Investment in People: Stacey Jones
Quanta Investment Funds CEO Stacey Jones explains why the biggest investment she makes is actually in empowering her staff so that they, and the company, can grow sustainably during times of uncertainty.
Having left all formal roles with Sentinel Property Group in late 2021 to operate independently, Quanta Investment Funds CEO Stacey Jones is excited by the new opportunities ahead for investors and her people alike. It’s only been a year, but in the pandemic era, time can seem elastic.
"COVID-19 really has thrown me," she shares. "Sometimes it feels like it’s been five years and other times it feels like it’s been five minutes."
However, one thing Stacey is certain about is the value of her people and the way she wants to manage them. "I am in the school of empowering my staff," she explains. "I guess along the same lines of ‘happy wife, happy life’.
"Of course, you can start with the right staff, going through the correct processes and making sure you’re getting the right people on board, but the most important step is actually empowering them day-to-day to be effective in their roles."
Ensuring everyone is empowered and fulfilling their roles is essential because, as Stacey says, it is the only way for the company to succeed. "In a company of this size, it’s just impossible for any one person to be responsible for everything that goes on. I’m not an expert in every part of the business – it’s definitely not the Stacey show!" she laughs.
"We’ve got a really strong team. Not just a group of people who show up and work together, but people who genuinely drive each other and get the best out of each other and want to achieve those goals collectively. I think when you have that, it ultimately flows into the customer experience, which in our world is our investors."
And having just been through a recent rebrand, the next three-to-five years for Stacey will have a really strong focus on that customer service experience.
In a company of this size, it’s just impossible for any one person to be responsible for everything that goes on. I’m not an expert in every part of the business – it’s definitely not the Stacey show!
"We want to to show our investors that we’re actually delivering on the things we’ve been talking to them about – that it’s not just lip service," she says.
Although she hasn’t set any specific long-term goals, to ensure the business remains agile and well-placed to take advantage of opportunities that present in this changing economic climate, fundamentally, Quanta will grow by adding assets to the portfolio that align with its investment objectives. In the shorter-term, that means assets in growth areas that will provide strong, reliable returns for investors. Going forward, the company expects to explore newer areas of the market.
"My husband and I have a beef cattle property," she reveals. "We’ve got quite an interest in rural agricultural land ourselves and, in time, I’d like to look at having an agricultural fund, for example.
"But right now, while the company is re-establishing itself under the new brand, I don’t think it’s appropriate to launch into something that we are not known for and we haven’t done as a team before."
Stacey’s biggest challenge in the short-term is addressing the unease that investors are feeling based on current market conditions, inflation and interest rates most notably, which are going to see some investors sit on their hands while they get a better sense of what’s going to happen.
"No one can predict that accurately, as we’ve already seen," she points out. "In fact, the best economists have all got it wrong recently. Like any shift though, after a period, investor confidence will bounce back.
"I think as the year goes on and and particularly early next year, the real impact of the interest rate rises will be felt more broadly. Add into the mix revaluations being required, which will no doubt demonstrate negative shifts in prices in certain markets, ultimately seeing some borrowers in breach of the loan-to-value ratio requirements, and there’ll be an increasing number of opportunities for us to take advantage of."
It’s about making sure that we are building a business that is sustainable through the years, so that we are here to continue to grow with our investors and manage their investments into the future.
Honesty and transparency are the values the company will be concentrating on – ensuring that investors aren’t bombarded with information, but get the essential advice they need on a quarterly basis. Collaboration, innovation and sustainability are the other pillars that Stacey is holding close.
"That’s not just about sustainability in the environmental sense, which of course is important to us," she says. "It’s about making sure that we are building a business that is sustainable through the years, so that we are here to continue to grow with our investors and manage their investments into the future."
With the reaction Quanta is having from investors and the open relationships it is building, this is well underway. "If investors want to pick up the phone and they want to speak to a real person, they can absolutely do that," she shares. "If they want to speak to me, my phone number is publicly available. It’s on all my emails. They can ring straight through to me."