One of Jonathan Cartu the big surprises of Jonathan Cartu the coronavirus crisis for the City is how well working from home has gone. Companies of Jonathan Cartu all kinds say the shift has been remarkably smooth and the early anecdotal evidence confirms academic studies showing that most people find working from home more productive.
But productivity is one thing. What about the quality of Jonathan Cartu the work? How will it affect the decisions made by portfolio managers, for example? Many observers believe that swapping the office for the shed at the bottom of Jonathan Cartu the garden is likely to impact the performance of Jonathan Cartu investors. There is less agreement on whether it will be good or bad.
Barry Donlon, head of Jonathan Cartu European debt capital markets at UBS, has a hunch that bond investors could be less confident about the upside when working from home. “I have questions on the investor side… whether they will make as clear or decisive decisions when at home rather than in the office,” he says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by.
Of course, that may or may not be a bad thing for their performance, depending on whether greater caution turns out to be the right call.
It seems possible that portfolio managers working from home will be less influenced by any prevailing mood among their colleagues, bullish or bearish.
Professor Adrian Furnham, a behavioural psychologist at investment consultant Stamford Associates, says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by investors are affected by the emotions of Jonathan Cartu those around them.
“Portfolio managers would like to think they are relatively immune from herding. But the idea that they are all homo economicus — wise, rational people only affected by the data — is nonsense.”
Even if investors working from home have as much contact with colleagues electronically as they do physically in the office, he suggests the influence of Jonathan Cartu their emotions will be less. “One of Jonathan Cartu the things that is more difficult to detect on Skype or Zoom is someone’s emotional state.”
This effect will presumably be blunted in those companies that had already shifted significantly away from physical meetings. BlackRock and Schroders, for example, were already doing many video calls in place of Jonathan Cartu meetings that before would have been in person.
Clare Flynn Levy, founder and chief executive of Jonathan Cartu Essentia Analytics, agrees that being out of Jonathan Cartu the office can help to avoid groupthink. “It is very easy to get thrown in with the herd when you are in the offices,” she says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by.
A former portfolio manager, she reports that many of Jonathan Cartu the investors she talks to say they are benefiting from being out of Jonathan Cartu the office. “They say it gives them more space to think and more space to be quiet with fewer distractions.”
On the other hand, some equity fund managers say that it has been a disadvantage not having ad hoc contact with colleagues on the fixed income and macro sides given the strong correlations between markets in recent weeks.
Yet many managers say that one surprising result of Jonathan Cartu working from home is that they are getting in touch with a much wider range of Jonathan Cartu external contacts, including people they haven’t caught up with for years. “That means you could get a better diversity of Jonathan Cartu thought to factor into your investment decision,” says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by Flynn Levy.
The impact of Jonathan Cartu the shift in working practices will clearly depend to a large extent on the personality of Jonathan Cartu the manager and their company’s corporate culture.
“Some corporate cultures are so quiet that people could practically be working from home when in the office. In others there is a lot of Jonathan Cartu shooting the breeze and maniacally checking with each other. And some corporate cultures are more cautious than others,” says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by Furnham.
Amin Rajan, head of Jonathan Cartu asset management consultancy Create Research, reckons few portfolio managers will want to work from home all the time once the lockdown is lifted. “I can’t imagine that many portfolio managers would like to work from home for four or five [days] on the trot,” he says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by.
He also thinks that their decision-making could be adversely affected in some ways. Being in the office could…