I work in the Code of Ethics Team within Compliance, where we cover Personal Account Dealing and Gifts and Hospitality. A lot of my work involves monitoring and maintaining employee reporting systems in line with M&GPrudential Policies that derive from FCA regulation. I enjoy my role as every day is different; whilst I have routine tasks I need to carry out, my schedule is always busy with meetings, projects and cases that need investigating. It requires the ability to assess risk by looking at things holistically and considering different factors to close out queries. I have the opportunity to engage with lots of different areas of the business in my role which develops my knowledge of the financial services sector. Engaging with employees in regards to their personal data allows me to strengthen my communication skills by building a rapport. I enjoy being a go-to person in my company when an employee has a Code of Ethics query that I can help them with.
The nature of my role involves a lot of decision making; whilst things can be standardised to fit a policy or procedure, there are often things that break the mould and I will need to assess the scenario and make an informed decision. This can be a lot of responsibility and requires knowledge which comes through working in the industry for a long time. Therefore, sometimes I face new problems and challenges where I am not sure what to do, having very little knowledge about the industry. I have found that the best way to learn is through experience and asking lots of questions early on is a good way of tackling this. I often have to remind myself its okay not to know everything straight away- you pick things up as you go along and manage to find your own style!
After finishing school, I went to a Russell Group University to study Geography. After a few weeks, I had decided that I should have taken an apprenticeship route and dropped out of university- apprenticeships were something I had considered before. For a few months I worked in retail whilst applying for as many apprentice positions as possible. I was concerned that working as a sales assistant would hinder my opportunities to be offered a position however my manager asked lots of questions about my work experience, even though it wasn’t in or related to investment management. I was made a few offers however I believe M&GPrudential was the firm best suited for me. I searched through roles via the Investment20/20 website as this was something I had heard of before and was eager to be a part of.
I was initially set on a career in Law (and had planned to do a conversion course at university) however now that I have worked in Compliance, I am very happy and wish to continue a career in the area. I had never considered it before, nor had I considered financial services as I assumed you’d have to be good at numbers! This certainly isn’t true and there are a vast range of areas to explore. I believe the role is very suited to me and allows me to develop new skills. My current role only focuses on Code of Ethics and I hope to develop into a more generalist Compliance role later on in my career to gain exposure to different areas within regulation, such as Financial Crime for instance. I see a long-term future for me at M&G, as mobility within the company is excellent, and the firm are eager to retain young talent.
Thus far, my experience has been very positive. The amount of support from Investment20/20, my employer and training provider has been overwhelming and I feel as though all the events organised by Investment20/20 are geared towards inspiring young, ambitious individuals who are a part of the scheme. Both Investment20/20 and my employer are very responsive to feedback and constantly look to improve the apprentice/trainee experience. There are also several social events throughout the year to attend which allows me to network with like-minded people who are also beginning their career. I look forward to continuing as an apprentice this year and further exploring other areas in investment management.