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Meet The Analyst: Q&A with Dhana Mariappan

  • 08 March 2023 (5 min read)

Please tell us about yourself. What are your education and career experiences to date?

My name is Dhana Mariappan, I am a European High Yield Analyst at AXA-IM. I am a scientist by training, with a BSc. in Biotechnology from Imperial College London. I started my career at a pension fund in Malaysia as a credit analyst serving both the domestic and global desk. After a 4-year stint there, I joined AXA-IM as an Investment Grade credit analyst. During my 7+ years of being a credit analyst, I have covered many sectors to date including telecommunications, banking, transportation, business services, automotive and capital goods. I am also a CFA charterholder.

What is interesting about your role here at AXA IM and what motivates you to do well?

My role here at AXA-IM, in the European High Yield team, allows me to work closely with the fund managers by supporting them with their day-to-day investment decisions through my recommendations.  I enjoy being a part of the financial market that is very dynamic and identifying investment opportunities as well as flagging potential risks within my sectors. When the funds do well, I get satisfaction of being part of the joint effort and being able to add value to our clients’ portfolios.

How do you feel you complement the team’s skills and add value?

I bring to the team my deep knowledge in fundamental credit research and skills that I have developed over the years covering companies in multiple sectors and in varying geographies. As a result, I am able to identify good investment opportunities within my sectors and communicate them in a swift manner to the appropriate portfolio manager who will be able to benefit from my recommendation.

As we look ahead, what is exciting about Fixed Income investing?

There are several things that are exciting about Fixed income investing as we look ahead:

The higher yields: After more than a decade of low rates and yields in fixed income, we are finally in a period of higher yields, which is exciting and makes fixed income more competitive vs. other asset classes from a returns perspective.

The opportunities it presents despite near-term volatilities: Given the current macroeconomic backdrop with a recession forecasted in the near-term, as a credit analyst, I believe it is imperative to pick the right credits to invest in the current credit cycle – i.e., companies with strong fundamentals and the ability to weather challenging business conditions.

The increasing importance of ESG: As investors, we are driving a positive change by investing in sustainable projects and companies that can make a real difference in making the world a more sustainable place going forward.

And aside from work, tell us something interesting about yourself that most people won’t know?

I missed the opportunity to learn cycling when I was younger. However recently during the lockdown, I learnt to ride a bike for the first time and thoroughly enjoy the freedom it gives!

What excites you about the future?

That I can be anything I want to be, regardless of my gender, my ethnicity, or my background, as long as I put in the work required for it.

Fund Manager views

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