“There’s no success without social responsibility.”
Head of Multi Asset Switzerland – Zurich, Pictet Asset Management
Anastassios Frangulidis is Head of Multi Asset Switzerland – Zurich at Pictet Asset Management. He is responsible for multi-asset investment solutions in the German-speaking region. Institutional clients in particular expect their portfolios either to outperform a predefined benchmark net of fees or to achieve a target absolute return within a predefined period.
Anastassios Frangulidis, what does success mean to you?
For me, success means exceeding the expectations of my stakeholders – my clients, managers, team, and other colleagues. This can be done through performance or through soft factors like how effectively I interact with others or how I treat people generally. Social responsibility is also very important to me, not just in terms of how we invest the funds entrusted to us, but also in my work with a foundation that helps people in Switzerland who suffer from health problems.
What was the best decision you have taken in your career?
Entering the world of asset management as a young graduate. I already had a keen interest in economic and social systems, and to this day I’m fascinated by how they influence financial markets and vice versa. This is what motivates me to want to understand them better.
Which values underlie your day-to-day actions, decisions, plans?
It’s all about long-term relationships with my stakeholders built on close partnership. This allows me to take the initiative in a way I know will be to their benefit.
Have you ever regretted a professional decision?
Yes. My work involves constantly making decisions, so it’s only natural that they can’t always be right. That said, I believe this is an important process that helps me to become better. I’m certain that we can learn a lot from our past mistakes, both individually and collectively. History gives us plenty of examples of mistakes made by a society or a nation that ended up being repeated because they were never regretted and thus never dealt with.
Who do you think of when you hear the word “successful”?
Pericles. He didn’t just crown the golden age of Athens with its timeless landmark, the Acropolis. He was the strategist of democracy, a form of government that placed the emphasis on citizens’ self-determination. This has been the foundation for millions of people around the world to enjoy success right up to the present day.
Which problems should politicians and authorities urgently address?
The state of the pension system is one of society’s biggest problems – not just in Switzerland, but also in many other countries of the West. The current situation is very unfavourable for the younger generation because they have to subsidize a large share of the pensions that are being paid out right now but can’t expect to receive similar benefits when they retire. At the same time, it’s placing a huge strain on the economy, tying up resources that could otherwise be used to increase potential growth and thus improve incomes and create jobs. It’s essential for our pension system to make people assume more responsibility for themselves and to adjust its parameters in line with today’s reality. This needs to be urgently addressed not only by politicians and authorities, but also by society as a whole.
How do you achieve that crucial work/life balance?
In the vineyards and woods around Männedorf and Stäfa. I love spending time with my family there. We usually discuss current affairs during our walks. Hearing my children’s views is very valuable. I learn a lot from them.
What is your favorite anti-depressant?
A delicious lunch or dinner with my family and good friends, and it must include two things: wine and olive oil.
Which childhood memory has left a lasting impression on you?
Traveling around Europe with my parents and my sister in the 70s and 80s. We spent three weeks every summer in various countries all over the continent, which still had different political systems back then. It was a real learning experience for me, and it had a profound impact on my life.
What book are you reading at the moment?
“21 Lessons for the 21st Century” by the Israeli philosopher Yuval Noah Harari. Liberal systems derive power from the free will of individuals as expressed in their feelings, wishes, and decisions. These elements of human freedom are increasingly subject to external influences. Harari’s book looks into the risks facing liberalism in the 21st century.
What do you do on a short journey?
On the outward journey, I work on my tasks for the day. On the way back, usually in the evening or at the end of the week, I listen to music or read the daily paper.
What is your favorite travel destination?
Monodendri, a mountain village in the Epirus region of northwestern Greece. It’s an unspoiled place away from the tourist trail with beautiful landscapes and architecture, very reminiscent of the villages in Ticino. The Ionian Sea with its famous islands isn’t far away, so you can have mountain and beach vacations rolled into one.