‘Much Ado About Nothing!’ we both exclaim as, it having slipped her mind, Cynthia Bowring suddenly remembers the name of the play she came to see at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, writes Eleanor Mahmoud.
Shakespeare may not be an ordinarily covered Pub Club topic, but today we are having lunch at Swan, the iconic theatre’s restaurant. So that probably makes a lot more sense.
Northern girl Bowring has now lived in London for almost a year. She has been enjoying exploring what the capital has to offer, both culturally and work-wise. Having spent three and a half years at Sanlam Private Wealth’s office up in Kirkby Lonsdale, the portfolio manager took the plunge to move to its London office last year.
‘It’s been a very positive start to the year with lots of new business and pitches,’ she says. ‘My time in London has been incredibly busy so far.’
That is no wonder, as she has taken on a sizeable increase in the assets she manages for clients. She tells me how previously she used to manage about £5 million personally, with another £15 million under joint management. In her new position it’s looking more like £50 million.
‘Moving to this role in London has been a huge learning curve for me. Not only has there been a significant increase in the assets I manage, but also in the situations I’m exposed to,’ Bowring explains. ‘I’m meeting different clients with different requirements; some more investment savvy, others less so.’
I commend Bowring on her choice of lunch venue. It may be more restaurant than pub, but I’ll allow it – with its view over the Thames and its light and airy interior, it’s a charming spot to spend a couple of hours.
We both order a glass of wine and I’m keen to hear more about how Bowring got to where she is today.
Having studied economics and philosophy at Leeds University, she is full of praise for her time there: ‘Leeds Business School is great as they have a really wide range of topics you can study. I studied subjects ranging from the economics of famine to statistics. On the philosophy side of my degree, my dissertation was on Aristotle’s theory on how to live a good life.’
We are certainly living a good life as we tuck into our lunch – pork croquettes for starter and cod fillet for Bowring’s main, while I enjoy duck eggs and mushrooms followed by duck breast.
Upon graduating, Bowring returned to Border Asset Management in Kirkby Lonsdale, a firm where she had previously done work experience. She then made her initial steps down to London, joining Murano where she spent a year doing investor research for a number of hedge funds.
In the meantime, Sanlam had bought Border Asset Management and contacted her with an opportunity to come back North and join the firm permanently – which she did.
Bowring compliments the team there and explains the reason why she chose to move away: ‘I love the people side of portfolio management; one of the reasons I moved to our London office was to have more exposure to more clients.’
In a bid to compete with Wealth Manager’s On the Road team, Bowring has spent a lot of time travelling herself recently.
‘I like to meet my clients in person to help build their trust in me,’ she says. ‘As I introduce myself to my new clients they have been amazingly trusting, which is a great reflection on Sanlam as a firm.’
Glass half full:
‘Emerging markets. As long term investors, there are significant demographic benefits to investing in the region. Regulations are improving and valuations are cheaper than developed markets at present.’
Glass half empty:
‘Developed equity markets. Not so much glass half empty as quietly cautious. We’re seeing increased volatility, higher valuations and investors are a little wary of how long the bull market can continue.’
Contact Eleanor if you're up for a pub lunch yourself - email her on firstname.lastname@example.org