Doug Morrow. Managing Director. Corporate Knights Capital.
Doug Morrow is a perfect example of the newest generation of MBA’ers that are choosing to use their financial skills for social good. As the Managing Director of Corporate Knights Capital, he is responsible for the firm’s day to day management and operations. Doug’s job is not your average CSR job, its one that requires a solid understanding of finance, sustainability and analytics. For Doug, it’s been no easy task trying to grow the business into the most advanced investment sub-advisor in the sustainability space – one that requires a daily “constitutional” to keep his creative juices flowing. Doug’s story reminds us of the power of networking and the importance of building relationships.
Can you briefly describe your job?
We are a small firm with less than 7 employees so my job as the Managing Director is quite varied. In a nutshell I oversee the day to day management of Corporate Knights Capital. This means managing our research team, our budget and our branding and marketing. I also work as the relationship manager for many of our clients.
What’s a typical day like for you?
The days and weeks are varied but there are some common denominators. I begin most days by reading 3-4 newspapers to get up to date on the markets and to keep a fresh perspective. I make a point of checking in with the research team every day to see if there are any big challenges coming down the pipeline that we’ll have to plan for. I always try to make time for my “constitutional”, a daily walk around the neighbourhood. Brisk walks have been positively correlated with longevity, mental creativity and a healthy and balanced disposition so I think people are crazy not to do them. In between pushing the boundaries of quantitative portfolio construction, we always take time each afternoon to throw around the office balls that our Bloomberg rep brings us each quarter.
How did you get this job?
The CEO recruited me. We went out for lunch one day while I was in another position and before I had finished my soup I knew I would be joining.
Persistence and personal networking.
What advice would you give someone looking to get a sustainability job?
Persistence and personal networking. The last time I got a job that was advertised was in high school when I successfully responded to an ad to work stocking shelves in the local A&P.
What do you look for when you hire?
People who are thinking ahead to the next generation of what sustainability means, and why it’s an important growth driver for businesses. We are in the business of building equity and fixed income portfolios so we clearly have a bend toward folks who know the basics of the investment industry.
Best thing about your job:
I have direct influence over how our company fares and will fare going forward, which is pretty empowering. That’s one of the benefits of a small shop. The flexibility here is also incredible, if I have to take my kids to a doctor’s appointment one morning I can catch up that night by working late. I think most young parents face challenges in old-school regimented roles where the office revolves around a 9-5 schedule.
Getting our first wire transfer from our first investment advisory client.
Favourite interview question:
Tell me about yourself.