I have had an interest in financial markets for a few years, and my role provides extensive exposure to the front office trading activities. Being able to understand and analyse different investment strategies has driven me to pursue a career in the industry. A key role in my job is to analyse the investment guidelines set by the client directors and the fund managers, and then code them into the system to ensure the guidelines are not breached. It is extremely interesting to understand why specific trades are placed to efficiently manage the portfolio and to generate stable growth that meets the clients’ risk tolerance as well as comply with the regulations set by the FCA.
The biggest challenge in my job is the need to fully understand each and every security type. Being able to understand the uses of each financial instrument is key to determining how to prevent breaches of the guidelines. However, most of the challenges come from adapting to the working world, learning how to operate in the correct manner both through emails and in the workplace.
I always had the intention of going to university and went through the normal stages of application. However, after various suggestions from friends and family about the increase in traineeships, I started to consider that option. After attending multiple insight days and talks, I applied for a few different firms both on the Investment20/20 programme and elsewhere. I chose BMO having experienced the particularly welcoming feel during the interview, which differed greatly to some of the larger firms I visited. Overall the application process took around three months and I feel it is the best way to have started my career.
Being someone who always likes to better themselves, and not having studied for a degree, over the next few years I want to focus on gaining qualifications (IMC/IOC and CFA) to build solid foundations. Along with working, this will hopefully allow me to progress up the ranks from my current role or to switch into an investment analyst position. As for the more distant future I am unsure what area I would like to specialise in, I’m still trying to find my feet and experience the range of roles available.
I honestly could not recommend the programme to anyone more, whether for someone wanting to take a year out of education or to pursue a career in investment management. The programme is extremely supportive, providing the resources to fully understand the industry and help you decide the best route for your future.