ep 013: Discipline and Courage to Persevere - Andrew McCaffery

By Nikita Fadeev   •   17, Aug, 2020 
Andrew mccaffery
Global Chief Investment Officer, Fidelity International
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Andrew joined Fidelity International in 2019 and leads the development of our alternative and solutions franchises, including multi-asset, investment solutions design and real estate. Prior to Fidelity, he spent eight years at Aberdeen Standard Investments in a range of senior positions, including Global Head of Strategic Client Investments and Global Head of Alternatives. He has over 30 years industry experience across investment, risk management and client distribution.

book recommendations

Lords of Finance - Liaquat Ahmed -  this was intriguingly timely as it appeared at the time of the GFC, and gives greater insight to the key characters (the major central bankers of the time) of the 1929 crash and the 1930’s depression. I enjoy reading the behaviour of key decision makers, and their decisions, and the evidence they believed to be of most importance at the time (and the way societies and economies responded). Time moves on, events move at different speeds and the size and scale of considerations tend to grow in how perceived, but the ‘rhyming’ through history of the human condition and the ability to go through hubris and greed, and through fear and panic, in ever growing regularity is not to be forgotten...


The Third Pillar - Raghuram Rajan -  another timely book, but much more recent as appeared last year (2019) and yet talks to something remarkably prescient with events that have occurred this year. I have had the good fortune to meet Raghuram several times and I find his thought process and insightful comments to be consistently engaging in a world that feels to be moving so quickly on so many fronts. In ‘The Third Pillar’ he highlights the breakdown and divorce from the importance of ‘communities’ and the cohesion and positive dynamics they generate, as policy and focus has been driven by the sense of efficiency in markets and governments (the state). One could argue it links back to the ‘Lords of Finance’ topic as we believe we have moved to a bigger, more connected and highly efficient world, but have we...

The Origin of Financial Crisis (2nd book: Money, Blood and Revolution) - George Cooper -  George had been writing ‘The Origin of Financial Crisis’ as we moved to generate the detail for the ‘Alignment Investors’ idea. It provides clear insights to the functions of central banks, developing various forms of credit ‘bubbles’ and the fallacy of efficient markets, combining historical perspective with insights to the structure today and the risks that are feel continually relevant. I liked his move to compare how the attempts at credit cycle management can lead to ‘over governing’ the process and leading to destructive swings, using Maxwell’s control system theory ‘On Governors’ within machines. His ‘Concluding Remarks’ feel relevant again as we look to the future from today...


Water - Steven Solomon -  a weightier tome on the history of water and what the importance of controlling water, and the access to it, has been through history. It has been key for the rise and fall of power, and given the vital need for all life, how the challenges of growing freshwater scarcity could prove a major impact on the 21st century and how we respond could lead to fresh challenges for the success of human civilisation, not just measured in economic or political parameters alone...


Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell -  great insight into how activities and ideas move from an interesting development into an accepted concept or approach, basically drawing out how the now accepted term of reaching a ‘tipping point’ is created, in many instances, little or small aspects can lead to large differences and wide acknowledgement and recognition. It isn’t just a business perspective, in fact far from in his examples across society, but it has clear benefits to consider in turning ideas into widely appreciated acceptance...


Bounce - Matthew Syed -  as well as my interest in golf, I was very active, and basically had a love for, many different sports. One other sport I played to a highly competitive level was table tennis, and so I was aware of Matthew Syed, due to his success in becoming UK No. 1 in the 1990s. This book intrigued me as it drew out something I had always thought important, that ‘the harder I practice, the luckier I get’, ie. if you work harder and practice more, then you become better and win more or ‘get luckier’ as well! Even though I had always worked on having ‘strong basics’, it was important to work and practice as much as possible, as this led to being calmer and more confident when faced with difficulty or challenges, and generated more success. I firmly believe this has also helped me through my view and approach to professional life...

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