Prudential People - Gareth Bern, Portfolio Manager
Tell us why you enjoy your role at Prudential.
I joined Prudential 13 years ago! When I left varsity we were told the days of staying with one employer for more than a few years were long gone – I guess that speaks to the things I enjoy about my role as a portfolio manager in the fixed income team: the intellectual challenge of the markets as well as the people I interact with on a daily basis.
A topic you’re passionate about (apart from investing)?
My most recent passion is Crossfit, which I discovered about 15 months ago. My colleagues, wife and kids can probably all attest to what has become somewhat of an addiction. I love the constant challenges, the camaraderie and the results.
A recent favourite read? Why did you like it?
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I must admit that after the first 20 pages I was beginning to think that this was not a book I was going to finish – particularly given its hefty 800-odd pages – but then I suddenly found myself immersed in the life of Theodore decker and couldn’t put it down. It’s the story of a boy who survives the bombing of an art museum, steals a famous artwork and the path his life then takes. Engrossing.
An ideal evening is…
Asleep by 9:30pm!
Your most vivid memory of school is…
The drop-off at boarding school after a great holiday. Homesickness enveloped in a cloud of stories, chatter and unpacking.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
A barman. I learned the value of a good pair of shoes and that a good product sells itself – refer below.
Beer or champagne?
Neither. Being just about a teetotaler, both are pretty much wasted on me.
What do you do to relax?
Catching up with any number of the fabulous TV series that are available on the various platforms is something I really enjoy. On-demand video has been a revelation.
What is your number-one bucket list activity?
I have plenty of things I would love to do, but no number one. I do, though, have a number one activity for 2018: mastering the handstand push-up.
Where do you usually spend Saturdays?
Saturdays generally consist of a morning run, followed by a vinyasa yoga session, with the afternoon spent with the family. Having young kids means that there is usually a birthday party that needs attending.
Who is your hero and why?
I admire those people who look to help others in whatever way they can without any expectation of recognition.
What would you like to be remembered for?
My sense of humour.