Profile Robin Martin, CFA

Wednesday 21 August 2019

 Real assets investments

Author: Maha Khan Phillips

Rob Martin, CFA, is Director of Research at LGIM Real Assets

Rob Martin, CFA, did not initially plan a career in the world of real estate investing.  After graduating with a degree in economics and economic history from the University of Warwick in 1997, Martin spent time in the oil industry, before joining the CBI as an economist.

Sometime into his role, however, he came across an advertisement for a job at Hammerson, the real estate investment trust (REIT), and it piqued his interest. “It was one of the long established UK property companies, and they wanted to establish a research capability. They wanted someone with an economics background to then apply that to real estate. The role required me to really understand the markets, and the broader trends, and how they would affect the assets that Hammerson was invested in. With long lived investments, you have to make assumptions about how income will rise over time, and what cap rates would be. It was really interesting, and I got involved in some of that,” he explains.

Martin joined the firm in 2001, and remained for five years. “UK real estate was really going through a bull run in capital values. I was there for the full length of the credit boom,” he says.
He moved to Legal & General Property in 2006. “It was a bigger jump, in terms of scope and responsibility, than I had understood in advance. It was a more diverse and complex business, and it took me a while to get my head around the way money management works, versus a listed company,” says Martin.

It was also the time that the credit boom came to an end. “By the middle of the following year, the markets were starting to turn, and in 2007 and 2008 the markets weakened very sharply. We were seeing things in our portfolio, in terms of capital value declines, that were unprecedented. They were pretty sobering times, but intellectually very interesting.”

He began the CFA Program in 2011, and completed it in 2013. “I was a lot older than most of the people that were doing it at the same time as me. I wanted to do it for the intellectual challenge, and I knew it would fill in some gaps. It’s actually been even more useful than I imagined,” he says.

He has now been with L&G for 13 years. “On one level, that definitely implies a lack of imagination,” he jokes. “But the firm itself has changed so much that it has created new and interesting initiatives that I’ve been able to get involved in, and that’s kept me engaged.”

He is currently Director of Research at LGIM Real Assets. “For real assets, the focus has to be on long term themes and trends. One of the most noticeable changes during my career is the increasing emphasis on sustainability. This is partly about good risk management. But it’s also an opportunity to participate in the positive social impact that real assets can have. He believes that the CFA designation is become increasingly prevalent in the real estate sector. “When I became a CFA charterholder, I was the first in the real assets investment area of the business. There are now three chaterholders in the research team alone, with another two undertaking the Program.  The need to continually evolve has highlighted the value in the breadth of knowledge gained through the Program” he suggests.

Martin is married, and has two daughters. He likes to read in his free time, but says he is ‘joining the 21st century’ by mixing in some more podcasts. He is also a keen fan of Sci-Fi movies, and of cycling. “I cycle a lot but have branched my wheeled interests out to a Campervan that we bought this year, which we all love,” he says. 

Robin Martin, CFA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Martin, CFA, is Director of Research at LGIM Real Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

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