On Monday, Saint Mary’s Department of Music hosted a lecture offering insight on “Life after a Music Degree: Two Models of ‘Portfolio Careers.’” Kathleen Keasey and Sherry Klinedinst, part-time instructors in the department, discussed their discernment paths in the music industry and their development as artists. Keasey said she knew from an early age that music was something she was going to pursue. Her music career began when she enrolled in Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., but she soon transferred to Oberlin College to continue her studies. “I was a small fish in a big pond, attending Oberlin College while obtaining my degree in music performance,” Keasey said. “During the [1960s], women were supposed to work as teachers, nurses and secretaries.” Like Keasey, Sherry Klinedinst said she found her calling for music at a young age. She said she began playing the piano at age three, encouraged by her mother who also played. At 15, she began taking lessons at Saint Mary’s College and then attended Indiana University, earning a degree in piano performance. “Lessons with Dr. Jacob [at Saint Mary’s] were a hoot,” Klinedinst said. “This was such a fun process with a very encouraging man. He was very detail oriented just like my mother.” Both women said life after college had its ups and downs as they bounced between several jobs. Keasey said she went back to school to earn her degree in education and then worked as a music instructor at high schools in the South Bend area. Klinedinst said the different jobs she held out of college allowed her to develop new skills, but she found that her initial hope of being a concert performer was not what she wanted. Today, Keasey said she runs her own studio at home, where she has two pianos and teaches over 20 students. She also plays each Sunday as an organist in her church’s choir. “I never advertised for my students, my lessons were only found out by word of mouth,” Keasey said. “It really is the joy of my life. I love teaching.” Klinedinst said she followed up on her dream to create her own music, producing four albums sold nationwide. She also teaches students of her own as well. “If I didn’t have two of the best teachers, I wouldn’t be teaching students of my own,” Klinedinst said. “I am very fortunate for my well-rounded career where I am never doing the same thing twice.” Both instructors said they were grateful for their experiences in the field of music an encouraged students to pursue their musical talents after college. “Being a musician is something that lasts all your life and has provided me with a livelihood that I am grateful for,” Keasey said . Contact Rachel Rahal at [email protected]
Anders Svennesen, CIO at Danica Pension, told IPE: “We really believe it’s a much better product, as we can target investments with the most attractive risk/reward to all risk profiles, and because we now have much more investment flexibility.”The product contains a defensive fund (bonds), a middle risk fund (mix of bonds and equities) and an aggressive fund (equities), and offers customers three risk profiles, which are a combination of the three.Danica Pension – Denmark’s second-largest commercial pension provider, with approximately DKK327bn (€43.8bn) in assets under management – has been particularly busy over the last year in hiring investment staff and re-designing its investment strategy in a bid to improve returns and win customers.Svennesen said he had no doubt the new products would be better performers.“Because in this new set-up, we are able to make sure that, no matter what risk profile you have, you get the best return for the risk, and we couldn’t do that before,” he said.When he took up his post at Danica Pension a year ago, having been co-CIO at statutory pension fund ATP, Svennesen said he tried to work out why Danica Pension had been underperforming in the Danish pensions sector, and identified some “systematic issues”.“Some of the profiles of Danica had much lower risk than competitors in the market, so, when markets were rising, we were lagging behind,” he said. “When markets were falling, then we would actually do better, but it was not because of the internal management – it was a matter of how much risk we had.”One of problems he saw was the way the Danica Balance product was implemented.“It was implemented in the mutual funds division, Danske Invest, and with mutual funds, it is very limited what you can do,” he said. “You can’t trade financial instruments such as derivatives, for example.”To have the investment flexibility necessary in the current environment, the Danica Balance funds had to be on Danica Pension’s own balance sheet, he said.“Then we have flexibility, we have all the agreements, all the documentation for trading all these instruments, and we can share alternative investments agreements between our different pension accounts such as the market products and the guaranteed products,” he said. Danica Pension has redesigned the basis of its key unguaranteed market-rate pension product to enable it to broaden the range of investment instruments it can use.The Danske-bank subsidiary said the move would result in higher returns and boost the company’s own competitive position in the pensions market.It added that the new version of its Danica Balance pension product, called Danica Balance Mix, was first made available to customers in the middle of January.It is based on funds held on Danica Pension’s own books rather than on mutual funds, as was the case with the old product, which means it can be invested in instruments such as derivatives, as well as traditional investments like bonds and shares.