While successfully deploying substantial investor capital since inception, MIDIS IT has built-out this client facing business with diversity and flexible working at the core. Key achievements during the 18 months to Dec-19 include hiring five female out of six new recruits into the London team, the appointment of a female returner into a Director-level role and promotion of paternity leave, with two new male parents taking several weeks of leave. The MIDIS IT is an energetic and dynamic business where open communication and technology tools to enhance the effectiveness of remote working and healthy minds are promoted and valued.
Kit Hamilton is Co-Head of MIDIS, we asked him a few questions…
Can you tell us about your team and its role in the business?
The Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS) business was established in early 2012 to leverage the Macquarie Group’s infrastructure expertise into an investor-aligned global infrastructure debt investment management business. Since then, it has raised more than £8.5 billion in investor funding and serviced pension fund and insurance clients across the globe.
The MIDIS Investment Team (IT) is a culturally and gender diverse team within the business with a key objective of investing clients’ capital with care and discipline based on a proactive approach, targeting investments that deliver enhanced risk-adjusted returns.
What achievement by your team are you most proud of?
Diversity in recruitment. Since the business started from an innovative idea in 2012, it has now grown to be a truly global and market leading player in the infrastructure debt market and has established a culturally and gender diverse and talented Investment Team.
The collegiate nature of the team is something that I think makes us stand apart. Our staffing set-up is a great example of this where the juniors are self-governed in terms of splitting the workload - with the objective being to make sure that no single member is too inundated at any one time. This helps create a better work / life balance and is with strong support and encouragement from the senior leadership team.
Generosity of spirit - across all the levels. Every single person in the team, and across the MIDIS business, is approachable and willing to give their time to help others. That extends right from the bottom to the top (including our Investment Committee).
Remote and flexible working is in place for your team, has this made things easier during the current lockdown and what advice would you give to a manager who is new to this way of working?
The fact that remote and flexible working was already in place prior to the lockdown with monitors and remote working equipment available for all team members and an established cultural acceptance and trust within the team to work in a flexible way (location, hours etc), has certainly made it easier to adapt to this style of working. However, it was still a transition given it has been the entire team working remotely for such an extended period. Advice that I would give to a manager who is new to this way of working would be consistent and clear communication is critical – interacting with frequency and structure gets the best results. Embrace the change and take advantage of all the benefits that flexible working provides both from a personal and team perspective – it can often be easy to focus on the negatives but once a manager sees and embraces the benefits that it can provide (e.g. flexible work hours, ability to take a break during the day, time saving from daily commute, living a more healthy lifestyle), it can really help build a positive and effective team environment.
Your team continues to expand through gender-balanced graduate recruitment programs, can you tell us more about these programs?
The graduate programme is fundamental to the development of our team. Our young recruits are not only our analysts of today, they are the managers of tomorrow; we count on them to contribute their energy and a fresh point of view from their very first day and their arrival represents an opportunity for all our existing colleagues to appreciate a new unique perspective.
We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion – we aim to attract a broad range of candidates, promote a workplace that is inclusive of all individuals, and apply a fair and robust selection process to find individuals from varied backgrounds with different ways of thinking, unique skills and experiences to ensure our business remains innovative and sustainable. We typically involve as many team members as possible in the graduate recruitment selection process with representatives from different teams, nationalities, genders and levels of seniority leading the interviews.
What ambitions do you have for the team in the next year?
We have various strategic goals as a team across the different regions and tailored to the funds investors that we look after, but what I really want to see is the continued idea creation and furtherment from within. All of our best ideas and growth initiatives have been home grown and bottom up. Whether it’s new growth initiatives, team collaboration, enhancements to the remote working set-up or improvements to the way we do things more broadly, my ambition is to see the team be open and contribute to those ideas and initiatives from all levels and continue to unlock its potential.
On a personal level, who are your role models?
The qualities that I have held most dear in a role model are fairness, trust and enthusiasm.
My role model is a man who was well ahead of his time in many respects. He rated “being different” as a major positive, relentlessly chased down feedback and perspective from people he hadn’t seen eye-to-eye with and required the sharing of ideas and relationships, particularly his own. Above all he took a real interest in people and what made them tick. While some of these now go by a different terminology, he retained the common thread of a belief in people and the view that good, diverse people bring about better outcomes and a better environment. I would be proud to emulate those qualities exhibited by my father, Jim Hamilton.