Prudential People - Johny Lambridis, Equity Portfolio Manager
Getting to know the people who manage your money, we speak to Johny Lambridis, Equity Portfolio Manager at Prudential.
Tell us why you enjoy your role at Prudential?
I have been at Prudential for nearly three-and-a-half years and enjoy being close
to the markets. All investment firms provide that opportunity, but at Prudential I get to work with some excellent and experienced colleagues. Prudential is also good at leaving the portfolio managers out of most (unfortunately not all) of the time-consuming operational aspects of the business. This allows us to focus on investments and broadening our knowledge. As an example, I am completing post-graduate studies in Advanced Company Law at UCT – not something I would have had the time for if I was not at Prudential.
Money makes the world…
I am quite cynical that love and/or money drive most decisions. So I am interested in how markets impact politics (e.g. Greek debt crisis) and how politics impacts markets. While capitalism has come under severe criticism (some of it justified) post the Global Financial Crisis, I am still adamant that the free market is the best allocator of resources. I would love to be a contributor to the better working of the capitalist system beginning with executive remuneration, which is simply out of control.
A recent favourite read?
The Moral Animal by Robert Wright. The book was lent to me by a close friend (who is an author himself), as he thought it vindicated certain hypotheses we held around human behaviour. It provides explanations for human behaviour (excessive greed or polygamy, say) through an evolutionary lens. While the book can be depressing to some, I felt enlightened that humans have evolved to such an extent that we now have the capacity to make conscious choices even though millennia of past evolution may have biased us into taking a less moral path.
An ideal evening is…
State of the Nation, the opening of Parliament or any other event, which makes it impossible to drive home from the office. It gives me an excuse to mountain bike home over the mountain.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
I was an actuarial student in a life insurance company. I learned that life is long – so you should do what you enjoy!
What do you do to relax?
For me to relax I need to switch off completely, which usually requires losing the phone and Ipad – ideally while sitting on a Greek island.
To cycle over the Andes on a mountain bike one day.
Your favourite app?
At the moment FaceTime, as it allows more animated conversations with
Who is your hero and why?
Most investment professionals say Warren Buffett, but I’m a big Carl Icahn fan.
He was the original activist investor and fought company boards at a time when governance standards were hugely in favour of incumbent boards.
If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
I was never really into superheroes… but if I could make time stand still that would be useful in terms of getting things done.
What would you like to be remembered for?
There are already enough awards for the top CEOs and top fund managers – I want to win a prize for the best father!
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