I spent the first of my two rotations working with the finance team. In this time, I was responsible for delivery of a number of monthly deliverables, which included analysis of revenue, expenses and investment performance. I was also heavily involved in creating reports for events which carried firm-wide exposure, and for meetings of senior management. Not only did holding such a variety of responsibilities educate me about the day-to-day operations of an asset management company; it presented the opportunity to interact, engage with, and learn from industry professionals with a wide range of roles, skills and experiences. The combination of working with data-intensive information, conducting financial analysis and communicating with such a diverse range of people was not only something that I felt catered well to my strengths, but also offered a number of valuable learning curves which continued to motivate me throughout my time in the area.
In March, I rotated from the Finance team into Global Equities. I currently work closely with the team’s Client Portfolio Manager, who provides a crucial link between the fund managers, and the clients who invest with us. This role includes, but is not limited to, reporting on recent performance, conducting competitor analysis to understand our positioning in the market, and interaction with potential new clients to encourage investment into our funds. I also participate regularly in meetings regarding portfolio composition and stock selection, and hence continue to develop an insight into the research and thought process behind investment decisions. This takes the opportunities I had in Finance, and adds to them, the chance to experience the rigorous investment process first-hand, and to understand a range of markets, strategies and philosophies in greater detail. As such, the educational aspect of the role is invaluable, and the opportunity to develop my own skills and knowledge is ever-present.
Understanding that you can’t learn everything straight away is critical, yet challenging. In the Global Equities team, for instance, I am working with professionals who have been in the industry for up to 32 years, and hence carry with them a wealth of knowledge and experience. With the motivation to do well comes the desire to contribute as much as possible, but I have found it important to accept that on some occasions, listening and learning is best (to begin with, at least). That said, the fact that I feel this motivation day-to-day is a strong, positive reflection on the opportunities I have been given during throughout the Investment2020 scheme, and the way in which I feel I have been accepted as someone with my own strengths and value to add to the company.
I graduated from Southampton University in July 2015, eventually joining Columbia Threadneedle Investments 14 months later. During my time at university, I also worked 30 hours per week at a golf club, helping to run a pro-shop business and managing a successful junior team. This was a position I retained for four years up until August 2016.
The investment industry was always one that I had my sights set on, given my analytical mind-set, competitive nature, and passion for investing in stocks and funds. It was then the combination of the highly reputable Investment2020 scheme, along with the strong, cultural values of Columbia Threadneedle Investments, offered me the perfect opportunity. The scheme has widened my horizons as to where my future might take me, and educated me about jobs that, quite honestly, I didn’t even know existed! It has also taught me the values of integrity, professionalism and respect, to name but a few, all of which will be crucial to me as I seek to progress.
My experiences throughout this scheme have confirmed to me that this is the industry where I feel I am best suited. As mentioned before, I carry a highly analytical mind-set, along with a competitive nature, and both of these have been nurtured and utilised to the full in my time here. Before joining the Investment20/20 scheme, I aspired to become a fund manager in– and whilst this remains a potential ambition of mine, I have come to realise that other roles exist within the industry which may suit me in equal measure.
The enthusiasm I had for investment before joining here has only escalated with each day, and that is testament to the opportunities offered by the Investment20/20 scheme, and Columbia Threadneedle Investments. I thoroughly look forward to seeing where the opportunities presenting themselves take me.
From primary school to university, education comes from a textbook – but from my point of view, this scheme is where it really begins.
The opportunity to work with, listen to, and learn from vastly experienced and talented professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience is invaluable – and yet, to feel that you can still add your own value to a company, by carrying out your own responsibilities and having the opportunity to inject your own skills and thoughts into processes, fuels the desire to get better day after day.