In my briefcase

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 April, 2006, 12:00am

Richard Titherington JPMorgan Asset Management managing director - head of global emerging markets

AS A FREQUENT traveller, I have a well-loved leather briefcase that has become so battered over the years that it looks a bit like Paddington Bear's tattered old suitcase. It was given to me by my wife, so it has huge sentimental value and is a warm reminder of home while I am away.

My briefcase is home to my valuable documents such as my passport, but equally important are the photos of my family that I always carry with me. The photographs are a visual reminder of the most important things in my life.

I spend about six months in a year travelling, so my briefcase is essentially a mobile office. The contents vary slightly, depending on the destination I am travelling to or the meetings I have scheduled. For example, if I am visiting the United States, I carry reading material about the US financial markets.

Over the years, I have learnt to cut back on the number of things I carry in my briefcase, but somehow I always seem to pack a lot more things than necessary.

Spending so much time on aircraft or waiting in airport lounges allows me to read, plan ahead and catch up on work-related issues. For this reason, my briefcase has become a smorgasbord of reading material.

As a fund manager involved with emerging markets, I am interested not only in financial markets but also political events and the cultures of different countries, and how these might have an impact on businesses and the markets.

I am an avid reader of history books and firmly believe it is impossible to have a sense of the present and an interest in the future without having an appreciation of the past. From history, it is often possible to connect things that are applicable to current affairs, which can be important for those involved in today's business ventures.

A constant companion is my BlackBerry - an essential tool that the job requires, and a regular point of contact between the office and home throughout my nomadic existence.

I also carry a variety of papers and pens for making drafts and notes. The number of good ideas that spring to my mind when I am hanging about in airports, or on the way to meetings, is just amazing. I like to be ready to exploit any opportunity that may arise or be able to pursue an idea that strikes me as I am waiting to board an aircraft.