Quantify Everything

I focus on the Asset Management sector, recruiting people who manage multi-million (often multi-billion) pound Pension Funds and Unit Trusts.  These guys spend their lives quantifying market pricing and company performance. Yet if I were able to charge a tenner every time one of them failed to include in their CVs even the most basic measures relevant to their jobs, I too would be sitting on a multi-million pound investment fund (well, a few thousands anyway, but you get the picture).

In their case, I need to know:

  • The size of their funds
  • How many funds they manage
  • The risk profile of the funds
  • What types of clients do they service (Institutional or Retail?)
  • The performance targets of the funds
  • The volatility measure of the funds (how widely performance has fluctuated)
  • The actual performance over the last 1, 3 and 5 years
  • The net fund flows (has money been coming in to the fund, or going out).

Only when I have this data can I start to assess how good they are as a fund manager.

Similarly, at the other end of the career ladder, graduates or undergraduates often list achievements like ‘Head of School’ or ‘Head of the Rugby Club’ or ‘Secretary of the Debating Society’.  These positions need to be quantified: being head of a school of 1800 pupils is a great deal more impressive than if the school has 180.  Likewise, if the college fields 9 Rugby teams, being overall head is more impressive than if it has 2.

I often ask people to quantify data and they can’t, as it was all too long ago and they cannot remember.  I believe that, every year, you should take the time to record in some sort of ‘Master CV’  all the key data for that year regarding your activites, achievements and new skills learnt so that those facts are recorded and not forgotten.

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