A day in the life of Prashant Khemka

1st November 2015

A day in the life of Prashant Khemka, manager of Elite Rated GS India Equity Portfolio and CIO of emerging market equities for Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs India Equity Portfolio has just been awarded an Elite Rating from FundCalibre. Here, the manager, Prashant Khemka, gives us an insight into his job and life with a day's summary from earlier this year.

On my way to work, I look up the close of Latin American markets overnight and the performance of our funds. Up next are the top news stories of the day that could be of interest.

I attend the daily morning meeting with the traders and research analysts in Singapore, where we discuss major events, key economic data points and upcoming company meetings. Markets in the region are off to a sprightly start buoyed by positive economic data from the United States.

I excuse myself to attend the first client review meetings this morning on emerging market equities. Between meetings, I take a ‘coffee’ break. Unlike our traders I’m not a coffee person, I’ll make do with peppermint tea and hot water. Rejuvenating!

As the Indian market opens, it’s time for our daily team call. Today, we have the management of a mid-cap power producer in our Mumbai office. I dial-in to hear an update on the changes they’re seeing following last year’s general elections.

Lunch is usually at my desk. At the Italian takeaway across the street, I resist the heady aroma of mozzarella and get myself minestrone soup and some salad instead.

I head out to attend a pulp and paper producers’ conference in order to gain some insight on industry trends and a couple of potential names we’ve been tracking for our emerging market portfolio. On my way back, I review the investment thesis summaries compiled by my global team overnight of all the companies we own across our portfolios. This is in order to ensure their respective weightings in the portfolio don’t require adjustment. I put in a reminder to sit down with our Brazilian financials analyst based in São Paolo to revisit the thesis of an insurance provider we own, in light of disappointing data released by insurance regulator Susep, discussed at the morning meeting.

The rest of the day is spent alternating between discussing existing positions and potential investment ideas with research analysts, browsing through sector comparison sheets and replying to emails. All along, I keep an eye out for the market opening in Russia, Turkey, South Africa and Nigeria.

My screen flashes with a message from our traders. A Russian retailer we own is up 10% having just beaten the street on both top-line and earnings, and is nearing our target price. I round-up our Russian staples analyst
for her read on the numbers, and get her thoughts on whether the stock still offers potential upside.

I leave the office to go for my daily walk, it’s been exceptionally hard to keep my New Year’s Resolution. I’m patched through to our internal bi-weekly CIO call, which is a platform to discuss key themes affecting equity markets globally.  The focus this week is on falling oil prices and its impact on emerging markets, meaning a longer-than-usual update and a shorter-than-usual walk.

I’m home and the kids are already eager to tell me what they learned at school and show me their homework. We spend the next hour watching their favourite cartoons (and some of mine). Having travelled extensively over the past few months, this time is priceless.

I read the Mahabharata to put the kids to bed, before getting on to my final client meeting of the day. We’re pitching India Equity to an American endowment fund. Interest in the asset class has been very broad based and our offering is very well received. This is followed by a quick check on Brazil, Mexico and Western markets to see how they are faring, and my BlackBerry for any pressing emails.

The time zone makes it challenging, but I stay up to watch the cricket as Mumbai successfully chase down a 200+ score in the last over. IPL matches always go down to the wire, but I think this could be our year.

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time.  Prashant's views are his own and do not constitute financial advice.

Published on 04/11/2015