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Jack Thomson

Standard Life Investments

Trainee – Investment Restriction Control |

Why do you enjoy your job?

My current role within (Standard Life Investments*) is in the investment restriction control (IRC) team under fund governance. My main tasks are, but not limited to the creation and maintenance of restriction lists used in the Investment Management System, analysing and interpreting fund/client mandates for restriction requests, communicating with a variety of internal teams and individuals, such as client services, investment data, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and fund managers, and using Bloomberg to research and analyse issuers and issuer securities.

I think this role suits me well for a variety of reasons, including having a direct and hands on focus on the investment process (buying and selling of stock and bonds). Having come from an investment background, and having a strong interest in progressing in the industry, such an investment theory focused role is aiding in my understanding and personal development. I also feel the role suits me, as investment restriction is an extremely high risk area, which is the environment I tend to thrive in. This position also allows me to build on other transferable skills such as my communication, team work, computer programme skills, and research and analytics.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

For me the most challenging aspect of my role is understanding the industry and the role specific knowledge. My team is front office, which means we are part of the investment process, so are involved in the actual trading of positions, which results in us needing to know a lot about asset management. Even coming from a previous investment role, the learning curve is steep, needing to learn about asset classes, investment instruments, fund types etc. My team is also heavily involved in different types of regulation, so once again, I have found it challenging reading and learning (to a basic level) about the various UK, EU, and US regulation associated with our funds.

How did you get into your job?

I graduated from Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh) in August 2015 with a 1st class honours degree in Marketing and Business Management, and began working at State Street Trustee Limited as a fund analyst. After working for just over a year I moved into SLI through the Investment20/20 trainee role. Although I had already begun my career journey in investments, the Investment20/20 opportunity has helped me take a massive leap forward. The role and team I am currently working in would require around 10 years’ experience to even be considered. Working in such a qualified and experienced team, I have every opportunity to learn and progress myself. If after the 12 months I am not kept on in the same team, the experience I will have gained will no doubt benefit me greatly in the future, and aid me in procuring another role, hopefully within SLI which would be unavailable to me without the Investment20/20 experience.

What are your future aspirations?

I am still not sure exactly where I want to be in the future, even after finishing a degree and being in my second post university job. However, I do know that I want to continue working and advancing in the investments sector. Through this, I feel that being on the Investment20/20 programme is giving me the best opportunity possible to be able to work in a successful investment business, and consider the different options available to me, something that would be unavailable to me without Investment20/20.

From a personal perspective, I want to continue learning, with plans to first of all start working towards my professional qualifications, such as the investment management certificate (IMC). Similarly to this, no matter what role I go into after my 12-month traineeship, I want to have the opportunity to advance my transferable skills, to increase my overall employability. Outside of professional work I also have an aspiration to continue my studies, as during university I was extremely interested in business research and actually wanted to do a master degree on the subject. Unfortunately this wasn’t something available for me at the time, but it is a possible decision for the future, to achieve the qualification while working and use it to benefit my future career.

How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?

The Investment20/20 programme has given me the opportunity to not only begin my career, but also to jump to a level which would have otherwise been unavailable to me, and an opportunity that not many others receive.

*Standard Life Investments is now Aberdeen Standard Investments.

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