From the desk of SARAH DUNNE, Portfolio Manager,
The Representative Body of the CHURCH OF IRELAND
Born in the US to Irish parents and brought up in Dublin, Sarah Dunne studied advertising and media and began her career in insurance before becoming an international team leader with Citibank. She returned to university, taking a degree in Social Policy and Economics at UCD, before joining the Representative Body of the Church
of Ireland as an investment analyst. Now, as Portfolio Manager, Dunne works as part of a team that manages various asset classes for the Church, including equities, bonds and property.
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE:
My primary function is the day-to-day maintenance of the asset base across various asset classes with shared input to the strategic management of funds spread over Irish, UK, European and North American markets. As well as managing investments, our role includes treasury management, payment of clergy stipends and pensions and providing finance for the upkeep of church assets, training and communications.
YOUR BUSINESS PRIORITIES?
My business goals are simple: I want to continue to enjoy what I do and do it well. From an investment perspective, the priority is to continue to safeguard the investment gains that have been made over the past number of years in order to preserve the purchasing power of the RCB Funds into the future. These funds are utilised to support the core work of the Church by providing finance for ordinands training and education and for maintaining the ministry of the Church. It is also a priority to evolve our socially responsible investment strategy and to use our role as stewards of the funds of the Church to bring this responsible influence to bear.
THE WAY I DO BUSINESS:
1. LOOKING THE BUSINESS I believe it’s important to dress appropriately for role and seniority – it’s second only to how one conducts oneself professionally.
2. STAYING CONNECTED As recession hit, opportunities to travel were scaled back and technology proved it was possible to participate in conferences and network and collaborate from your desk. I also network with colleagues in the investment industry at various company results events and presentations.
3. Planning for the future As I grew up, the importance of healthcare and pension plans was drilled into me – this is something I believe should be taught in schools. Having a good income and lifestyle in retirement is important and I also consider my children’s education and future, to ensure they have the same opportunities as I had growing up.
For more, see our September issue of THE GLOSS Magazine, which is out this weekend, free with The Irish Times — don’t forget to pick up your copy.