Farhan Arif

Managing Director

London, United Kingdom +44 20 8158 8977

At William O’Neil + Company, I manage our largest institutional relationships in Europe. My focus is to help clients stay on the right side of the market.

The dot com market crash was the first market meltdown I experienced. I still remember it clearly because it made me realize how quickly the tide can turn, even when the markets are roaring. I’m a big believer in numbers telling you the investment story and over the years, my experience has made me fleet-footed and pragmatic. I’ll advise a short on an investment tomorrow on which a client may have a long position today. If that helps add valuable performance points to a client’s NAV then I don’t care what the critics have to say.

To add to that, I believe disagreement in discussions can be good. I’m not afraid to offer a contradicting position if I feel it will help my client. I find that this forces me to become more analytical and rationale in my thinking, continually escalating my thought processes.

After getting my MBA in Finance, investment banking was a natural place to start my career. I worked as an equity research analyst covering the TMT space and then an equity proprietary trader before moving into institutional equity sales. Having worked across various roles in the capital markets space helps me better understand clients’ needs.

As a 13-year-old, I lived through the Gulf War of 1990 in Kuwait. Within 24 hours of the invasion, I saw a sovereign country lose its independence. I learned early in my life that nothing can be taken for granted and this motivates me to excel every day.

As the classic immigrant story goes, I left India in my twenties without any money, resources, or contacts. I started my sales career at First Global covering emerging markets in January 2003, a period marked by overwhelmingly negative sentiment because of the early 2000s recession and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. March 2003 turned out ot be the the start of the bull run in emerging markets and over the next 10 years, I built trusted relationships with the largest money managers in U.K. and Europe.

From high school in Kuwait, to university in Mumbai, to Wall Street in New York, and then finally landing in London, each of these transitions has contributed to my understanding of countries, cultures, people, systems, and companies.

It’s also given me a deep appreciation for traveling. The most enchanting place I have ever visited is the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, where I saw how an inter-cultural treasure has been preserved for decades. It reminds me that cultures and religions recognize no boundaries.

What’s on my bucket list? I would like to venture outside my comfort zone and try an extreme sport like paragliding.

I consume the press voraciously. Reading across various disciplines helps broaden my overall thinking and enhances my ability to understand and relate to the big ideas.

If you’re looking for something to read, I’d recommend one of George Soros’s books. I’m impressed by his successful track record in translating broad economic trends into highly leveraged trades in equities, bonds, and currencies. He now uses his wealth for philanthropic causes.

I see the equity markets as a large puzzle, consisting of constant streams of news, stories, and data. My job is to help my clients filter out the noise and hone in on the relevant information they need to reach their investment goals. This continuous challenge improves my learning curve each day.