6.30 I wake up and have a quick breakfast at home, before heading to the office by car. When I worked in investment banking, I used be at my desk at 7am, but I now have the luxury of going to the office slightly later. While I drive to the office I listen to the Today programme on Radio 4, which, in my opinion, is brilliant.
08.00 I arrive at the office and read the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and other trade papers, as well as looking at Bloomberg and watching CNBC news. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people in the financial industry, even in senior positions, who never read the papers or keep up to date with global events.
09.00 Today it's the weekly sales meeting. We talk through client activity and fund performance. 2004 was a difficult year for the hedge fund industry, as very few hedge fund strategies generated strong returns. Despite this, at Key, we're ending the year on a strong note: assets under management have risen 20%. The consensus is that institutional investors are taking a long term view, which is positive.
10.15 A client meeting. One of my main roles is to deal with some of the firm's important client relationships. Key has over a thousand clients, including private banks, pension funds, asset managers, corporates and family offices. The meeting this morning is with the chief investment officer (CIO) of a private bank in Luxembourg. They are already invested with us, and are thinking about increasing the investment. No decisions about future investments are made, but I'm left feeling quietly confident.
11.45 The rest of the morning is allocated to client telephone calls. It's a question of updating clients with information about our funds' performance, talking about general market conditions, and keeping them informed of changes to the underlying managers in our fund of hedge funds. Fund management is a less racy affair than banking. We invest our funds with certain independent fund managers; they manage it, and we monitor them.
13.00 An old colleague from Lehman pops in, and we go to lunch. I often have lunch with old colleagues, clients and potential hires. My favourite restaurant is Sakura off Hanover Square - great Japanese food, and it's fast.
14.15 I return to the office for interviews with potential new recruits. We're looking for people to add value to all facets of the business. Hence, most days I have at least one interview.
Sorting through applicants is a time consuming business. The hedge fund of fund management industry is still quite embryonic and there aren't many people with specialised credentials. We get plenty of applications from the traditional fund management side, and it can be a bit like trying to fit square pegs into round holes. We're often looking for people who are entrepreneurial. In a business our size (we employ 34 people worldwide) the fit has to be very precise. It's not like BNP where my department had 30 sales people and the opportunities were more varied.
The first candidate is a senior equity salesman from an American investment bank who wants to move into the hedge fund business. He hasn't worked with hedge funds before and the question is whether he would be able to deliver. Lateral transfers sometimes work and sometimes don't. In this case, I'm not sure it will.
The second candidate has been working in the private client group of a Swiss bank. We discuss the proportion of his clients that are hedge fund investors and the extent to which he may able to transfer them to us.
16.30 I go for a coffee at Starbucks with my CIO. We discuss performance of the managers and client trips we plan to make together.
17.15 I meet with Peter Dencik, our CEO, to discuss the afternoon's interviewees. He's keen to conclude at least one new hire before year end. We also discuss the business strategy for next year, including which particular geographical market to focus on.
18.30 The day finishes at a respectable hour. I head home to my family and 10-month old dog, who typically greets me by going wild and chewing the furniture. I live in Wimbledon and, weather permitting, we head for the common to unwind.