Tuesday 22 July 2014 by Guest Contributor At FIIG

Meet the team - George Whittle

Our series "Meet the team" continues with George Whittle, one of the up and coming dealers in the Melbourne office

George grew up in Brisbane before moving to Melbourne in early 2010. Originally studying Science at the University of Queensland, he transferred to Commerce at the University of Melbourne which has proved a great move for George and for FIIG.

Below, George tells us how he ended up in a sought after position as a bond dealer with Australia’s leading fixed-income broker, the best tip he has received from a client, and his top bond pick.

What attracted you to bond broking?

I started with FIIG two years ago working part-time while I was still studying. I was here two days a week working on the DirectBonds approvals process as well as bits and bobs with Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) and looking at things like FIIG’s liquidity versus the listed market.

I was lucky to be offered a full time position doing much the same work with additional responsibilities. I got a call pretty soon after from David Moore who asked if I would like to try my hand at bond dealing.

This is a really interesting space to be in. It’s growing and bonds are not something that a lot of people have in their portfolio or are familiar with. That has got me really engaged and the fixed income market is somewhere that I want to stay going forward.

A lot of university finance is about asset allocation and portfolio optimisation – the difference between best practice and ordinary investors is fairly amazing. Diversifying into fixed income makes sense and if you’re self-directed then direct ownership is the logical pathway.

What is your favourite part of the job?

I like looking at relative value and trying to judge how different securities are going to perform. The most rewarding part is definitely dealing with different people from different walks of life which wasn’t really something I had ever done before. Sitting down and talking to someone about what their goals are and working with that within the general advice framework to put something together that is going to perform is very satisfying.

Highlight of your time with FIIG?

I like the primary issue side of things. The first primary issue that I was on board for was the G8 Education fixed rate bond that was a really interesting experience. The FIIG Melbourne office is always a high intensity environment but primary issues really step it up a notch. The clients who have participated in those deals have had really good results so that’s probably the highlight.

Top bond pick?

Newcrest Finance has a 2022 fixed rate issue denominated in US dollars. Where a client has an existing currency view, this is a secure and liquid way to put that in place and further diversify their fixed income position. Newcrest has an impressive set of assets which bondholders can be very comfortable with.

The minimum parcels of USD 10,000 make these bonds really accessible and they are currently yielding 4.55% which would be compounded by a decline in the AUD.

Top piece of advice for clients?

Think carefully about what is appropriate for you in terms of asset allocation. Australians have historically been heavily allocated to direct property and equity and while this works for someone in their mid-twenties (!) it makes sense to move to lower risk, lower volatility assets over time.

Best piece of advice you ever heard from a client?

A client told me to start reading a column on Bloomberg View by a guy called Matt Levine. You don’t need to subscribe, it’s available on the website.

Levine used to be a lawyer, banker and a Latin teacher and a lot of what he writes has ended up informing my view of financial markets. Conveniently, it also lines up pretty closely with my sense of humour.

George Whittle can be contacted in the Melbourne office on 03 8668 8834


The contents of this document are copyright. Other than under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part of it may be reproduced, distributed or to a third party without FIIG’s prior written permission other than to the recipient’s accountants, tax advisors and lawyers for the purpose of the recipient obtaining advice prior to making any investment decision. FIIG asserts all of its intellectual property rights in relation to this document and reserves its rights to prosecute for breaches of those rights.

The information has been prepared solely for informational purposes only and does not constitute or form part of any offer for sale or subscription of, or solicitations or any offer to buy or subscribe for, or any invitation to subscribe for or purchase any securities and nothing contained herein shall form the basis of any contract or commitment whatsoever. The information is being furnished to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced or redistributed to any other person. No action has been taken to permit the public distribution of the information in any jurisdiction and the information should not be distributed to any person or entity in any jurisdiction where such distribution would be contrary to applicable law.

The information has not been lodged with Australian Securities and Investments Commission or any other authority. The information is intended for distribution only to financial institutions and professional investors whose ordinary business includes the buying or selling of securities in circumstances where disclosure is not required under Chapter 6D.2 or Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia (the “Corporations Act”) and only in such other circumstances as may be permitted by applicable law. Any securities that may be offered by the Issuer in, or into, Australia are offered only as an offer that would not require disclosure to investors under Part 6D.2 or 7.9 of the Corporations Act. This information is directed only to persons to whom disclosure is not required under Part 6D.2 or 7.9 of the Corporations Act. The information is a summary only and does not purport to be complete. It does not amount to an express or implied recommendation or a statement of opinion (or a report or either of those things) with respect to any investment in the Issuer nor does it constitute a financial product or financial advice. The information does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular investor. FIIG does not provide accounting, tax or legal advice. Prospective investors are required to make their own independent investigation and appraisal of the business and financial condition of the Issuer and the nature of any securities that may be issued by the Issuer. By accepting receipt of the information the recipient will be deemed to represent that they possess, either individually or through their advisers, sufficient investment expertise to understand the risks involved in any purchase or sale of any financial securities discussed herein.

