FIIG Securities is pleased to introduce Kevin Hill, our new Director - Sales, Short Term Money Markets
Kevin is an experienced professional who comes to FIIG from NSW Treasury Corporation where he was a client relationship manager. Before that, he held senior positions in institutional sales at Goldman Sachs, JB Were and the Commonwealth Bank.
In his new role, Kevin is responsible for growing the term deposit book by engaging with the ADI sector, including banks, building societies and credit unions and also investors, to ensure that FIIG has the right cash and term deposit product fit for our clients.
Despite the relatively low rates available in term deposits right now, Kevin is a true believer who will happily argue the benefits of their inclusion as part of a diversified portfolio, any day of the week.
When he isn’t haggling a better rate for FIIG’s clients, Kevin can be found enjoying the Australian bush with his wife and three children, or playing music.
Below, Kevin tells us why he joined FIIG, shares his top piece of investment advice, and how he came to play Aussie pub rock at jazz joint The Basement.
1. What was your first job?
When I was still at school I worked as a porter at the Gazebo Hotel in Kings Cross. Kings Cross was a little more bohemian back then. My parents were pretty conservative and for a 15-year old from the North Shore to go and work in The Cross on weekends, it was a real eye opener. There were plenty of interesting characters and I was learning new lessons every day.
At that time I had thoughts of maybe going into the hotel industry, but once I discovered that you had to work every Saturday night and public holidays, I soon went off that dream!
2. How did you get into financial services?
When I left school I opted to work rather than going straight to full time study. I studied accounting at night and worked in the Commonwealth Bank with a view to progressing my career from there.
I started in the branches and had an immediate interest in customer service. I was drawn to that from the outset. I worked at one of the CBA’s larger branches at North Sydney, and I took an interest from the early days in investments.
After this interest had emerged I spent a training period in the CBA’s dealing room and shortly after was appointed to a dealing role in the Commonwealth’s merchant bank’s money market.
3. What did you learn from the CBA?
The CBA, being such as large organisation, allowed me to work in a whole range of different roles, from residential mortgage lending, to futures broking from the trading floor of the Sydney Futures Exchange.
The most important thing that I learned was to listen to your clients and ensure that they continue to trust you. Integrity to me has always been absolutely key. I've had clients for many, many years. If they trust you, that brings testimonials and allows you to continue to do business. Australia is a very small market and to stay in the game, this element is critical to commercial success.
4. What attracted you to FIIG?
The opportunity to contribute to the further development of a successful business that has been founded on the back of great ideas, vision and a lot of hard work, was very appealing.
I think that most people acknowledge that if someone's vision has transitioned in such a positive manner, then that is to be applauded. There's also some fantastic energy here and it’s really exciting to be involved in that.
5. What is the number one thing you hope to achieve at FIIG?
The Short Term Money Market team has already developed long-standing, warm and successful client relationships. I want to drive further development and enhancement of our product offering to satisfy the appetite of a client base that is rapidly expanding.
6. Is this a hard time to be selling term deposits?
It depends. Obviously, rates are low but if you’re looking at investing from a capital preservation and diversification point of view, term deposit investing still makes absolute sense.
I can comfortably argue the case for their inclusion on these points any day of the week, regardless of current yields.
7. Worst day on the job (in your career)?
Like many others, I'd have to classify September 11, 2001 as my worst day. I think everybody almost without exception felt a connection with the people in New York. They had just headed off to the office, like any other day and, of course, many of the World Trade Center victims also worked in financial markets.
The worst sides of some people was also evident. I recall a client getting very excited because he'd had a big win on a trade that night and I clearly remember thinking that that wasn't the time to be so openly enjoying that success.
8. Favourite pastime?
I love to get out of town, I love the bush and I love spending time with my family. Not surprisingly then, there is something about a country road trip that makes me happy .
I also love my music. I've played drums in bands since I was in my teens. There's a financial markets charity called Market Rock where they get a number of financial market participants to form their own bands and play at “The Basement” an iconic jazz venue in the city.
I was in a band called the Night Owls until about two years ago, playing mainly pub rock. We did 11 of those gigs in a row which was a lot of fun. It was also gratifying to be involved in this event, as it was a fundraiser to put a music therapist into the oncology ward out at Westmead Children's Hospital.
9. Top piece of advice for investors?
I'd encourage anyone to really understand their cash flows so they're better prepared to face challenges and take advantage of any investment opportunities when they're presented.
A greater understanding of these inputs within the framework of clearly defined investment objectives makes great sense and has the capacity to add significant value over time.
Kevin Hill is based in the Sydney office. He can be contacted on (02) 9697 8704