Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote - “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
The INSPIRE Group was formed by like minded Bahamians whose goal is to motivate, encourage and create opportunities for young Bahamians to succeed educationally, personally and professionally. Our group is comprised of successful Bahamian professionals committed to the mission of helping others reach their full potential. While our focus is on Bahamian youth, our initiative covers all Bahamians with the desire to improve their lives both for themselves and for others.
Our members and volunteers are Bahamians who have been fortunate to realize a full measure of success in their business or profession which allows them to give back in service to our community. Passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of others, and recognizing the strength gained from combined and unified efforts, we have formed INSPIRE. Our commitment is to give back through our time, our skills, and our resources, to help create a path particularly for those limited by their horizons, challenged by their personal circumstances, or whose development and success might be impeded by factors too great for them to otherwise overcome.
Our own success is a credit to those who encouraged, mentored and inspired us. As Warren Buffett famously stated, ‘We are sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.’ We believe it is now our turn to pay it forward.
We are pleased to feature, each quarter, a young Bahamian whose focus, ambition and achievement serve as great examples for other young Bahamians. Previously featured young INSPIRING BAHAMIANS can be found at the PAST FEATURES tab on the Home Page. Please contact info@Inspirebahamas.com if you would like to recommend someone to be featured.
Robert Turnquest is an Investment Officer at one of the oldest private banks in The Bahamas. His responsibilities include managing client portfolios, conducting investment research and analysis and proposing recommendations on alternative investments and other asset classes as part of the investment management and advisory of private client portfolios.
Prior to that, Robert was a Senior Associate at Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, where he performed due diligence on European and Asian based hedge funds as the lead investment analyst based in London.
Robert is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) charterholder. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree with a concentration in Finance and Global Analysis from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Westminster School in Simsbury, CT and attended Queen’s College’s Early Learning Center, Primary School and High School.
Currently Robert serves as Vice President of CFA Society The Bahamas, Treasurer/Board Member of REACH (Resources and Education for Autism and Related Challenges) and Chairman of the Over-The-Hill Community Development Foundation, a licensed non-profit committed to the social and economic development of the inner city.
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
My attraction to finance initially came from observing my father as a child. Growing up, I admired the fact that he was a banker by profession and entrusted to oversee the financial affairs of others. Given that I had always enjoyed math classes in school and felt comfortable working with numbers, it seemed to me a natural fit to emulate my father and also pursue a career in financial services. Through my own background research and summer internship opportunities, I discovered that my greatest interest was in the area of investment management.
2. Why is your profession/field of study important?
Investment management involves overseeing the assets of others to meet specified objectives subject to mandated constraints. Simplistically, it requires using one’s professional judgement to increase the value of the capital one is given to manage. However, behind every dollar received from an investment manager’s client is a story. It may be a person with aspirations, dreams and fears who seeks guidance to secure his or her future. It may be an institution, such as a government, pension fund, endowment or foundation that is tasked with enhancing the public good. Whatever the case may be, the importance of investment management is underscored by the impact achieving favorable client outcomes can have on individuals, organizations and societies.
3. Did you have a mentor or coach who helped or encouraged you to pursue your dreams?
From the beginning, my parents and siblings have been a steadfast source of encouragement, mentorship and guidance. They have always supported my ambitions and instilled in me some of the core values that have served me well: hard work, conscientiousness, initiative, integrity and kindness.
In addition, along my journey I have encountered a few teachers and supervisors whose experience, trustworthiness and decency I respect. As a result, I was inspired to seek their counsel on a number of academic and career pursuits. I remain thankful for my decision to approach these persons and their gracious willingness to share their advice.
4. Did you encounter any obstacles along your path to this point?
When I first began working in investment management full-time, I was a baby-faced twenty-one-year-old working for a Wall Street firm amid a field of industry veterans. I was afforded a terrific opportunity to gain invaluable experience at an early stage in my career. I led meetings, participated in conferences and presented my work to committees. Despite my best efforts, at times I found difficulty effectively engaging others whose experience towered over mine, for fear of wasting their time with information they already knew. However, as my career progressed, I developed greater comfort level with engaging others regardless of experience level. There is no monopoly on insight and value-add and considering the diverse perspective of others has enhanced my career and ability to meet the goals of clients and colleagues.
5. What was the most amazing experience you have had so far?
As the steadying force and guiding light on my life, my family has been a part of many amazing experiences I have been honored to enjoy. In retrospect, perhaps the most memorable of these was my high school graduation. It was a milestone that my parents, siblings and grandparents were all able to celebrate with me. That we were able to partake in such a major moment together is a memory that I will always cherish.
6. What is your favorite written work (book/quote/poem etc) and why?
One of my past times is watching basketball and I remain fascinated by a quote from noted basketball coach and executive Pat Riley. He once remarked, “There’s no way to greatness. Greatness is the way.” To me, it demonstrates that success is not merely an outcome or achievement that one attains. It is the consistent, diligent approach to one’s career, craft or any task at hand that separates those who are able to favorably distinguish themselves. Put differently, to me greatness is not characterized as reaching a destination, but rather embarking upon a journey in which one unwaveringly and vigorously approaches whatever he or she does.
7. What do you think is the most important issue facing the world today?
In my opinion, a lack of kindness and respect underscores many of the problems facing the world today. With societies becoming increasingly interconnected, we come into contact with a diversity of people more frequently. Maintaining mutual respect for the perspective of others can reduce conflict and lead to the discovery of common values and objectives that can be pursued for the betterment of society.