Certain statements contained in the information may be statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements. These statements involve subjective judgement and analysis and may be based on third party sources and are subject to significant known and unknown uncertainties, risks and contingencies outside the control of the Issuer which may cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed or implied by these forward looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in the information regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. Opinions expressed are present opinions only and are subject to change without further notice. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein. There is no obligation to update, modify or amend the information or to otherwise notify the recipient if information, opinion, projection, forward-looking statement, forecast or estimate set forth herein, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

Any offering of any security or other financial instrument that may be related to the subject matter of this communication will be made pursuant to separate and distinct documentation (“Offering Documents”) and in such case the information will be superseded in its entirety by any such Offering Documents in its final form. In addition, because the information is a summary only, it may not contain all material terms and the information in and of itself should not form the basis for any investment decision. Any decision to purchase securities in the context of a proposed offering of securities, if any, should be made solely on the basis of information contained in the Offering Documents published in relation to such an offering.

Neither FIIG nor the Issuer shall have any liability, contingent or otherwise, to any user of the information or to third parties, or any responsibility whatsoever, for the correctness, quality, accuracy, timeliness, pricing, reliability, performance or completeness of the information. In no event will FIIG or the Issuer be liable for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages which may be incurred or experienced on account of the user using information even if it has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

FIIG has been engaged by the Issuer to arrange the issue and sale of the Notes by the company and will receive fees from the issuer of the Notes. FIIG, its directors and employees and related parties may have an interest in the company and any securities issued by the company and earn fees or revenue in relation to dealing in those securities.

FIIG provides general financial product advice only. As a result, this document, and any information or advice, has been provided by FIIG without taking account of your objectives, financial situation and needs. FIIG’s AFS Licence does not authorise it to give personal advice. Because of this, you should, before acting on any advice from FIIG, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this document, or any advice, relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product, you should obtain a product disclosure statement relating to the product and consider the statement before making any decision about whether to acquire the product. Neither FIIG, nor any of its directors, authorised representatives, employees, or agents, makes any representation or warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, or completeness, of this document or any advice. Nor do they accept any liability or responsibility arising in any way (including negligence) for errors in, or omissions from, this document or advice. Any reference to credit ratings of companies, entities or financial products must only be relied upon by a ‘wholesale client’ as that term is defined in section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). FIIG strongly recommends that you seek independent accounting, financial, taxation, and legal advice, tailored to your specific objectives, financial situation or needs, prior to making any investment decision. FIIG does not provide tax advice and is not a registered tax agent or tax (financial) advisor, nor are any of FIIG’s staff or authorised representatives. FIIG does not make a market in the securities or products that may be referred to in this document. A copy of FIIG’s current Financial Services Guide is available at www.fiig.com.au/fsg.

An investment in notes or corporate bonds should not be compared to a bank deposit. Notes and corporate bonds have a greater risk of loss of some or all of an investor’s capital when compared to bank deposits. Past performance of any product described on any communication from FIIG is not a reliable indication of future performance. Forecasts contained in this document are predictive in character and based on assumptions such as a 2.5% p.a. assumed rate of inflation, foreign exchange rates or forward interest rate curves generally available at the time and no reliance should be placed on the accuracy of any forecast information. The actual results may differ substantially from the forecasts and are subject to change without further notice. FIIG is not licensed to provide foreign exchange hedging or deal in foreign exchange contracts services. The information in this document is strictly confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of the information contained in this document, you may not disclose or use the information in any way. No liability is accepted for any unauthorised use of the information contained in this document. FIIG is the owner of the copyright material in this document unless otherwise specified.

The FIIG research analyst certifies that all of the views expressed in this document accurately reflects their views about the companies and financial products referred to in this document and that their remuneration is not directly or indirectly related to the views of the research analyst. This document is not available for distribution outside Australia and New Zealand and may not be passed on to any third party without the prior written consent of FIIG.