Jörg de Vries-Hippen is the CIO for European Equities at Allianz Global Investors. He has built his career within AGI and has been part of the organization for 25 years since he finished his M.B.A. degree from the Universit of Mannheim in Germany.
You may have heard of one of Aesop’s fables called “The Tortoise and the Hare”. The fable is about an overconfident hare who ridicules a tortoise for being too slow. One day, the tortoise gets tired of being insulted and challenges the hare to a race. The hare, confident as it was, decides to take a nap in the middle of the race, believing it would arrive first anyway. Much to its dismay, the hare finds the tortoise slowly crawling its way over the finish line.
This is where we get the saying: “slow but steady wins the race”.
If I can think of a theme during our interview with Jörg, it is his emphasis on being predictable, both in terms of giving his clients a certain level of confidence in his investment strategy, as well as in terms of managing his own career. As an investment manager, Jörg emphasizes discipline and simplicity based on fundamentals, rather than following the latest investment trend and noise delivered to us from various media outlets. As a professional, he believes in the importance of being able to quickly adapt to changes within an organization. As he mentions during our interview, the company he joined 25 years ago is very different from the company he works for today. Yet, he was able to slowly and steadily acquire the experience needed to and climb his way up the corporate latter at Allianz Global Investors.
In this interview, we cover a wide range of topics such as the skills needed to succeed as a portfolio manager, the importance of both technical knowledge and the communication skills to be able to sell the story to prospective clients, how he handles uncertainty as a central part of his job as a CIO, what he looks for when hiring equity analysist and fund managers, and much more!
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[04:00] The importance of being flexible to change with your organization over time
[05:00] The difference between working in finance today when compared to 25 years ago
[06:15] What does it mean to build your career “the hard way”
[08:00] How long it takes to become a portfolio manager
[09:45] How we should be using technologies to make us better portfolio managers
[10:30] The importance of analytical vs. communication skills for an equity analyst/portfolio manager
[13:30] How does Jörg separate the signal from the noise as a portfolio manager
[16:30] How does Jörg deal with making prediction mistakes
[18:30] Jörg’s opinion on the current European equity markets
[20:00] The importance of being predictable, rather than following the current trend
[23:00] What to look at when looking at individual investments
[25:30] Jörg’s opinion on the impact of technology in the asset management industry in the near future
[27:00] What Jörg looks at when hiring an equity analyst or a fund manager
[30:00] His opinion on the importance of education and financial designations
[32:00] The career advice Jörg gives to his own children