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!