Podcast Episode Transcription: Season 2, Episode 3

Leah Lambart:
Welcome to the CGA Career Podcast. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ronnie Calvert, who finished school at Caulfield in 1992. Ronnie then went on to study a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne before pursuing a career in chartered accounting, where he worked for Ernst and Young for 7 years.

He later moved into the industry, working in mining in a broader operations manager role, and he’s currently the CEO of Munro Partners. Ronnie, thank you for joining me on the podcast. Can you tell us how you came to work in investment management and what you enjoy about the industry?

Ronnie Calvert: Leah, thank you for the chance to speak on the podcast and for your kind introduction. In terms of what I enjoy in the industry, the number one thing for me is the relationships and the trust we have with our investors. People are giving you their savings to invest on their behalf. So, the degree of trust associated with that is something we value and enjoy.

From a day-to-day perspective, I love the variety and unpredictability of what markets can do, although it can be quite stressful. I enjoy working with the smart people in our organization and in the businesses we work closely with, especially our distribution partners in both Canada and Australia.

Leah Lambart: Can you describe the different roles within a firm like yours?

Ronnie Calvert: We’re a boutique investment management firm with a 25-person organization. We have an investment team of 11 people, led by our CIO, Nick Griffin. We have outsourced distribution relationships with GSFM in Australia and CI Investments in Canada, which is a critical part of our business.

We also have our operations and support function, which I head up within Munro Partners. Ensuring smooth operations is vital for investor experience.

Leah Lambart: For someone in the investment management team early in their career, what would their role be?

Ronnie Calvert: Early stage in your career in the investment management team, the title of your role would be a research analyst. They spend their time doing detailed stock-level research on companies, peers, and performing qualitative tests to determine company valuations.

Analysts work with senior team members to set price targets and monitor earnings updates, news, and industry trends. This role provides a strong foundation in technical skills and investment analysis.

Leah Lambart: Where might a research analyst progress next?

Ronnie Calvert: Analysts might specialize in areas like ESG, become senior analysts, or move into portfolio management roles. They can also transition to distribution roles, using their knowledge to interact with clients and advisors.

The distribution role is client-facing, involving explaining fund strategies and building relationships with financial planners, stockbrokers, and wealth management firms.

Leah Lambart: What educational background is typical for someone entering the investment management team?

Ronnie Calvert: Historically, a commerce, economics, or finance degree was typical. Nowadays, degrees in engineering, maths, computer science, and health sciences are also relevant. Additional postgraduate studies like an MBA can be beneficial. Skills in data and business analytics are valuable, especially for quant managers.

Leah Lambart: How can students make themselves more employable in this field?

Ronnie Calvert: Showing passion for investing is crucial. Running personal or shadow portfolios demonstrates interest and knowledge. Work experience, even outside the industry, is also valued as it shows discipline and teamwork. Internships and part-time roles can enhance a candidate’s profile.

Leah Lambart: What key skills do you look for when recruiting?

Ronnie Calvert: We look for attitude, teamwork, and communication skills. Technical skills can be developed, but attitude and the ability to work in a team are essential. Academics are important but well-rounded candidates with work experience and soft skills stand out.

Leah Lambart: What advice do you have for young professionals in investment management?

Ronnie Calvert: Develop soft skills, such as public speaking, to articulate ideas clearly. Toastmasters or similar courses can help. Building relationships and networking are key for business development. Confidence and the ability to present ideas are important for career progression.

Leah Lambart: How can someone find out more about your business?

Ronnie Calvert: The easiest way is to visit our website, munropartners.com.au, for information about our business and funds. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights, Ronnie.

Ronnie Calvert: Thank you, Leah. I hope everyone has a good day.

Leah Lambart: Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. Follow us on social media and update your details to stay informed about community news and events.