Joe is a well spoken, considered and thoughtful new staff member that’s going to make a big impact on the Melbourne office. When he’s not teeing opportunities up for his clients, you might hear Joe discussing golf on Brisbane radio on a Saturday morning. His love of adventure has seen him hike some of the world’s great trails – he gives us his top three, and as a more recent Melbournian, Joe has finally chosen an AFL team to support…
Joe, what got you into fixed income?
Well, my background was always in financial and investment markets. I’ve been in front of private clients for 16 years. I actually used to work in Queensland about a decade ago, with our now Head of Private Client Solutions for QLD/WA, Mark Connors and so, between a few phone calls, the opportunity to work in the Melbourne office arose.
Fixed income has always been an asset class that has interested me. Previously, I worked six and a half years at Commonwealth Private Bank, and most of our clients were high to ultra high net worth individuals. We always gave a significant amount of their allocations to fixed income. Unfortunately, we could never do that directly though.
Now, working at FIIG, I have the opportunity to work at a private client level and in an asset class I really believe in.
You actually grew up in Brisbane didn’t you, how did you find the move down south, to Melbourne?
Yes, apparently the last two winters have been unusually cold, but I did come here with reasonably low expectations of the weather being a Queenslander. I feel like I’ve held up pretty well. I just needed to add a few things to my wardrobe, for the first time in my life, I own a coat!
What is your main interest outside of work?
Actually, I am very interested in golf. I used to play fairly frequently, less now because I am so busy. But, I still speak to a local radio network, called Bridge FM at Redcliffe, in Brisbane. It’s every Saturday morning at 7:05 am for 15 mins and I discuss golf around the world – what’s happened, what’s happening and what will be happening! It’s a not for profit radio station.
It’s pretty funny when I tell people that, I think they just look at me and go, “What, you talk on the radio?” I think they think I’m some former pro, but no… I’m just a golf tragic!
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to start playing, Joe?
Practice, practice, practice! If you become a very good putter, you will save a truckload of strokes off your score. It’s very easy to go to a putting green and everyone can swing a golf club. But if you can putt well, you will have some very good scores.
What other hobbies do you have?
You can put me down for absolutely all sports! It’s funny, I didn’t really follow AFL until I moved to Melbourne though. Since then, I’ve chosen a local team, the Demons. It's great to see them make the finals this year.
I also have run a lot of marathons. I’ve completed the Gold Coast Marathon and Half Marathon, I used to be a reasonably good state level runner through high school and university before I decided to get serious about life (laughs). Now, I run the Tan down here in Melbourne, it’s one of my favourites! It’s a cracker, I love the sound of the crunching gravel under my feet. I use to run in Queensland with my running group around the Enoggera dam.
Can you tell us a bit about your family?
Yes, I’m similar to a lot of the FIIG cohort actually. We seem to have a large number of girls. I have two girls and everyone seems to have girls around here!
My eldest is 10 years old and will start at a new school next year and the other is eight years old.
What are you looking forward to achieving this year with your team?
Between Chris Thomas and me, we are looking to reenergise the team here and build a better culture in the Melbourne office. That is, we want passionate people who are excited about FIIG and delivering greater access to fixed income investments. So we want to have a group of people who live and breathe the asset class, that really believe in it.
My big belief and what I strive for is that everyone works for the team. I really want to instill in the office a mentality where we look after each other. That’s our number one priority and so far, I think we’re achieving that.
When I was in Sydney last, I was able to be part of their team building one minute plank challenge. If you could introduce a similar initiative to Melbourne what would it be?
I have mentioned it before, but I don’t want to copy Sydney. I wouldn’t mind introducing wall sits, it’s a bit challenging – you do get a real burn in the thighs! (laughs) Only once a week though…
What does success look like to you?
Really feeling as though you have achieved the right outcome for the client. Most clients come to see us because they want to feel more secure in their investments, so providing a high quality portfolio is so important. A job well done is making sure that they can pass that ‘sleep at night’ test. That’s success to me.
What’s something else that not a lot of people know about you?
There are two things that people might be surprised about. The first is I flew a plane solo at 16. The other is that I was on Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2009. I answered plenty of questions and had a final chance for the $10,000 question, but I got it wrong. Still walked away with a grand though!
If you could interview anyone who would it be?
Theodore Roosevelt, because of his leadership, as a former US president, he was an inspirational speaker and someone that I admire. His ‘The Man in the Arena’ speech is particularly inspirational.
If you could take three things to a deserted island what would it be?
I’ve hiked a lot around the world, so there’s not actually a lot I would need. I would probably really enjoy being off the grid to be honest. So probably just my family, there’s three of them too, so I’m safe!
What would be your three best hiking recommendations?
- The Larapinta trail, that was about 223 km – we did it pretty quickly in 8 nights and 9 days. There were a couple of days over the 40km mark.
- Drakensberg in South Africa was amazing too. My mates and I still talk about that. It is a few hours west of Durban, you hike over the boarder to Lesotho.
- South America in general was breathtaking, in particular the Andes and Peru. We did the Inca trail too.
And finally, since you’re in Melbourne now and I’ve never asked this before, if you were a type of coffee what coffee would you be and why?
That’s a good one – I’d have to say a long macchiato! Because not too much froth and straight to the point!