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Career case studies: Fund manager

PR portrait of Jeff Lindsey

Jeffrey Lindsey graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS degree in Commerce and received an MBA from Emory University. He joined BlackRock in 2005 when it merged with State Street Research & Management. He is now a managing director within its fundamental large cap growth equity team.

What makes a good fund manager?

You have to be a good analyst, which means you have to understand how to break down a company and translate how they sell products and make money. Once you understand their finances, you have to translate that into the language of the stock market and determine what price the company’s stock should be selling for. The key is to use that understanding to make better than average investment returns. It’s as much of an art as it is a science.

What about it appeals to you personally?

This is a dynamic environment and every day is literally a ‘new day’ with fresh information that I have to absorb and react to. It’s the most dynamic job I can think of in that I have to know what’s going on all around the world that could have an impact on the price of stocks.

What have you found most challenging?

It’s a very competitive industry. Our successes, or lack of successes, can be measured every day because we can see our daily returns. The most challenging part is the pressure to be consistently successful. You have to be just to keep your job.

What are you working on today?

Right now we’re at a point on our calendar that’s between earnings periods. So we’re being more selective in searching for new investment ideas. Most of the focus is on tech stocks where there’s a lot activity. I’m meeting with CEOs and CFOs trying to get a better understanding of their business, future prospects, and what they can earn.

What makes you good at your job?

My passion for the business, which I believe is the absolute most critical component to have as a fund manager. I love this stuff. As a young person I knew that I had good maths and quant skills. It wasn’t until later that I realized how important it was to be able to talk to people as well, to be relatable.

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