As part of a series of interviews with the people behind leading investment services providers Curmi & Partners, Chief Investment Officer Karl Micallef shared his insights on the firm’s success and his journey within it.
Having joined the company as a Junior Equity Analyst over two decades ago, Karl recalls how he gradually moved up the ladder to his current role, which allows him to “be part of both the Capital Markets and the Investment Management side of things.”
“When I look back and compare how we’re doing things today with how we did them then, and the kind of clients we service today and those we serviced then, there’s a massive difference. The approach, the methodologies, the details that we go into – has developed and improved substantially,” he maintains, tracing the company’s trajectory in tandem with his own.
“I think what really keeps it exciting is that the horizon just keeps moving away, and therefore you see more space to keep improving what you’re doing. It’s been a journey that is constantly developing both because the markets have developed and changed a lot, but also because the way we work and do things has developed a lot,” the Chief Investment Officer notes.
Divulging the secret ingredients behind the firm’s success, Karl maintains that “having the right people on board is key to our business; as well as having the right systems in place.”
Highlighting the extent of regulatory requirements within the industry today, he continues, “if you don’t have the right systems in place, it becomes extremely tedious to do the work you are engaged to do. Our systems have enabled us to be very efficient on that front and therefore allow us to remain focused on our core service.”
Indeed, he goes on highlight the fact that the firm is moving more towards technological development, explaining that today, “clients are much more interactive, and for that they need information.”
To provide this, the CIO says that Curmi & Partners have upped their game in providing clients with more frequent insights by issuing monthly reports, as well as implementing automated systems which allow the team to remain focused, while clients receive the information they want in a more timely and transparent way. “Today, with the right systems in place, technology can help give the client what they want through automation rather than human resource,” he maintains.
A self-confessed “ambitious person”, the CIO goes on to describe achieving the right balance between work and life as “a constant battle”, asserting that “finding a balance in everything is a battle.”
“If I don’t have my family behind me, it’s a worry, and I’m not going to perform in any other area, so I need to sort that out. But I also understand that for my family to be behind me, I need to invest in it. I’m an ambitious person – that requires it’s time to feed. So, it’s always a work in progress,” he smiles.
Finally, speaking of the firm’s take on work-life balance, Karl explains that it often comes down to the individual. “What is promoted within the firm, is allowing people to find their own balance – people find their balance at different levels. The firm definitely allows that individuality behind every desk,” he explains, adding that “if you want to excel in certain areas, the balance needs to reflect that, but I’m not saying it needs to be completely skewed. People work on their priorities in life in very much their own way.”
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