The last few weeks have seen a rash of awards and ceremonies celebrating the best in class for our industry. Judging by the Twitter frenzy and the LinkedIn profiles, some people were at every one of them. That’s a lot of small talk and drinking!! Not forgetting the ironing. At least a Tuxedo is a simple decision, but I feel for those who feel that they have to choose a new dress for each event. Oh, to be seen in the same dress as the last event!! These events do seem to come around with amazing regularity and in some cases far too regular. One company keeps sending our firm notification for an award for things we don’t even do but for the small price of a £500 we can use the logo, for £1,500 a feature in a magazine special and for £4,000 the prime slot. Excuse me but the word MUG I keep for something I drink my tea out of!! Now I am not suggesting that this firm is like the others but there are some issues that cause me to question some of the validity of many of these awards and the consequences of winning such an award.




Recently, and in some cases rightly so, there has been a new wave of awards; Recognising the work of Women in the Industry and the benefits of having a diverse work force. However, some would challenge as to why we have these. Do we recognise all aspects of diversity in the workforce? In some areas we do such as the “Best under 30” or the “Most Influential”. Sadly, I was well past 30 before those awards ever saw the light of day. Not that I would have won! But the issue here is about “shining a light on the issue” says Bev Shah, Founder of CityHive. “We need to help the industry recognise the work done by women in the industry”. Now I am not a fan of recognising specific groups but are we not missing the point, to recognise the work for the work undertaken by individuals no matter their gender, race or sexual orientation as I am keen to promote people on merit not their difference. That being said however, Bev’s point is simple. As an industry we have continually failed to address the institutionalised and systemic sexism in the industry. If the FCA register states that there are 8% of the workforce who are women with a Controlled Function level that allows them to run money, then why are there only 4% actually doing this. Something doesn’t add up!!

We should expect the landscape to be diverse and society has to change its acceptance so that we avoid the boring old, white, male stereotypes often seen in senior management in our industry. Basically, people like me!!

I was speaking to an Independent Non-Executive Director recently and one of the factors to bear in mind, she said, are the networking opportunities and that the old boy’s network is still out there and being used as much today as it has always been. She sees the awards ceremonies as an opportunity to network with all genders but also to help establish her credibility to others. As we all know 90% of jobs are never advertised. It’s who you know that matters!! I totally agree and if these awards do that then great but do we need an award? Surely networking events put on by the likes of CityHive and Bev Shah are more of what is needed. A chance to shine and chat about the industry and get a voice to the masses of other people and employers. To build a community.


To make matters worse, in my view, is the potential dumbing down of awards and making them meaningless. Last year, one of the trade papers ran the shortlist for their Women in Finance awards or something that sounded like that. The shortlist, however, was over 500 names! That isn’t a shortlist, that’s a list of everyone you can think of at the weekly editorial meeting. Many companies put forward everyone in their firm who is a woman. One positive point here though, is that these women do become role models for all the other women in the industry who will look up to these nominees. So, it does help in a strange way. However, we do need to be careful that it doesn’t end up that it looks like you can’t lose in a race as often seen at school sports days these days. Everyone gets a medal. Tosh!! Life is hard and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That’s just a fact of life and we work in a competitive industry where there are winners and people who don’t always win. So, by being inclusive you can look like you are giving them a medal by just being in the industry. Wrong.


Now some of you may sense I am a cynical old soul and I am the first to admit that whilst I always see the good in people and that most people have good intentions, I do have a Northerner’s approach to life, that being you have to work hard to get anything and nothing comes on a silver plate. When awards are given out it should reflect the firm, individual or team’s efforts against the rest. However, there is in itself a risk. In recent weeks there has been much debate about the role of Star Managers and allowing an ego to get ahead of themselves, namely the likes of Woodford. Awards unfortunately add to this ego and ironically the very people who dish out the awards are the very people who when it starts to go wrong for the Star, jump on the bandwagon to castigate the individual for their wrongdoings. So, is there a case of double standards here? Editorial should remain independent of Advertorial at all times and if your journalist decides to have a pop at a manager then the events team will be saying “bang goes them taking a table” and the adverts will dry up overnight!


