Prudential People - Craig Butters
Meet Craig Butters, Equity Portfolio Manager
Why do you enjoy your role at Prudential, and how long have you been here?
I joined Prudential in August 2010 from a previous role in the hedge fund space. I was very happy at the time, and initially turned down the approach. The reason I changed my mind was the opportunity to work with some really smart individuals I’d previously worked with. I continue to learn every day and we have a number of very talented young investment professionals coming through. I also get energised by individuals outside the investment team, and some of my most enjoyable discussions are with our tea ladies.
A topic you’re passionate about (apart from investing)?
Phew, I am passionate about a number of things. I enjoy being outdoors and am passionate about nature – in particular snakes, spiders and chameleons. I am reasonably comfortable handling venomous snakes. I love running and mountain-biking, despite not being very good at these. I also derive endless pleasure from music of all genres. I often find myself using the words from songs in real life.
A recent favourite read? Why did you like it?
Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers. I would hardly describe it as enjoyable, but the book provided insight into a number of key government institutions at a point of inflection in our democracy. The man demonstrated immense courage in writing the book, and the entire country owes him a huge debt of gratitude.
An ideal evening is…
Any evening with stimulating and honest conversation and an abundance of good wine. The monthly dinner date I have with my daughter Claire is very special, and she also shares my taste for red wine.
Your most vivid memory of school is…
My 7-foot schoolmate who was as thin as a beanpole and played first XV lock, but now weighs 170kg.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
I sold copper ashtrays door-to-door on the streets of East London for my uncle when I was 10 years old. At the time I thought I was a good salesman, but I now realise I was horribly misguided, and I suspect people just felt sorry for me at the time!
What is your number-one bucket list activity?
I would love to complete an Iron Man, but unfortunately have struggled with almost every injury imaginable, so this is becoming a challenge. Something more passive would be an adventure sailing around the world.
One thing you’re glad you tried, but would never do again?
Skydiving. My wife organised a jump for me as a gift for my 40th birthday. Very little in life scares me, but I am petrified of heights. Also, my ears did not handle the jump well at all.
Where do you usually spend Saturday afternoons?
Saturday afternoons are usually spent relaxing at home, having run or mountain-biked in the morning, and building up for the evening ahead.
Who is your hero and why?
My two sporting heroes are Rafael Nadal and Viv Richards. Viv is the most talented cricketer I’ve ever seen, and Nadal proves that nice guys can beat the best in the world with extra hard work and effort. I would also like to meet Michael Burry, a key protagonist in The Big Short, a book on the global financial crisis. He was one of the few people who did the work and saw it coming. I hope to be able to say the same soon.