Prudential People - David Knee, Chief Investment Officer
Tell us what your role involves and why you enjoy it…
I oversee all our interest-bearing investments, and also sit on our Asset Allocation Committee, where we consider the relative merits of different asset classes. I enjoy the breadth of the role; being part of a smaller company allows me to stick my thumb into a variety of pies – mostly it’s welcomed, but occasionally I need to be told when to stop.
Your ambition during your school days…
My brother and I sent off a coupon from a Sunday paper supplement to join the British Navy as submariners. We were about five or six. Thank goodness they asked us to get back in touch in about 10 years. By then it had oddly lost its appeal.
A recent favourite read? Why did you like it?
The Eighth Summit by Peter van Kets, extreme endurance adventurer. It has inspired me to have a go at the Cape Epic mountain bike race.
In 30 years’ time the world will be…
In the 1970s I watched a kid’s TV programme about people living on the moon called Space 1999. It seemed a credible future. The Internet and big data didn’t feature, so no doubt whatever I imagine now for 30 years hence will be completely wrong.
Your favourite app…
I’m not a luddite or a techno cripple, but I only recently created a Facebook account to keep an eye on my daughters. Would it be wrong to say I like Google Maps? Those dudes know where all the streets are, which is awesome.
Stranded on a desert island without your family but with three other people; who are they?
What a thought. Anyone, no matter how interesting, is likely to become irritating if you are marooned together for too long.
What is your number-one bucket list activity?
I’m not really a bucket list person; I don’t worry that my life isn’t meaningful if I’m not ticking off some sort of achievement. However, I do have an entry to ride the 2015 Cape Epic with Michael Moyle, Prudential’s Head of Real Return. We alternate between being elated and totally panic-stricken. We are seeking to answer the question: how little training can one do to ride 700kms and climb 15,000m in eight days without suffering an aneurysm?
If you didn’t work in the financial services industry, what would you do?
When I finished my economics degree, I was so convinced it was irrelevant in the modern world I decided I wanted to be a social worker. Financial services was what one might call a happy accident.
Where are you usually found on Saturday mornings?
I would like to say on my mountain bike in Table Mountain National Park, but truth be told, I am more likely to be with my eldest daughter at a horse show. I can’t ride (a horse), but there is something quite Zen about spending hours outside doing nothing at all.
Your mother taught you…
To only speak when spoken to. To eat with my mouth closed. To respect my elders. To do my best. They were mostly good lessons, especially eating with my mouth closed. I’m open minded, but overall it’s not nice watching people chew their food.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur, so I fully expect to be swiftly forgotten. There might be the odd person who in a nostalgic moment would recall how I walked around the office in colourful socks, but that’s probably the best I can hope for.