An award can be great in many ways, but the issue is creating a Star and the challenges that this can create. Managing an ego as big as the award-winning Woodford is always going to be difficult but if you start throwing accolades at them then you are compounding the issue. The media are the ones who create the Stars, but they are the first to knock them down. Something we do rather well in the UK sadly. Cynically it is often the kiss of death to receive an award. Many an award-winning manager falls off a cliff not long after. Possibly the ego gets in the way of a good investment idea.

So, if awards are a potential kiss of death or an albatross around the neck of firms we all have to live with the consequences but we should be looking at why and who is awarding them and do they have credence? Well the answer to their relevance is easy, yes, they do add value and validation to a person’s work but as for awarding them, that’s a different story. Trade papers or even Nationals are there to make money from selling more papers/clickbait, to attract advertisers and ultimately control the dialogue. Should they be the one who controls the award, or should we be looking at true independence of these? Ultimately there is an unhealthy relationship between Fund Managers, Wealth Managers and the Press if one of that trio can help make the difference between a “Star” and an “Also-ran”. Perhaps the Investment Association or some trade body takes on the mantel. I will leave it for others to conclude that one but for now I will be taking any award with a bucket of salt!!

Have a great weekend

Stuart Alexander



In other news...

GemCap Sustainability Committee 

  Quarterly Update by Sanchit Janda                                                                                      04 July 2024 At


You must submit your agreement before access to the site can be granted. Important information regarding our Cookie Policy can also be found here


