Portfolio manager Shalin Pather is relocating to BOOST&Co’s growing Bristol office, which provides venture debt to fast-growing SMEs across south-west England.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’ve been a portfolio manager until now, monitoring our companies to ensure we know exactly what’s happening with our investments, but I’m moving to Bristol as a turnaround specialist, working with our principal Roux Brits to manage the businesses that need attention. Forging good relationships with their management teams is key, to help us do everything we can to turn firms around.
It sounds like a challenging role.
From a portfolio perspective, you want companies to do what they’re supposed to do, but from a restructuring point of view, you want to get your hands dirty and be involved in decision-making. It suits my personality and my drive. It’s what will get me out of bed in the morning – and also keep me up at night!
How did you end up at BOOST&Co?
After qualifying as a chartered accountant, I worked for RMB Morgan Stanley as an equity analyst. When I moved to a financial advisory firm, I realised that I wanted to take a hands-on approach to business management, and then I was introduced to BOOST&Co. The company’s culture and energy matched mine, and I was hooked.
Which item can you not work without?
I need an old-school keyboard and I always remove the F1 key; it brings up the help menu in Excel, so every time I accidentally press F1 instead of F2, it freezes my machine. I know it’s weird.
How do you feel about relocating from Cape Town to Bristol?
It’s exciting to be growing our team in the south-west; you always want to increase your presence and reach, and this gives BOOST&Co scale and scope in a new part of the UK. I’m adventurous by nature, so I’m looking forward to living in a different country – and I’ll be closer to the Premier League.
Which football team do you support?
I remember the day I started supporting Manchester United: it was the 1996 FA Cup final and I was ten years old. Eric Cantona scored the goal in a 1-0 win against Liverpool and I’ve been a United fan ever since, although I think It’s going to be a long time before they do anything glorious again.
You play a lot of sports, too.
I enjoy tennis, squash and football, but my favourite is cricket, which has to be the most mentally challenging sport. It’s similar to restructuring businesses – you need a lot of persistence and grit!
How else do you spend your leisure time?
My girlfriend and I are travelling to Spain, Portugal and Sweden soon, but my favourite place to visit is India – the mango lassi is amazing there. I love cooking, too; I enjoy experimenting with recipes and adding my own twists. Given I’m an accountant, that’s probably where my creative side comes out.
What’s on your bucket list?
I need to visit the Caribbean, and I’ve got to go to Disneyland in California, to see the Star Wars theme park. I’m a little bit of a geek.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d be so conservative. I’d spend £10m on travelling, eating and materialistic possessions, but I’d put the other £90m in an investment portfolio and use it to plan the rest of my life.