Investing and geopolitics are not typically spoken about in the same breath, much less the same paragraph. But for Fortress Investment Group executive Gareth Henry, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. He spent his college years studying actuarial mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in the year 2000. Fresh out of college he worked in management research at Watson Wyatt. A couple years later he worked as a project manager for Schroders, a money management firm based in the U.K. In 2007 he started work for Fortress in its marketing department before moving up to his current role as managing director.
The primary focus of his role is to raise capital in Middle Eastern, European and African markets. To carry out this duty Gareth Henry needs to have a keen eye on the geopolitical machinations of the world. In recent years he has looked to the political processes and even turmoil to make major decisions on money.
Take a recent election in Brazil, for example. Gareth Henry, along with fellow Fortress executive Mike Novogratz, paid close attention to the ebb and flow of the equities market, currency rates and investment rates as the election process progressed. They compared the volatility of the market to the volatility of the election polling to see opportunity where most merely saw the basic political process.
Brazil wasn’t the sole country on their radar. Gareth Henry also looked to other parts of the world. Japan had an unfolding economic stimulus program, known as “Abenomics” after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which provided ample trading opportunities.
A couple short years ago, on the other side of the world in Scotland, the failed independence vote was another fertile ground for the financial opportunists of the world. For Gareth Henry, what started out as a dud turned out to be a productive trading opportunity.