October 2022   This website is directed at institutional clients and individuals who have taken appropriate professional advice, who possess the necessary experience, knowledge and expertise to make their investment decisions and properly assess the risk that it incurs. Gemini Capital Management (Ireland) Limited (“GemCap”), trading as GemCap, is a limited liability company registered under the registered number 579677 under Irish law pursuant to the Companies Act 2014 which is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, reference number C155302. Its principal office is at Suite 22-26 Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street Dublin 2, D02 X598 and its registered office is at 7th Floor, Block A, One Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. GemCap acts as management company and global distributor to GemCap Investment Funds (Ireland) plc (“UCITS”). GemCap Investment Funds (Ireland) plc is an umbrella fund with segregated liability between sub-funds incorporated as an investment company with variable capital registered under the registered number 485081 under Irish law pursuant to the Companies Act 2014 and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland, reference number C67292, pursuant to the European Communities (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) Regulations 2011 (as amended) ), having its registered office at 7th Floor, Block A, One Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland(“the Fund”) . The contents of this site have been prepared solely for information purposes and is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. GemCap and the Fund does not give or make any guarantee, representation, warranty or other promise or confirmation (whether express or implied) as to its accuracy or completeness.   Risk Warnings Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them can fluctuate (this may partly be the result of exchange rate fluctuations) and you may not get back the full amount invested. Past performance may not a reliable guide to future performance. A comprehensive list of risk factors is detailed in the Prospectus and the key investor information document (“KIID”) and an investment should not be contemplated until the risks are fully considered. The Prospectus and KIID can be viewed at GemCap does not provide financial, investment, tax or any other professional advice in any way and none of the information on this site should be construed as such. None of the information contained on this site constitutes an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation, recommendation, invitation by or on behalf of GemCap to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. Any opinions expressed on this site do not constitute investment advice and independent advice should be sought where appropriate. The view and/or opinions expressed by GemCap through this or any other platform, may be subject to change. The shares in the Fund have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”) as amended or the securities laws of any of the states of the United States. The Shares may not be offered, sold, transferred, pledged or delivered, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States or to or for the account or benefit of any US Person except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to the registration requirements of the 1933 Act and any applicable state laws, nor in any jurisdiction in which the Fund is not authorised to be publicly sold. The Fund is available only in jurisdictions where their promotion and sale are permitted. The information contained on the website may not be redistributed directly or indirectly to any citizen or resident of the United States or any other jurisdiction where its distribution may be restricted by law. It is the responsibility of persons accessing the website to ensure compliance with the above.   Disclaimer for Investors in Switzerland The Fund and its sub-funds, Calamos Global Convertible Fund and Third Avenue Real Estate Value Fund has been approved by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA (“FINMA”) for offering to Swiss non-qualified investors. This website may contain advertising. In Switzerland, the representative is ACOLIN Fund Services AG, Leutschenbachstrasse 50, CH-8050 Zurich, whilst the paying agent is Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, Place St.-François 14, CH-1003 Lusanne. Swiss investors may obtain free of charge from the representative in Switzerland, the relevant fund documents, namely the prospectus, the key investor information documents, the articles of association, as well as the annual and semi-annual reports. Past performance results are no indication of future results. Issuance and redemption commissions are not included in the performance figures. Performance results referring to a period of less than twelve months (year-to-date-performance, start of investment fund within the last twelve months) are no reliable indicator for future results due to the short comparison period.   Additional information for Qualified Investors in Switzerland: The below-mentioned investment funds, which are also disclosed on this website, are neither registered with FINMA nor under contract for representation to Swiss investors. These investment funds may not be distributed neither to Swiss non-qualified and qualified investors nor exclusively to Swiss qualified investors:   GemCap Investment Funds (Ireland) Plc Atlantic House Defined Returns Fund Atlantic House Global Defined Returns Fund Atlantic House Total Return Fund Atlantic House US Enhanced Equity Fund Atlantic House Uncorrelated Strategies Fund Calamos Global Convertible Fund Calamos Growth and Income Fund Causeway Defined Growth Fund GSI Global Sustainable Value Fund GSI Global Sustainable Focused Value Fund London & Capital Global Balanced Fixed Income Fund London & Capital Global Conservative Fixed Income Fund London & Capital Global Defensive Equity Fund (this Fund has terminated and accordingly, Shares in this Fund are no longer available for investment) London & Capital Global Growth Fund London & Capital Global Growth Fixed Income Fund London & Capital Global Star Equity Fund London & Capital Global Balanced Fund London & Capital Global Equity Opportunities Fund Principal Asset Allocation Fund Semper Total Return Fund TEAM International Equity Fund Third Avenue Real Estate Value Fund   Legal This GemCap website and material contained herein (including information from third parties) is provided ‘as is’, without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security, completeness and accuracy. By entering this site, you acknowledge and agree that the use of this site is at your own risk and to the extent permissible by applicable law, in no circumstances, including (but not limited to) negligence, shall GemCap be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages, losses, costs or expenses nor for any loss of profit that results from the use of, or inability to use this site or any material on any site linked to this site (including but not limited to any viruses or any other errors or defects or failures in computer transmissions or network communications) even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damage. In addition, no liability can be accepted by GemCap in respect of any changes made to the content of this site by unauthorised third parties. All express or implied warranties or representations are excluded to the fullest extent permissible by law. We do not warrant that this site does not infringe any intellectual property rights of third parties. No data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed as totally secure. Whilst GemCap strives to protect such information and every effort has been made to implement security protocols, in line with relevant legislation to ensure safe processing and storage of any data transmitted, we do not guarantee and cannot ensure the security of any information which you transmit to us. Accordingly, any information which you transmit to us is transmitted at your own risk. The GemCap website is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. The information on this site is issued by GemCap.   Cookies If you use the internet quite a bit, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of cookies. But what are they? Also known as HTML cookies, tracking cookies or magic cookies, these tiny files are automatically downloaded by your computer when you’re browsing online. Don’t worry – they’re perfectly safe. But we’d still like to take a moment to explain what cookies do, which ones we use and how to remove them – if you really want to. Are Cookies Safe? Yes, cookies are safe. The information they collect is completely anonymous. We never, ever, collect personal information using cookies. What’s more, cookies are not harmful to your computer, they take up minimal space and they can be removed with just a few clicks. GemCap’s Cookie Functionality
  • Cookies provide enhanced functionality and speed to our site
  • These cookies help us to recognise your computer when you visit and enable us to improve your visits to our website
  • Cookies assist us in identifying what kind of visitor/user you are, for us to provide you with the most relevant content
How Can I Remove Cookies? Most computers are set to download cookies automatically, so if you’re happy with everything you’ve read, simply carry on as you were. However, if you’re at all concerned about having cookies on your computer, deleting them is simple. Show me how to remove cookies Likewise, you can also change your computer settings so that it won’t download any more cookies. Show me how to change my cookie settings The information on this site is issued by Gemini Capital Management (Ireland) Ltd, which is registered in Ireland No. 579677. The registered address for the company is 7th Floor, Block A, One Park Place, Upper Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. For further information on our use of personal data collected and stored by the firm and its approved vendors, please see our Data Protection Statement, which can be found in the “Our Policies” section on this website.