8. Please complete this sentence. “If I could change the world, I would…..”
If I could change the world, I would eradicate violent acts of crime. Many communities suffer from systemic disadvantages that stem from violence, including crimes against the person, wars and crimes against humanity. Instead, a world in which its citizens all live harmoniously gives everyone a fairer opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
9. What three words of advice would you offer to any student as they consider their future?
Pursue your passion.
See below link for an article which Robert wrote for The Bahamas Investor: http://www.thebahamasinvestor.com/2017/why-industry-leadership-matters/
The INSPIRE Group thanks ROBERT TURNQUEST for exemplifying excellence and being an inspiration to other young Bahamians. Robert, we believe that your academic and professional achievements to date combined with your civic focus and engagement highlight the important balance which promotes both personal and community advancement and development. Well done!
SEE OUR 'PAST FEATURES' TAB ON THE HOME PAGE FOR PREVIOUSLY FEATURED INSPIRING YOUNG BAHAMIANS.
Who will YOU inspire today?
On 14th March 2019 The INSPIRE Group was thrilled to collaborate with D'Andre Wilson-Ihejirika of BrainSTEM Alliance (https://brainstemalliance.com) and Crachad Laing of Project Limestone (https://projectlimestone.org) for an exciting day of STEM workshops at RN Gomez All Age School, which involved all school grades.
Students in Grades 1-4 were introduced to aerodynamic concepts by making their own paper helicopters. They were able to grasp the concept of how air currents can affect motion and influence flight. The students had a lot of fun customizing their helicopters with different colors and patterns, and then watching them fly and spin.
Students in Grades 5-8 learned principles of chemistry and materials engineering by creating their own slime from borax, glue and water. Students discussed in groups the properties of their reactants and how those properties influenced how the material was used. After the reaction they discussed the material properties of their slime product and compared their slime with that of their classmates to see how different methods of making the slime affected the properties of the final product.
Students in Grades 9-12 were introduced to electrical design and the functionality of circuits using breadboards and micro-controllers. Students were tasked to make a variety of circuits that included resistors, fans and blinking LEDs, and were able to discuss the potential real-world applications for their designs.
The INSPIRE Group thanks D'Andre Wilson-Ihejirika and Crachad Laing for an exciting day of STEM workshop activities and we applaud them for their tremendous commitment to community service.
Thank you also to Berry Islands Association for sponsoring their air travel. Thank you!
On Tuesday 18th February 2019, INSPIRE Group organized a Careers Day presentation for a delightful and engaging 9th grade graduating class of DW Davis Jr. High School. Our Presenters enjoyed the experience as much as the students! Careers discussed included Architecture, Technology, Engineering, Law, Accounting, Finance, and Medicine.
After the event, Ms. Gabrielle Winters, Guidance Counsellor espressed - "The Career Day held by your team was an awesome experience for my students and teachers."
Thank you Ms. Winters!
Thank you DW Davis Jr. High 9th Graders!
Thank you Presenters!
Mr. Diveane Bowe - Partner, KPMG Bahamas (Also event moderator)
Mrs. Alecia Bowe - Managing Partner, Karam, Missick & Bowe
Dr. Patrishka Duncombe - ObGyn Department, Princess Margaret Hospital
Mr. Dwayne Davis - Chief Information Officer, Aliv
Mr. Conway Smith - Architect, Alexiou & Associates
Mrs. D'Andre Wilson-Ihejirika - Founder, President and Lead Program Consultant, BrainSTEM Alliance
TOPIC: PERSONAL BANKING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Mrs. Anna Degregory, former banking executive presented to the girls at the PACE SCHOOL on 7th February 2019. Thank you to Commonwealth Bank for their very generous donation of wonderful gift bags for the girls!
TOPIC: MAXIMIZING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL
Mrs. Daphne Delaney, former financial services executive presented to the girls at the PACE SCHOOL on 29th November 2018.
MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS
Our team includes successful Bahamian business persons, physicians, attorneys, accountants, and others willing to give of their time with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Our GLOBAL NETWORK of volunteers includes individuals and organizations, (Bahamians and others) who have agreed to, from time to time and in their respective areas of expertise, lend their knowledge and ideas to our initiatives. Each is successful in their field or industry, and committed to community building. We are particularly excited to have a blend of both millennial and seasoned voices to ensure rich discussion from diverse perspectives, including persons blazing a professional trail both home and abroad. The Network also includes internationally prominent Bahamians who have agreed to be a resource to The INSPIRE Group by lending their voices and time when they can, to motivate, encourage and truly inspire others. We are proud of their amazing accomplishments and are grateful to them for inspiring others to work hard and dream BIG!
YOU TOO CAN HELP
We encourage you to volunteer your time to mentor others. Develop a mentor program in your own organizations.
You can directly help INSPIRE by:
· Offering your company’s facilities as a venue for a Summer Session.
· Engaging a student in your company for a Summer Internship.
· Providing lunch to students attending a Summer Session.
· Offering your expertise on a pro bono basis to students and others in financial need e.g. eye exam, hearing test.
· Becoming a presenter for a Careers Day event.
· Becoming a presenter for a special workshop or Speaker Series.
· Becoming an INSPIRE volunteer!
Who will YOU inspire today?