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Paul Zimnisky: Worth the Investment

Updated: Feb 3


I checked in with industry analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky, CFA. I’ve admired Paul for years, but only met him in November at the Angola Diamond Conference, where he was presenting, and I was ferociously taking notes. In truth, it was strange our paths hadn’t crossed before considering the work we do and the common interests we share.

Paul holds a unique position in the diamond market, as he morphed to it from a career on Wall Street. He offers an important perspective, stemming from the unusual path that led him to the industry.

It sounds like a mouthful, but really, Paul was laser focused from the start. His career began in high school when he opened a brokerage account to invest in genetics and the human genome project about which he was learning.

Those first investments grew ten-fold. He “got lucky” with the timing, made the sale, and bought his first car with the proceeds, and from then his heart was set on Wall Street. So, after school, he earned a finance degree – Paul is a CFA Institute charter holder – and got a “dream job” trading stock options.

Paul then moved to a hedge fund where he worked as a buy-side analyst. That was around when the commodities boom was playing out, driven by China’s economic expansion. He was covering oil and gas, metals and mining, which gave him his first exposure to diamonds.

Diamonds appealed to Paul because it was so different, even though it was a small part of his portfolio. He recalls as a junior analyst meeting Eira Thomas, currently CEO of Lucara Diamond, who at the time was raising money for Stornoway Diamonds. Eira left an impression which further raised his interest in the industry.

Paul also knew he wanted to do his own thing and was looking for a niche focus area. Diamonds fitted the bill. Besides, the industry held a rich history, invoked mystery, had a global reach, linked to science and geology, but also to art, design, fashion, business, and consumer psychology. That all appealed to his curious nature.

He spent more time understanding diamonds, particularly the upstream (mining) segment, investing some of his personal funds in the sector. He also began writing about diamonds for mining and investment websites. From there people started to approach him for consulting work, which enabled him to pivot toward working independently.

Today, Paul consults for institutional investors interested in diamonds, as well as companies within the industry, and governments. His added value, he explains, is making an educated prediction about how the market might pan out. That’s not for the faint-hearted! In his words, “it can be humbling, but also kind of fun when you get it right.”

All I know is that Paul provides invaluable market insight, which I get from the articles he writes or is quoted in, his podcast, rough price index and analytical reports. He also has a subscription-based newsletter which is growing in circulation. You can find all the above on www.paulzimnisky.com.

Trust me, once he’s on your radar, you can’t avoid him. Plus, Paul is great company and I look forward to spending more time with him when our paths will inevitably cross again. Meet Paul everyone.


This article first appeared on LinkedIn in April 2022.



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