Joshua is a Portfolio Strategist supporting the Total Portfolio Management team’s development of medium-term asset allocation strategy. He provides the management, strategy, execution function, and research coverage to improve the overall risk-adjusted returns of the GIC portfolio.
Outside of work, he is developing a newfound appreciation of art, especially from local and regional artists hit hard by the pandemic. He also makes frequent trips to various museums and cultural places in Singapore ever since his wife started a museum docent training programme when the pandemic hit.
Why did you decide to join GIC?
I think an ideal employer should offer good learning opportunities, tailored professional development programmes for employees, and a supportive and inclusive culture that ideally provides work-life balance.
In my previous role in the Australian pension industry, I met my current manager while on a work trip to Singapore even before I knew the opportunity was available. It was especially instructive at the time because I was impressed with the investment insights that a global peer fund like GIC was able to share in that meeting. Several months later, I stumbled across a job opportunity with GIC on the job portal and decided to apply. Who knew, the first person I’d talk to would turn out to become my current manager, whom I had met just a few months before? It was meant to be!
What does your typical workday look like?
A typical workday begins with a team meeting in the morning to discuss macro research, trade ideas, and portfolio implications. We then focus on portfolio research and may have calls with external/internal research analysts and portfolio managers. Despite the pandemic, we try to eat lunch together with other colleagues in the office whenever possible. The GIC café is one of my favourite places to meet new people and avoid the city’s coffee lines.
The afternoon would be spent on day-to-day portfolio management, researching on trade ideas and providing updates to various stakeholders. After work, I spend time with my family and, if there is any time left over, I exercise.
What do you like most about working here?
GIC has an incredible amount of access and reach. We get to evaluate research, exchange ideas, and speak with the best and brightest minds from our industry around the world. GIC’s status as a sovereign wealth fund enables us to exchange ideas with other global sovereign wealth and pension funds on tackling the same investment problems and generating returns for our countries/clients.
GIC’s advanced internal investment capabilities enable us to collaborate and invest alongside global asset managers. Our market leadership and broad execution footprints enable the exchange of ideas and research with sell-side investment banks. At times, I feel extremely fortunate to gain this level of exposure across various segments of the industry for my professional development.
I’ve seen many GIC initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. GIC provides supportive employment initiatives for people with disabilities, as well as a highly integrated work environment that is accommodating and respectful.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
Working in a leading investment firm, I believe I gained a lot of market experience, research, and portfolio management skills simply by working alongside incredibly bright colleagues with a wealth of experience.
I believe management has prioritised setting long-term goals and short-term milestones for my professional development as a junior portfolio manager. Challenges and self-improvement are rolled out incrementally based on a periodic feedback loop session and are tailored to the individual’s strengths and progress. In terms of career progression, no one has the same generic “roles and responsibilities” to grow into, and in some ways, the organisation tailors what’s best for you and what’s best for us.
What you should know before joining GIC
If possible before joining, I believe knowing GICians through your networks or through conferences would be highly beneficial in getting early insights into the firm and its culture. Every company’s culture is different and speaking to GICians will allow you to set realistic expectations very early on when planning for a long-term career. Most of the time, people base their expectations on model roles and responsibilities, but the company’s vision and culture play a huge part in your career experience too. Expanding your network early on is also highly useful where you can later tap on these relationships in a highly interconnected company such as GIC.