Meet Kieran Quaine, our Head of Managed Income Portfolio Services in the Sydney office
Hi Kieran, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Born in Melbourne, educated and grew up in Canberra mostly, with a long period of schooling in Colchester England. The whole family travelled extensively when I was in my teens, with a long stint in San Diego, California notable. We traveled care of my father’s role as the head of the Royal Military College computer department and his academic research appointments to various universities. From a young age, my father made understanding maths easy, so is not surprising that two of his children chose careers in finance, with my younger brother working for JP Morgan.
I have lived in Sydney on the Northern Beaches for over 30 years. I enjoy all board sports, but surfing especially, a little golf and tennis occasionally, and watching Aussie Rules (rather than playing for a long time now). I’m one of five children, am married to Penelope, and have one daughter and two step daughters. Penelope and I are both keen surfers and we escape the city most weekends, usually to the south coast of NSW where we have a shack (literally).
Where did you previously work before coming to FIIG?
There is a long history given I’m 53! The highlight includes roles as a bond fund manager for the largest of Australia’s life insurance companies (13 years) where I managed a lot of money, and as a proprietary interest rate trader for a US investment bank (4 years).
You are Head of Managed Income Portfolio Services, can you tell us what your role entails?
I’m ultimately responsible for investing client capital entrusted within MIPS. Essentially, within the boundaries of investment mandates, I endeavour to deliver clients the highest possible returns whilst taking commensurate risk.
What are your top three reasons clients should invest with MIPS?
- The unique value proposition that MIPS, via FIIG, delivers – direct exposure to diversified high yield.
- My experience generating high returns in the bond market.
- FIIG’s capability, through a large team, to service client requirements beyond investment returns.
What are your thoughts on the current performance of MIPS?
In what has been a very challenging market environment, performance has been very strong, both absolutely and relatively, for all clients both large and small. We sit above bond market index returns and very high on the league tables (top 3 of over 40 competitors on one year rolling), proving our investment process exceeds the average industry standard.
What is the number one thing you hope to achieve with MIPS or at FIIG in the next year?
Growing MIPS funds under management. The MIPS team is initially focussed on exceeding $500m, from the current $200m, as a first target. We’re working very hard to communicate the value proposition (see the website) and the advantage the MIPS menu of opportunity can deliver all bond market investors, independent of their capital.
Is there anything you find challenging about your role?
Plenty! There is so much information to digest daily and so many decisions to make. I might not wear my (investment manager) heart on my sleeve, but I do not take the responsibility of capital management lightly. I often quietly debate with myself the implications of alternate investment strategies and do opine over the various performance and volatility outcomes that are possible.
Has there been a particularly memorable day on the job?
Many in prior roles at FIIG. But as Head of MIPS, it was the days when my two largest customised accounts added significant capital, acknowledging their faith in the MIPS team’s capability.
What is an important lesson you’ve learnt during your time at FIIG?
Persevere. I’ve worked in sales, facilitation and syndication before the current role. If you concentrate on the job at hand and you persevere, you will succeed. The FIIG platform and reach is quite a remarkable opportunity.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you may have received?
If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does. And when asked yourself, help.
Thinking outside the (work) box, where is your favourite city in the world?
That’s as hard as picking a favourite movie, so I’ll nominate a few. I don’t like cities as much as sleepy coastal towns with great surf, and really you can’t beat home grown. In Australia, Lorne, Victoria and Yamba, NSW have been favourites to visit. Internationally, I love Raglan, New Zealand.
Is there a musician/actor/performer you wish you could meet? If so, what would you say to them?
Might as well add a time machine factor whilst we are in fantasy land. Meeting Bill Murray before the final casting of ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ back in 2004 would be cool. I would say, “Have you considered Scotty Whitecross for the role of Vladimir Wolodarsky? Yes, Noah Taylor is very good, but maybe Scotty fits the Bill?”
I would then also insist on an invitation to the wrap party (for both of us with +1’s!).
Going back in time, are there any childhood/early memories you wish you could relive?
Best to look forward not backward, but while we are being Bill Murray for a Groundhog Day, maybe reliving some of my long distant sporting victories would be fun – my 1984 university team grand final win for one.
What is a characteristic you most admire in others?
Last but not least, how do you define success?
Doing the best you possibly can with the opportunities you get.