widely read is a requirement. You can’t just be a specialist because your clients aren’t like that.
Top piece of advice to clients
Realise that we are in a different investing world to the one that we’ve seen for the last two decades and you’ve got to act appropriately. There is unprecedented central bank intervention and that is the key to the whole global economy at the moment. No one really knows what is going to come out of it. No one knows what a base interest rate for the economy is going to be. Rates are really low on everything. I think there is going to be a popping of the asset price bubble, in particular in equities, that’s been created since the GFC and you’ve got to be prepared for that. When the crash comes you want to be in conservative assets not risk assets because risk assets will be hit the hardest.
Top Bond pick
Sydney Airport 2020’s. They are a really solid infrastructure asset with a decent yield, not too much duration, and inflation protection. I think that’s a massively underestimated risk in the economy and in portfolios generally. I’m a big fan of inflation protection.
Jonathan Sheridan can be contacted in the Sydney office on 02 9697 8749