Ramon Vega: Swiss Footballer Turned Fund Manager

How could sports coaching help fund managers’ performance?
Coaching helps you handle some of the pressure. The pressure in sport, that public pressure, is much more intense than for example working in a little office in Canary Wharf, where there’s only you and the screen. [In sport] pretty much everyone knows what’s going on, everyone can see the mistakes.

And how can sports coaching in particular help asset managers deal with the pressure?
It’s all about communication, teamwork and offloading the pressure to individuals within a [funds] team. Some take [the pressure] very, very personally. When you work as a team you can move the pressure, you have got a team behind you, you have got back-up. You don’t have to think too much about the negative pressure.

What is the best advice you would personally give to fund managers?
From day one in sport, you learn from a very young age how to win or lose the next day and how to respond. A season is long and you need to see the long term. You may be hammered against Arsenal on Saturday but you can’t cry as on Tuesday you’ll have another massive game against Manchester United. And for fund managers it’s the same: you may have a good position in US equities on Monday and on Wednesday it could suddenly be completely the opposite. But if you think long term you can always recover.

What is your investment philosophy?
You need to have in today’s market an opportunistic strategy. You can discuss philosophies about the market all day long, such as going long or short, and within a couple of weeks the market is moving. And if you were to stick to that strategy, it would be murder. And, of course, don’t be greedy when you make money – try and make a little bit and get out.

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Looks like he is doing well for himself, no? Question: In your opinion, who among your favorite football stars who are currently active on the pitch are equipped to succeed in a second career when their footballing days are over?