Guimeldalet Llano-Farias is our Fund Selector of the Month for the month of January. She is the Head of Fund Research & Analysis at French asset manager OFI AM, and is making a name for herself as a top professional within French and European fund selection.
Guimel started her career in 2014 at OFI AM, where she joined the fund of fund long only team. Then, she became fund selector in 2017 when the team was created at the firm. She was appointed Head of Fund Research & Analysis team in May 2020.
She holds a master’s in banking and finance from Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense and an undergraduate degree in economics from Université Panthéon-Assas Paris 2.
What led you to dedicate yourself to financial sectors? What would you be doing if you not find a path in Finance?
I hadn’t really planned to work in finance. In fact, at the end of my high school I still didn’t know which studies to go to. It wasn’t until my undergraduate’s degree that I discovered Asset Management, which awakened my interest in the profession, and then this desire to work in finance was confirmed after a full year internship, during which I worked as a Junior Portfolio Manager. I liked the job, and I think that being well surrounded played a big part in what followed. I have been fortunate to work with caring people, passionated about their profession, whether it was during my first experience as a Junior Portfolio Manager or in the multi-management profession in which I have been working for almost 7 years.
I believe that if I wasn’t working in finance, I would be an Animal Biologist. It’s a profession that I’ve always been really interested about.
Taking a brief look at your trajectory, what would you highlight about your professional career? Any advice for people trying to be successful in the industry?
I think I’ve been very lucky, as I’ve already mentioned, throughout my professional life I’ve been very well surrounded.
I was also lucky to have started my career almost 7 years ago at OFI AM, which gave me the opportunity to grow and evolve. My efforts were more than rewarded when I was appointed Team Manager in May 2020.
According to my personal experience, it is important to know how to listen and observe, to rely on experienced teams when we don’t have the answer, and it is normal not to always have the answer. It is also essential to know well your processes and customer’s needs.
Taking into consideration the current market situation, which assets do you think will perform better in 2021? Any safe-haven assets?
In the event of a global economic recovery & improvement in the health situation, I believe that the emerging countries are well positioned to outperform in 2021. Gold seems to me to be a good option as a safe haven.
What is your advice to investors, how should they position themselves with the current environment?
As Fund Selector, I notice that some trends seem to be taking shape in the long run : ESG (with a surge in “E” and “S”), new technologies and new consumption patterns accelerated by the covid crisis are just a few examples. Nevertheless, excess liquidity in the market can lead some valuations beyond justifiable levels, and we must be able to remain agile and cautious.
What is greatest challenge in your role as Head of Fund Research and Analysis at OFI AM?
2020 was a challenging year: I was appointed head of the team when we were confined and working at home. It was hard to find the right balance.
At fund selection level, it was also an interesting year. More than ever, the selection of good managers is important (which of them will succeed in adapting to tomorrow’s environment?). The range of funds’ offer is broad, and finding the right managers remains a major challenge. Regular monitoring and a relationship of trust with our contacts can prove essential in order to be able to interpret the signals and help us to anticipate.