Where we ask the big questions of the City’s big names. This week, Janus Henderson’s head of investment trusts Dan Howe tells us about the Jugged Hare and his first IPO celebration
What was your first job?
I had the dream first job – as a lifelong watersports enthusiast, my first job was driving the chase boat for a daring marine photographer. High-speed manoeuvres, out in all weather and positioning the photographer in some hairy positions to take the perfect sailing action shot!
What was your first job in financial services?
My first role in the City was a junior sales job at JP Morgan Asset Management after making a career change aged 32 from the telecoms industry. The world was just emerging from the Global Financial Crisis so it was a risky move as my wife and I had just started a family and we had a big mortgage. Jasper Berens ran JPM’s UK Funds business at the time – he had the choice of great candidates with plentiful financial services experience yet he took a risk on me, for which I am eternally grateful.
What’s one thing you love about the city?
I love the combination of the heritage and innovation of the City – some of the investment trusts that continue to prosper today once funded the industrialisation of America and the City is still the cutting edge of financial services progress.
And one thing you’d change?
The City still has a poor reputation when it comes to balancing family life with work life. Post-Covid flexible working has certainly made things easier, but we must not forget that we work to live rather than live to work. My mother-in-law once said to me: “you will remember every nativity play you miss but you won’t remember what you missed it for”.
We’re going for lunch and you’re picking – where are we going?
I am a real pizza lover. However, I eat with clients at least three times a week so that wouldn’t work from a health perspective! Let’s go to 1 Lombard Street for the Torbay Cod and seasonal veg!
What’s the most memorable day you’ve worked?
The day my first investment company IPO listed – the pressure to get an IPO ‘over the line’ is so intense, but the sense of relief and satisfaction was amazing. I sent a copy of the RNS announcement to my parents – I’m not sure it meant too much to them but they were very proud!
And what’s been your most memorable moment?
The moment I will never forget was the surreal drinks party on the Friday night before we implemented the Team A/B fortnightly rotation as a Covid containment strategy. It was mid-March and we were joking with each other that we’d next see each other at the Christmas party. We had no idea at the time how much life was about to change.
And if we’re going for after work drinks?
A pint of Jugged Hare at the Jugged Hare on Chiswell Street.
Are you optimistic for the rest of 2023?
I’m optimistic for the rest of 2023. As a firm believer in long-term investing. With valuations in many asset classes being quite weak, this is a great time to build positions in those companies that have strong balance sheets, disciplined management teams and a long-term competitive advantage.
Give us one opinion that sails against the prevailing wisdom
Prevailing wisdom says we should never meet our heroes. If your heroes are TV or sports celebrities, then this may be true and an Instagram-following relationship is probably more than enough! Proper heroes should be met – they’ll inspire and generously share their knowledge. I certainly have my heroes – both personal and professional.
Where’s home during the week?
Home during the week is Lymington, Hampshire. I commute for 18 hours each week but wouldn’t change it for the world. Living in the New Forest with immediate access to the countryside and the sea is priceless for me and my family.
And where will we find you on the weekend?
On the sea – the Solent most likely. Our family is boat-mad – motor, sail, race or cruise; if it floats we love it.
You’ve got a well deserved two weeks off – where are you going, and with who?
A fortnight’s holiday without doubt will involve boats, my wife and our young family.
And a quick fire round…
Favourite film? Top Gun
Top band? Queen
Ultimate view of London? King Henry’s Mound, the view from Richmond Park to St Paul’s Cathedral
Favourite book? No Excuse to Lose by Dennis Conner
Coffee order? Black Americano