Joe Fernandes: Leading innovation

Joe Fernandes

Joe Fernandes found his true  loves at Monash University.

Now a member of the Colonial  First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) executive team, Fernandes gained a PhD in mathematical physics at Monash.

He also met his future wife, Alma, on their way to their first maths tutorial “in room M111 … and the  rest is history,” he says.

Now, Fernandes delights in the “natural intellectual curiosity” developing in their four-year-old,  Alexandra.

Curiosity drives him too.

“Be curious about the world around you,” he says. “Follow  your passion, think about education for the sake of learning, and then ask lots  of questions.”

It’s a choice Fernandes himself made some 25 years ago when he selected Monash Science as his first preference.

“I wanted to be a great mathematician. I looked for the best school in the country to be able to do that, and it was Monash Science.”

He loves mathematics “because it’s the language of the universe, and it finds application across the spectrum of human endeavour.”

Fernandes feels fortunate his passion led to a rewarding  career pathway. He is responsible for CFSGAM’s Global Investment Solutions  Group, a product development division that focuses on the quality of the  business’s existing offers and invests heavily in  the  development  of  its  future  capabilities.

“Our success requires the success of our clients. We strive  to ensure our investment offers are of the highest quality and relevance to  them. This requires a dedicated focus on ongoing innovation and development”,  which depends upon a team that is “diverse,  thoughtful  and  wanting  to  leave an  impact that goes beyond their tenure.”

His education and experiences give him a point of difference  at CFSGAM, where he has worked for nearly 12 years. The business is responsible  for the management of in excess of $150 billion of assets for clients around  the world.

Fernandes worries that too many students choose their  undergraduate studies with a narrow, vocational focus. “We encourage career choices early on, so a large number of our young people pursue career-oriented  courses. Vocational education and training is important, but there  is  value  that  comes  from  having a more diverse education as the foundation.”