It is clear that Rebecca Edelman, in her own words, enjoys a challenge, whether it be teaching maths and economics to secondary school children, training for the London marathon or researching and investing in the best US ideas.
However her career could have gone down a slightly different route when she joined Neptune Investment Manage-ment, as she was offered a choice between the US and Latin America.
“I decided to stick to North America,” she explains. “For me it was, and still is, the world-leading economy with the most dynamic and interesting companies.
“It has such a diverse stock market and economy that you are never bored investing in the US. There is a huge range of companies, from chemicals to retail to oil and gas, and also pioneering companies on the forefront in things like technology as well.
“The US is a really exciting market. In many ways, it is like an emerging market, but with developed market corporate governance, in terms of being able to read financial statements and meet the management, so you have that structure that goes along with it.”
After almost six years at Neptune, Ms Edelman remains enthusiastic about both her role – currently manager of the Neptune US Income fund and assistant manager of the Neptune US Opportunities fund – and the team, having found her niche after a brief foray into teaching.
“I studied economics at school and I always loved it and found it fascinating, but I wasn’t someone who was part of any investment group or anything like that. It was a similar thing at university. I studied economics – my degree was actually politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at Oxford, but I specialised in the economics side.
“I enjoyed the diversity of the subject, particularly the macro nature of it and the interplay with the politics side of my degree was always really interesting. I loved how it related to current affairs and what you were seeing everyday in the news, but it wasn’t necessarily an obvious link for me that investment was the way I was going to go.”
Instead, after graduating and knowing she’d like to work in the City but with no firm ideas, she joined a two-year programme called Teach First that enables graduates to become qualified teachers and gets them into challenging London schools.
“I thought Teach First sounded like a bit of a challenge and I love a bit of a challenge,” she says. “So I thought I would give that a go. I loved it and really got a lot of out of it, but after two years, as much as I enjoyed it I didn’t think that teaching was going to be my career for the rest of my life.
“So that is when I started exploring options in the finance world, talking to friends and doing lots of placements.”
This eventually led her to asset management, particularly through her enthusiasm for economics and a top-down macro viewpoint.