Can you tell us about what you and the EMD team are looking to achieve in 2024?  How can other teams within MacKay support those efforts?

For 2024, we are looking to grow Mackay’s AUM in terms of EMD assets and raise the awareness of the asset class internally, as well as externally.  We have done this on multiple fronts: through collaboration with our other investment desks, lunch and learns for our employees and through the efforts of our hard working client service and marketing teams.

There are some interesting facts about the asset class.  Here are a few:

EM Debt is a 26 trillion USD investment universe. (Source: JP Morgan, end 2022)

Emerging Markets currently account for 55% of Global GDP output and 80% of global GDP growth. (Source: World Economics)

Hard Currency EM Corporates have grown by approximately 1650% over the past 2 decades. (Source: World Economics)

How has your team adapted to recent events/trends, and how do you see your team evolving in the years ahead? 

As a relatively small team, we have all - at some point - taken on other responsibilities and functions. The team itself has grown: we recently welcomed two corporate analysts – Gabriela Sebrell and Daniel Zaczkiewicz - who joined this past summer.

Can you describe your career journey?  When did you know you wanted to be in the investment management / financial services industry?

After graduating, in 2000 I started training as an accountant for a pension scheme.  After just 6 months and passing the first set of accountancy exams, I realized that accountancy was not the career path I wanted to pursue.  I joined the financial services industry in 2001 and I have been working in quant research and investment risk ever since.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

Outside of work I have 2 teenage children, who have kept my wife and I very busy.  Now they are older we’re able to do more of the things we enjoy.  And when I’m not in the office I’m often in the gym.  I also enjoy playing basketball and I play most weekends with my son, who is now many times better than I am.  I’ve run marathons and half marathons in the past, but as I get older I find I need to look after the knees.

What was it like growing up in the Philippines? How has your upbringing impacted who you are today?

Growing up in the Philippines were the best years of my life!  I lived at my grandparent’s family home during my early childhood.  My grandfather owned paddy fields which he farmed for rice.  You would have found me many times riding on the back of a water buffalo, helping my grandfather plough the fields.  The downside to living on a farm was the rooster crowing at “silly o’clock” in the morning.

Traveling to and from school was always an adventure.  The best part of school was the commute to and from school.  A tricycle was the common mode of transport, and it still is today in the Philippines.  If you google ‘tricycle’ you’ll probably see an image of about 10 people hanging off a motorized contraption.  Most kids in the Philippines know how to ride a tricycle as soon as their feet can touch the pedals of a motorbike.   

There was never a dull moment at my grandparents’ home.  My grandparents had 10 children and each of those children got married and had families of their own.  The plus side is that I have a whole ‘stadium’ of cousins so as a child there was always a cousin I could play with.  And family birthdays pushed the boundaries of industrial scale catering. 

The other plus to having so many cousins is that they’re all now of working age and doing their part for the economy of the Philippines.

If you weren’t in your current role, what job do you think you would be doing?

If I weren’t in my current role I would probably be working in IT as a field engineer.

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