MARKET COMMENTARY

Five Questions with Carin Pai

03.24.2021 - Carin L. Pai, Head of Portfolio Management

Carin Pai has been at Fiduciary Trust since 1996.  Earlier this month, Carin spoke with us and discussed her time at the firm.

  1. What have you found to be particularly rewarding about working with Fiduciary’s clients?

By nature, I am a people person, so I really look forward to interacting with our clients and getting to know their backgrounds and what’s important to them. Helping them solve their challenges and meeting their financial goals has been, and continues to be, truly rewarding for me.

I’d add that, during my time at the firm, I’ve been fortunate enough to build strong relationships with our clients and their families. I think that personal connection has helped us weather turbulent markets together.

  1. What led to your career in investment management?

Actually, I thought I’d be an architect at first. The construction involved in building skyscrapers and bridges always fascinated me. There’s lots of formulas and science behind those amazing facades. To me, it was the perfect blend of creativity and logic. However, after majoring in finance and business, I realized that I lacked the artistic talent for that world and thought to focus on my preference for numbers.

After graduating from college, I was offered an internship with Prudential Securities which, in turn, led to a spot in the firm’s management training program. This position allowed me to experience many facets of the investment business, including sales, trading and research. Back in those booming 1990s, I developed a fascination with the stock market. Analyzing companies and market movements became my passions and remain so today.

After that foundational role at Prudential, I landed a junior position at Fiduciary where I got to work alongside Jeremy Biggs, the firm’s CIO at the time. He was an amazingly astute investor who was a truly inspirational leader. From Jeremy, I learned to have conviction in my views, and to back them up with facts and data. As much conviction as Jeremy had, however, he often said, “It’s not your money, it’s your client’s money.” Those words have always resonated with me. They have served as an important reminder that we always need to put our clients’ interests ahead of anything else.

  1. What are you most proud of during your career?

I am very proud of our investment results and the process that I have helped build over the years. I’ve managed portfolios through three major downturns and four upcycles, while maintaining solid and strong performance for our clients. In particular, our ability to help our clients during challenging markets with a disciplined process has been a personal focus of mine. 

Additionally, I have been touched by people who have told me that I have been a role model for them. Serving as a mentor and helping to develop others, especially women and minorities, has been one of my proudest achievements. Also, in the financial services industry, there are few female leaders. My hope is that I have both represented and inspired women in the world of finance.

I am also proud of my work ethic as well as my ability to create long-term goals and implement a plan to achieve those goals. For example, over 10 years ago, I established and managed the Investment Associate program at Fiduciary with a mission to establish clear responsibilities, personal development objectives, and a career path for our entry-level professionals. Since its inception, several program participants have become successful portfolio managers at our firm and now serve as mentors to younger colleagues. It’s particularly satisfying to see these individuals grow and flourish in their own careers, knowing that you’ve served as a guide along their journeys.

  1. Where do you get your inspiration? What can be challenging for you?

I am a results-oriented person so, getting to the finish line, successfully completing a project, finding a solution to a problem or generating strong performance really motivates me. At the same time, maintaining positive relationships also drives me. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that matter the most like making a client happy or ensuring that my team feels like they have my support.

On a personal level, I know that I sometimes rely a little too much on myself to get things done. I’m a hands-on person who likes to be involved, especially when it comes to our clients. So, it’s hard for me to step away from a project entirely. I’ve never liked sitting on the sidelines and I think that spills over into my life outside the office. I really thrive on staying busy and feeling productive. I keep active and enjoy activities like skiing, tennis, and golf.

  1. What’s been the best part of working at Fiduciary?

We pride ourselves on fostering a culture of integrity and trust at Fiduciary. It’s been a really fulfilling experience for me to have been part of that effort over the years. Sharing common goals and holding ourselves accountable for our success (or failure) is one way we have built a collaborative approach at the firm. Finally, I have seen firsthand the tremendous growth that our firm has experienced over two decades, and to do so without compromising our level of client service has truly been a remarkable achievement.

As a parting comment, given my long tenure, my colleagues are like a second family to me. We tend to hire folks that share our firm’s values which means I get to work with a lot of smart and nice people. It’s actually a simple formula.

 




The information provided is intended solely to provide general information. The information and opinions stated may change without notice. The information and opinions do not represent a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any market, industry, sector or security. Statements of fact have been obtained from sources deemed reliable, but no representation is made as to their completeness or accuracy. The opinions expressed are not intended as individual investment, tax or estate planning advice or as a recommendation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product. Please consult your personal advisor to determine whether this information may be appropriate for you. This information is provided solely for insight into our general management philosophy and process. Historical performance does not guarantee future results and results may differ over future time periods.

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