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Friday, December 07, 2012

Aberdeen Hosts an Investing Quiz Show

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

Investment panel discussions can often be dry, narcoleptic experiences, but not when Aberdeen Asset Management [profile] puts it spin on it.

During a decidedly un-pedagogical panel on the portfolio perils of global investing, the Aberdeen wonks turned the tables on wiseacre New York journalists a la reality TV by having the reporters answer questions related to global finance via touch keypad.

Question topics included whether the Chinese economy would achieve a soft or hard landing and which country had the lowest debt to GDP ratio.

The panel consisted of Singapore-based Hugh Young, managing director, head of equities; Singapore-based Anthony Michael, head of fixed income, Asia-Pacific; U.S.-based Paul Atkinson, head of North American equities; and U.K.-based Kevin Daly, PM for emerging market debt.

The roughly dozen journalists including luminaries from the Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and Institutional Investor, among other publications were treated to British self-deprecating humor performed in four accents. Also present to contribute to the ribaldry was chief executive Gary Marshall.

Furthering the fun was a guidebook outlining Hugh's ten top tidbits against foibles in investing. Written like a snarky college humor pub, the guidebook featured cartoons lampooning dealers hustling typewriters from the 1980s and one particularly hirsute, and confused, cartoon stock broker in a dress (this particular drawing warned against doing something just because someone else did it).

The event was hosted at Aberdeen's new digs at 712 Fifth Avenue, on 55th Street.

After the panel, the journalists were treated to champagne, wine, beers and at least a dozen different hors d'ouvres, including tiny burgers, brisket sandwitchs, pulled pork arepas, cookies and cake on a stick. Gifts included giant shortbread cookies and a carryall urging the reporters to "Keep Calm and Carry On." 

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