Episode 18: Katherine Collins| How to connect investing with the real world and how finance can learn from nature
Katherine Collins has had a a long successful career in traditional fund management – she was head of US Equity Research at Fidelity Investments and later as Portfolio Manager was responsible for investment decisions for the multi-billion dollar Fidelity America funds. But over her career she came to see serious shortcomings in the way traditional finance operates. Her work at Honeybee Capital today is focussed on illuminating a more human and natural path to investing – in particular applying natural science and the principles of biomimicry, a broad approach where systems are modelled on biological processes, to investing.
In this interview, Katharine talks about some of the shortcomings of traditional financial analysis and calls-out the epidemic of short termism on Wall Street. She explores how new ways of looking at finance using biomimicry-like approaches can unlock value and help identify risks in companies’ long term viability. Katherine raises questions about financial models that suggest there is a systematic trade off between financial returns and ESG benefits, and talks about how these traditional analytical models can, notwithstanding their efficiency, increase rather than reduce risk. In this inspiring interview, Katharine draws on her twenty-plus years of leadership in leading investment firms, proposing an exciting new approach where finance is about resiliency rather than rigidity, simplicity rather than complexity, with mutual value and exchange at its heart.