Sandra Quemba, CFA – Investment Adviser, Craigs Investment Partners

What are some of your career highlights so far?

I will start describing one of my biggest challenges: to leave my family and friends back home in Colombia where for 29 years I had lived, studied and worked. I lived in the UK for a year or so but always knew I would be back home. This time, it felt different, I was in search for something else: a different work experience, a challenge, better quality of life and the opportunity to travel. I worked as Fixed Income trader in Colombia having a background in engineering. This all helped me develop some client management skills and market understanding that I brought across. I then decided that becoming a CFA Charterholder would further enhance my chances in a sector I very much enjoy working in and so I signed up for the program.

10 years in New Zealand and I am proud of the journey from arriving in the country to becoming an established Private Wealth Investment adviser for a very reputable firm in the country. Perseverance and hard work helped me get to where I am but most importantly, I am grateful to have met some great people who believed in me and supported me all the way.

What do you like most about your job/industry?

Being part of my client’s decision process and journey to become financially independent and meet specific goals along the way. My job allows me to establish a relationship with them, which lives through time.

What are your interests outside work?

I have a dream to become a pianist, not quite a concert pianist but would be happy if I can perform well in front of family and friends. I spend some of my free time practising and following the lead of a young female pianist who has decided I am an adult worth teaching. Her reluctance to teach me was mainly because it is easy for adults to get busy with work and personal matters to dedicate time to learning a new skill or to play a musical instrument.

I also exercise and practise yoga and meditation. I have realised after a busy period in my professional career that work will usually be busy and it is important to maintain a balance.

Make a prediction for 2023

Technology is usually present as a ‘theme’ for the future: Artificial Intelligence, autonomous driving, smart cities, etc. But a topic that has been resonating with me recently is the impact of ‘plastic’ in our world being part of our daily lives and consumption. Are we going to be able to adjust our lives to reduce its impact or are businesses going to flourish taking advantage of the treatment of the wasted plastic?

As investment advisers immersed in capital markets and analysing businesses that can sustainably grow earnings, we are facing challenges with certain companies and sectors that profit from the usage of plastics. Clients are a lot more aware of it and we are struggling to find alternatives to the well-known names or traditional consumer stocks. We as individual consumers, we as an industry making investment decisions and we as a planet face the challenge to make this an opportunity.

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