Edward C. Coyne
Executive Vice President, National Sales @ Sprott Asset Management
In the run-up to the ETP Forum event, Jobs in ETFs sat down with Ed Coyne, the Executive Vice President, National Sales @ Sprott Asset Management. Ed talks about his career decisions, the biggest trends that will shape the ETF industry going forward, and a preview of the core message he will present at the ETP Forum in New York City.
Education, a positive attitude and a hunger to grow are some of the key attributes I look for in a new hire. Everything else can be taught over time.
Jobs in ETFs: Please tell us about yourself and your experience. Why did you decide to pursue the career you have today and how did it progress?
Edward C. Coyne: I was born and raised in St. Louis and went to University of Missouri “Mizzou”. I moved to New York City after college to pursue a career in Architecture. With a goal of paying down student loans, I took a part-time job making proxy calls to investors on the west coast. This was my first view of the world of finance. After several months, I became more interested in my part-time job than in my chosen profession. In the mid-1990s I made the full-time shift to Reich & Tang, an institutional money market firm, as a sales assistant. This experience was eye opening for me in terms of the career potential in financial sales. From that point forward, I decided my new career path would be in finance.
JE: Last year, you moved from Royce & Associates, LLC where you worked for over 18 years. Can you tell us about the transition and any tips you might have for fellow professionals looking to make a similar move?
Ed: The early days at Royce were quite entrepreneurial. We were approximately 30 people with $1.7 billion in AUM; everyone wore multiple hats. It was the late 1990s and small-cap value was the opposite of the tech craze that was building. Post bubble, balance sheets started to matter once again and investors took notice. As we grew, so did outside interest from larger firms. In 2001, we were sold to Legg Mason. The next decade was a time of expansion and growth for both our firm and me. I enjoyed the building process and being part of an every changing and expanding business. Fast forward to 2011 and the once entrepreneurial spirit of our firm was slowly being replaced by the traditional bureaucratic layers of a larger firm. The “fun” factor of growing a business was replaced with the day-to-day management of more money, people and problems. Over time, I realized I needed to build and not manage. As the years went on, my happiness factor continued to decline. By 2015, the firm had changed so much in terms of culture, performance and AUM that a personal change was needed. We have all heard the saying, “when a door closes, a window opens”. I had known Sprott Asset Management through our investments with them in several of our Royce Funds. Sprott was in the process of building out the U.S. market and I was looking to be part of a growing firm; the timing was perfect. In January of 2016, I made the move to once again join an entrepreneurial firm. My number one tip: Do what makes you happy and the money will follow.
JE: Would you do anything differently if you were starting your career now?
Ed: No. Everything that has happened, and the choices I’ve made, have lead me to my current position. I believe you need to work hard, put in the time and accept the fact that a bit of luck is needed for success to take hold.
JE: What are the main skills you are looking for in your new hires?
Ed: Education, a positive attitude and a hunger to grow are some of the key attributes I look for in a new hire. Everything else can be taught over time. If an individual is willing to learn and views the opportunity in a positive light, they will be successful and add value.
JE: What sets your firm apart from others?
Ed: Sprott’s entrepreneurial drive is strong at every level. Sprott is not a firm that you work at, rather it is a lifestyle you follow. Belonging to a precious metals and mining focused firm requires one to have conviction, passion and drive. No one “just shows up to work”, we all ask ourselves “how can we get better, how can we grow, what makes sense for our investors”? This firm’s deep passion makes Sprott a special place.
JE: You’ll be speaking at ETP Forum in New York. Can you give us a preview of your core message?
Ed: My core message is that “Gold is the original alternative investment”. When you look at the full market cycle performance patterns of gold bullion and gold equities, few assets provide such superior diversification power.
JE: What would you say are the biggest trends that will shape the industry going forward?
Ed: Several of the biggest trends I see going forward are blockchain technology, ongoing fee compression and active ETFs.