Joe Fernandes: Leading innovation
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.”