Tuesday 15 October 2019 by Guest Contributor Opinion

Meet the team - Zhongni Filipovic

Zhongni joined FIIG’s Institutional Fixed Income team in early 2018. With over 8 years’ experience in the financial services industry in Australia and Singapore, Zhongni brings a wealth of fixed income knowledge. When she isn’t helping and educating clients on the benefits of bonds, Zhongni loves working out, watching sports and spending time with family.  Below, Zhongni discusses her journey from Shanghai to Singapore and then Melbourne, her favourite part of the job, and what her hobbies are.

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How did you end up working in Melbourne? 
I was born in Shanghai, China and moved to Singapore at the age of 18. When I was working as a fixed income trader at BNP Paribas Asset Management in Singapore in 2014, I met my now husband, I then courageously relocated to Melbourne for love. I kept my original Chinese first name and took my husband’s last name. Once you know how to pronounce my name, you won’t be able to forget it easily as it is so unique!

How long have you been working in the bond market? 
I always consider myself lucky in that aspect. After I graduated from university I took my first job as a fixed income trader with a European hedge fund based in Singapore and I have been working in the fixed income sector ever since. I’ve now been specialising in fixed income for eight years. Fixed Income is an asset class not known by a lot of people. Hence, I am proud to be a specialist in this area and educate clients and friends about this asset class and the benefits of bonds.

How do you like working at FIIG? 
My team at BNP Paribas used to manage various global investment mandates. We had a dedicated sales team, while my job was focused on credit analysis, running macros and executing trades. It was fast pace and exciting but I would never know who my end clients were. At FIIG I work with institutions as well as private clients. Aside from putting through bond trades, I enjoy getting to know each of my clients and building relationships with them. These relationships  make my job more rewarding which is what I appreciate and love most in this job. 

What is your top recommendation for clients?

I am an advocate for diversification. The global economy continually shifts its momentum and a diversified investment portfolio can  reduce risks and help to generate stable income. Within a fixed income portfolio, I prefer a mixture of AUD and USD bonds, as this doesn’t alter the level of credit risk, but USD bonds tend to pay a higher fixed coupon, although there is some foreign exchange  risk.  I currently like the 2026c USD bond issued by QBE Insurance Group. It is a well-known retail issuer and the issue itself has an investment grade rating and pays a coupon of 5.875% p.a. Hard to find a reason not to like it  

What is your main passion outside of work?
I enjoy working out and keeping fit. I live on acreage in the eastern suburbs - surrounded by parks and kangaroos and unfortunately snakes. A Sunday jog around my suburb is always sensational and has been my favourite. I also enjoy watching sports. I follow AFL, NRL, cricket and UFC.

Zhongni is in the Melbourne office and can be contacted on (03) 8868 8881 or click here to view her profile.

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