In this episode of mChats, meet Pete Santoro, Global Head of Equities. He shares his thoughts on top qualities for Portfolio Managers, Millennium’s culture, and lessons learned in his career.
What are the most important qualities you look for in a Portfolio Manager?
Two things: an explainable process and grit. When the markets throw a curveball, PMs need their process to fall back on. It should be their true north and it should underlie everything they do. They’re going to have good days and bad days, so they need to be able to dust themselves off and go again. It takes a person with a certain type of grit to choose this career and excel at it.
What has changed most at Millennium in the time you’ve been here?
The complexity and breadth of the business. Much of the growth of the fund over the past five or six years has been into new products, new strategies, and new regions. It’s been exciting to see how the firm has dealt with this growth in the Millennium way: to break it down into component parts, to make sure that we understand each part and to have the skills to achieve excellence in every area.
If you had to summarize the culture at Millennium in a few words, what would they be?
Our culture is humble curiosity, commitment to excellence, and finding a path to “yes.”
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
You’re never as smart as you feel on your best days, and never as bad as you feel on your worst. This is an idea that brings in two of my earlier answers. First, it’s where humility comes from, that idea of “this too will pass” – the good and the bad. But it’s also the source of grit, the mind-set needed to persevere and get back on it.
Where is your happy place?
On a beach anywhere in the world. I’ve yet to find one I don’t like. I was married on the Amalfi Coast, a place that ties me back to my Italian heritage and is therefore really special to me. So maybe there.