I’m a part of the Investment Services team at Janus Henderson. We sit between the front office and the rest of the business, acting as representatives for the portfolio managers and traders on business projects. These projects include new fund launches, onboarding new members on the investment desks and IT changes.
I enjoy being close to the action so to speak, since my role involves frequent interaction with portfolio managers and the investment desks. Seeing first-hand how an asset management firm operates is an aspect that I enjoy and am grateful for, as being a school leaver I would never have thought that a trainee role would allow me this level of responsibility and interaction.
Moreover, working with my colleagues is another enjoyable aspect of the job, as they have a variety of backgrounds and experience. They are always willing to share their knowledge and help me develop professionally.
The most challenging thing about my job is that it requires detailed knowledge of particular processes and systems, as well as knowledge of the wider business and industry. Being able to understand both to a high level and communicate in a concise manner isn’t always an easy task, but I enjoy the challenge and understand how developing these skills can benefit my career going forward.
Although I studied Economics at A-Levels, I hadn’t yet discovered the world of finance and investing, and so started an IT apprenticeship after school. Since I was earning my own money, I decided to start investing and eventually began trading US equity options to learn first-hand about markets and get some experience with derivatives. I managed to generate a positive return in 2018 taking a long/short approach, outperforming the S&P 500 which was negative that year. Set on breaking into the world of asset management, I studied for and passed the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials exam which put me in a good position when applying for trainee roles.
In addition to my trainee role, I have also started an evening degree course in Financial Economics, so I am excited to complete that while gaining valuable work experience. There is a lot of overlap with what I’m learning in the office and in the lecture theatre which is very useful. I’m keen to continue working in an Investment Services type role because in my opinion it’s an ideal position to develop technical and interpersonal skills as I mentioned earlier.
Thinking longer term, I would eventually like to pursue a front office role as I am keen about investing, particularly value-based approaches, so this is something that I would consider specialising in. In terms of qualifications, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program is a popular choice or a Master’s degree can be beneficial.
My experience with Investment20/20 has been overwhelmingly positive! I feel a great sense of community being able to network with other like-minded trainees through the events that Investment20/20 hosts during the year. Overall, it’s a great opportunity to start a career in investment management as a school leaver.