“I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it weren’t for Melbourne Grammar,” says San Francisco-based hedge fund manager, Martin Hoe (OM 1987).
“As a student at another school I was a big fish in a small pond, but when I moved to Melbourne Grammar in Year 9, I was surrounded by classmates who were on another level, both academically and in terms of their work ethic. That was life changing for me,” he explains.
“My parents wanted the best education they could get for me. Melbourne Grammar was at the top of their list,” Martin says. “They sacrificed a lot to educate me and my siblings.”
Melbourne Grammar opened up a whole world of possibilities. “I didn’t grow up in a household where ‘management consultant’ or ‘investment banker’ were even mentioned as possible career paths,” Martin says. “It was only through my experiences at Melbourne Grammar that I started to understand the breadth of what I could actually do.”
In addition to enjoying the “challenging” academic culture of the School, Martin pursued an impressive range of cocurricular opportunities including cross country, swimming, and the Duke of Edinburgh program. “I have always been a big game player,” he explains. “Even now my 14-year-old daughter and I regularly have super big Boggle competitions.”
After Melbourne Grammar, Martin took a circuitous route to his current profession, pursuing degrees in actuarial science, commerce, law, and science. “My time at Melbourne Grammar taught me not to slow down just because there’s no one around you to compete with,” he explains. “Motivation has to come from within.”
Martin puts his success down to a combination of determination and resourcefulness, along with a modicum of luck. Relatively early in his career, when working with the American consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, Martin was sponsored to complete his MBA at Stanford University.
He followed this with time working in a number of high-tech companies, as a trainee equity options trader on the stock exchange floor in San Francisco and as a portfolio manager for a large capital management firm. Then, in 2008, he made the jump with a colleague to establish his own hedge fund.
“I tell my kids that my career path has not just been of my own making,” Martin explains. “Someone with a similar educational and professional background might not get that ‘lottery ticket’ that makes the difference, but you have to put yourself in a position to get that ticket in the first place.”
The cascading effect of philanthropy
Because Melbourne Grammar opened so many doors for Martin, and as the recipient of a scholarship throughout his time at the School, he feels compelled to pay it forward. Establishing a scholarship was the obvious next step. “I would want this scholarship to be transformative not just in terms of education, but in expanding the recipient’s scope of opportunity,” he adds. “I want to give that to someone who might be able to take advantage of all Melbourne Grammar has to give.”