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What is an Investment Manager?

At Social Investment Scotland (SIS), our Investment Managers are at the heart of everything we do. An Investment Manager is often the first point of contact for our customers, and their passion and commitment help ensure that our customers can achieve the largest positive social impact possible.

We spoke to some of our Investment Management team about the skills and experience that might help someone thrive in the role.

Joanne Karatzidis
Joanne Karatzidis
– Jo joined SIS as an Investment Manager after a 20-year career in banking and is now a Senior Investment Manager. She supports social enterprises to secure investment and enables organisations to deliver impact and grow their local economy.

Brian McNee
Brian McNee – Brian joined the SIS team in 2017 as an Investment Assistant before becoming a fully-fledged Investment Manager. In his spare time, Brian volunteers as a football coach at a local club where he coaches children, plans sessions and committee meetings, and helps set up fundraising events.

Ling Tsang
Ling Tsang – Ling is Investment Support Manager and works with our team of Investment Managers. Ling worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland for ten years – firstly in retail banking and then business banking as a Relationship Manager Assistant supporting the Relationship Manager and customers through the loan drawdown process.

Helping Customers & Talking Business

Our team agreed that the two most valuable skills for any aspiring Investment Manager would be a balance between Customer Management and Business Finance.

‘It’s really about helping organisations … the Investment Manager will work closely to understand their ongoing needs and future plans’, says Jo.

After speaking with the businesses, the Investment Manager will then work to create a bespoke loan package that fits their specific needs. Investment Managers will work with the organisation to get a feel for what they do and get to know the people behind the project. By getting to know our customer’s needs, the Investment Manager can also recommend specific events, courses, or workshops that SIS run regularly.

Another responsibility of our Investment Managers is Portfolio Management. Brian says that his includes regular catchups with customers to find out how they are doing and if SIS can offer any other support. This has been more important than ever throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He says that over the past few years, the team have been speaking to all their customers, helping them through difficult times and providing them with business support or other avenues of support. Brian says being able to work flexibly is a key skill for an Investment Manager, as is prioritisation. Occasionally loans can be time-sensitive, with organisations needing to secure vital findings quickly, while others may involve more conversations to ensure the best possible outcome and impact.

Many of our Investment Managers worked in the banking sector before joining SIS, which gave them valuable experience looking at Business Plans for strengths and weaknesses. However, Ling pointed out that experience with an organisation within the Third Sector could also be beneficial.