POSTED ON January 03 2013

CAREER IS IN:

Introducing

Katrina Dudley

Occupation

Portfolio Manager, Mutual Series, Franklin Mutual Advisers

Education

Bond University (Australia) - Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws (Hons)

New York University, Stern School of Business - MBA (part-time program)

Katrina Dudley was introduced to her career through an unusual avenue: her parent's divorce. While they were splitting, Katrina's dad worked with a partner at Ernst & Young to value her family's assets. Interested in the process, she asked her dad to introduce her to that very partner. Despite a lack of full-time positions, Katrina was presented with the opportunity to work for the company part-time in family law valuation and part-time in their tax division.

Now, Katrina is a co-portfolio manager of the Franklin Mutual European Funds and Euroland Fund. As part of the Mutual Series investment team, she follows global industrial companies, including companies involved in transportation, general manufacturing, machinery electrical equipment, global health care services and multi-industries. Katrina also serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees of Inwood House, an organization that helps teens take charge of their lives, and volunteers with the New York Junior League. During her off-the-clock hours, Katrina lives with her husband and four children in New York City.

“Speak up! No one can hear what you're thinking if you don't say it aloud.”

What responsibilities do you have as a portfolio manager?

At Franklin Templeton Investments' Mutual Series group, I'm both a portfolio manager and an investment analyst.

As an investment analyst, I look to find stocks that meet our deep value investment style: stocks that trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. I interact with management teams, industry experts and sell-side analysts to understand the company and its future cash flows.

As portfolio manager of the Mutual European Fund, we manage a diversified portfolio of European equities. I spend time constructing the portfolio, talking with our shareholders and presenting to internal and external advisers.

How did you decide a job in finance was right for you?

My journey into my current position started with my parent's divorce. To separate their affairs, my father worked with a partner from Ernst & Young to value the family's assets. I asked my father to introduce me to the partner in charge. While they didn't have a specific opening, I was offered the opportunity to work part-time in family law valuation and part-time in their tax division. After two years, I transferred into the corporate finance division and began work full time on litigation and valuation consulting.

While I enjoyed valuation, it was always backward-looking. A friend suggested becoming an investment analyst, which takes the same valuation skills, but focuses on what a stock will be worth in the future. I obtained an MBA while working full-time and moved to my current career in finance.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Every day is different, which makes it continually engaging. At Mutual Series, we're long-term investors and we act and think like owners. We're also activist investors, meaning if we don't believe management is running the company to maximize its shareholder value, we can engage with management. This is my favorite part of my job.

What challenges keep you awake at night?

The shareholders of our funds are ordinary people; they've trusted us to invest a portion of their savings. Those savings could be earmarked for someone's college education or retirement. We are stewards of our clients' capital. It's a big responsibility and one that keeps me awake at night.

Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

One thing I believe is that people should model their work/life balance on what works for them, not what other people tell them works.

I've always taken on a balance of responsibilities: to my community, to my friends and family, to my work and most importantly, to me. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I divide a sheet of paper into four quadrants and head each one work, family, personal and volunteer activities. I write a list of things I need to complete for each area and I try to do one task from one area, then one from the next. It helps me to focus and I can also eliminate unnecessary tasks.

Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?

I believe the key to a successful career is one where you'll continue to grow. However, it's important to take time to look back and acknowledge what you've achieved so far. I try not to let my quest for continuous improvement prevent me from recognizing all I've accomplished.

I've gone from a college graduate at a small university to having a successful Wall Street career, a wonderful family (with four adorable children and a wonderful partner) and a strong and supportive network of colleagues and friends. In my opinion, "I've made it," but the journey continues.

What are some of the rules you live by?

The greatest mistake people make is to live an unlived life.

I believe you should be proud of who you are and what you've accomplished. Be passionate about what you believe in. Be focused on the task at hand and be considerate of how others feel and of their time.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

There are three things it takes to be successful as an investment analyst:

1 / Self-motivation: there's nobody watching over you and telling you which stocks to research, so you need to be able to come up with new stock ideas on your own.

2 / An ability to speak up and stand behind your opinion. A good stock pitch is useless if no one hears it.

3 / Strong math and written skills. I think these skills are universal, but finance involves lots of spreadsheets.

What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?

Speak up! No one can hear what you're thinking if you don't say it aloud.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Mutual Series continues to offer me opportunities to advance my career and develop my skills. These things are important to me. Over the next five years, I'm looking forward to continuing to manage the Mutual European portfolio.