Friday Highlight  

How entrepreneurial should portfolio managers be?

They need to be able to cope with ambiguity. So, in our business we are alert to entrepreneurial flare in our portfolio managers, though also aware of the potential problems it brings. 

Not surprisingly, most entrepreneurs call themselves ‘serial entrepreneurs’.

This is often because their appetite and temperament make them very good at starting companies, but not running them.

Some make rather poor managers: unforgiving task-masters, profits-obsessed drivers and impatient fidgeters. So the clever ones employ managers for the day-to-day running of the firm,

Many entrepreneurs but fewer portfolio managers perhaps are driven from within: some would say by a ‘monkey-on-your-shoulder’ self-doubt.

It is interesting that they set out to be successful, not rich, although they recognise that you measure the former by the latter.

What is clear is that the entrepreneurial spirit and drive in an individual cannot be taught or diminished.

And no amount of government-sponsored courses can induce it if it isn’t in your blood. But you can learn the skills of a good portfolio manager.

Adrian Furnham is a professor of psychology at the BI Norwegian Business School