Head of credit research, Gartmore
"I'm a boring geek," says Karl Bergqwist. "All I've ever done is credit." So a rather dull conversation with Gartmore's new head of credit research looks likely. But that proves not to be the case - Bergqwist has interesting views on the rough ride European investors are getting on corporate disclosure and has the unique perspective of someone who has recently moved into buy-side research after 11 years on the sell side.
In 1989 Bergqwist graduated from Gothenburg university in Sweden and then did two years of a doctorate in macroeconomics. Looking into doing research for his dissertation he contacted Moody's Investors Service and was offered a place on what was then a 12-person team. Growing bored with the student lifestyle he abandoned his studies. "I sold my soul to money instead," he says.
In 1991, he moved to New York where he was given the media sector to cover, with publications ranging from Penthouse magazine to Thomas Nelson, one of the world's largest Bible publishers. That year proved difficult. "There were 40-odd defaults, with probably 13 to 14 occurring in my portfolio," he says.
In 1994 Bergqwist moved back to London and when Moody's changed his area of coverage from corporates to supranationals he decided it was time to move.