The LCN Interview: Justin O’Connor

We are delighted to feature an interview with Justin O’Connor, CEO of Cordea Savills, the real estate investment management business of the Savills group.

Why did you get into fund management?
It was a natural step from working in the property division of a large insurance company to move into third party fund management.

Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
Peter Smith, MD of Australian Funds Management (a subsidiary company of the Lend Lease Group) in the late 90’s. He taught me not only about the fiduciary responsibilities of being a fund manager but also about treating people equally with the respect they deserve irrespective of their position in an organization (he had worked several years in the apartheid era in South Africa).

What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the fund management industry over the next 10 years?
Technology and the way we successfully use it whether achieving efficiencies in investor reporting, distributing products or managing portfolio risk.

What is your pet hate when dealing with advisers?
Answering surveys …

In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
George Clooney.

What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in fund management?
Being George Clooney.

What do you do to relax?
Read newspapers and books, and listen to music.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
The Greek Islands where time stands still and there is nothing to do but to take it easy.

What are your 3 best things in life?
My eldest daughter, my middle daughter and my son.

What piece of advice would you give your 25 year old self?
Don’t take life so seriously.