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  • Borderless Episode II – Annelise Peers

    If you grow up in a bubble you think bubble is reality and when you come out of that bubble it’s quite a shock. It took me a long time to realise that our reality is not always reality as we see it, it’s just because you are doing the same thing in the same environment. How do you explore the world if you haven’t explored yourself?


    Investec headhunted me in 1994, I joined them and had a great 2, 3 years in South Africa working for them and then my husband and I decided to start our own business and we thought Switzerland sounds interesting.


    My husband and I worked together for 14 years but I missed working in a big team. My old boss Stephen Elliot phoned me and said well if you are interested, we have something in Switzerland for you. So I said I would love to come back to the group because I had very fond memories of Investec.


    I enjoy people, I enjoy meeting people and wealth management gives you that, because every client is different, every client’s story is different. So I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, my background and my love is currencies and fixed interest but I do look at markets from the top down perspective.


    In my emotions I am very extroverted but there is a part of me that’s extremely private because I do give a lot in my friendships, in work, by giving a lot you receive a lot.


    I feel privileged to be able to see so many different things, to follow the world market, to follow politics, to try and figure out what’s happening. It’s never a one-dimensional story and I think that could, keeps things really interesting.


    To keep us relevant I have to move a lot, so it’s the nature of what I’m doing but it as I say also gives me great value because it gives me alternative views.


    I speak five and I am busy learning my sixth languages. For me when I learnt English it opened a whole new world. It’s the same thing with French, every time you learn a language you discover a whole new world.


    [Different speaker]: "Excellent to see you all, thank you for attending this meeting. We have 100% hit rate in terms of attendees."


    In markets that are volatile as they are right now you need a beacon, you need a kind of a, a long line of where you are aiming for and I think that is what the Global Investment Strategy Group (GISG) does.


    [In meeting]: "When we get to the high yield market and the corporate market, I agree with you we’ve seen a huge deterioration in quality. The corporate market in 2008 was 20% was covenant light we are now sitting at 50% in the BBB region that are covenant light."


    The client needs to know that it’s not just Annelise out there looking after them, they have to feel that there is this depth and that there is this long-term view and that it’s made up with a solid group.


    If somebody has an alternate view to you it challenges what you think and that is part of that journey of going back to test whether what you think is right. So I feel that and I ask my team to challenge me on a daily basis and if they don’t, I don’t feel comfortable.


    Who I am now is not who I am going to be in 20 years' time. There are still a lot of things I want to do. I am an eternal student, learning new things will always be part of my make-up and my DNA.


    If somebody gives you their money it doesn’t matter if it’s R10, US$10 or €10 or £10 or 10 million Dollars, Euro or Sterling, it’s very important to that person and if they trust you with their money it is actually the closest, most emotive thing that people can give you, so I take that really seriously.

Meet Annelise Peers

“Who I am now is not the person I’ll be in 20 years,” says Annelise Peers, a member of Investec's Global Investment Strategy Group (GISG). “That’s because I’m an eternal student, always learning new things.” This is no throwaway comment – Annelise speaks five different languages and is busy learning a sixth.


Learning those languages has helped open up new worlds for her and reminded her of the importance of stepping outside the bubble that is often our daily lives and that we think is reality.


Working in financial markets in different countries has put her in a position to constantly question these preconceptions we have about reality.

“To be relevant, you have to keep moving along. Thankfully, that is the nature of our business.”

Annelise says the GISG’s greatest strength is the role it plays as a beacon in the difficult markets we find ourselves in. “My clients need to know that there’s depth to the decisions made about their portfolios, that it’s not just me making the calls,” she says. “What I like about being on the GISG is the way alternative views test you and challenge your own views.”

Annelise Peers, Chief Investment Officer, Investec Bank Switzerland
Annelise Peers, Chief Investment Officer, Investec Bank Switzerland

If they trust you with their money it is actually the closest, most emotive thing that people can give you, so I take that really seriously.

Watch other films in the Inside Out of the Ordinary series


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