Gareth is Head of Business Development at Coopman Search and Selection. He is professionally qualified in the field of financial planning in both Ireland and South Africa, having acquired 30 years’ experience in both the insurance and asset management industry. During that time, Gareth performed a broad palette of roles with extensive hands-on, cross-functional experience as an investment professional across all asset classes and is a distribution expert across institutional, wholesale and retail domains. Get to know Gareth in this spotlight interview covering his impressive career, the trends he is seeing in the financial services market, his advice for senior management looking to hire talent in 2022 and more.
1) TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER TO DATE.
I’m privileged to have worked most of my career in a substantial asset manager, embedded in various investment teams spanning the entire asset class and investment strategy universe – encompassing active, passive and alternatives and performing a wide variety of front and middle office functions. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed engaging many profoundly bright and seasoned investment professionals, learning about all the different dimensions of money management.
2) WHY DID YOU JOIN COOPMAN?
Andrew and Mark presented me with a compelling career proposition to help grow Coopman into a formidable specialist recruitment business through leveraging my expansive network of global investment professionals whilst still remaining engaged in the excitement of financial markets. There are some unique sales and client engagement angles I will pursue, where I hope to make a positive difference for Coopman in the world of financial services recruitment.
3) HOW WILL YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR ROLE AT COOPMAN?
I have a deep understanding of all the different ways in which money can be managed – in a non-judgmental way – every philosophy and process will have its time in the sun at some stage of the business and investment cycle, so knowing this gives me an edge in helping clients source the right individuals to match their peculiar talent requirements in the front office domain. I also bring solid experience in understanding the complex world of clients and professional asset allocators.
4) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS OR ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
I’ve been blessed with winning numerous top achievement awards throughout my career, though most memorable and meaningful to me were the significant recommendations I received from clients when I emigrated from South Africa – they meant more to me than a plaque or silver tray or golden carriage clock!
5) WHAT KEY TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE IRISH AND UK FINANCIAL SERVICES MARKET?
Coming from South Africa, I had this impression that the UK and Irish financial markets were somewhat superior and far-advanced in terms of investment strategy and policy. The reality is that the UK is on par with South Africa insofar as DB/DC investment strategy and retail investment options, whereas Ireland is somewhat lagging both. Hopefully, however, a positive side effect from Brexit will see the Irish investment management space play catch-up. ESG/SRI/impact investing is hugely topical and relevant, as is the increasing allocation to private markets/alternatives investments – though policy makers and providers still need to resolve the challenges of fees and liquidity.
6) WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP TEAMS LOOKING TO HIRE TALENT IN 2022?
The UK investment management landscape is fairly cosmopolitan, whereas Ireland has further to go in terms of diversity inclusion to achieve this level, particularly across racial and cultural boundaries. For example, the UK has introduced the 10000 Black Interns programme which will bear meaningful fruit in the next 7-10 years, however more can be done in the here and now. Leadership should seriously consider and investigate sponsoring diversity candidates from outside the UK/Ireland. There’s an enormous pool of seriously qualified, and highly experienced black investment and accounting professionals in South Africa for example.
7) WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST IN YOUR ROLE AT COOPMAN?
Coopman is making significant inroads in the financial services recruitment space – I relish the opportunity to play a significant role in helping the firm achieve its various performance objectives and milestones.
8) WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I’m mostly a ‘family-man’ and lover of a broad spectrum of outdoor pursuits – you’ll most likely catch me at sunrise walking on the beach with my wife and daughter, or on some windswept rocky point, fishing rod in hand, chaffing with my two teenage lads.
If you would like to discuss the financial services market in Dublin or London, contact Gareth on email@example.com.