I have various responsibilities in my role with Ninety One Asset Management. One includes monitoring the company holdings in securities and making a disclosure to the relevant regulator when a disclosable threshold is crossed. I’m also responsible for monitoring personal account dealing whereby I execute and investigate trades carried out by employees. I have also been working on setting up an anonymous third-party whistleblowing service which will provide employees with an alternative option to flag any issues. I believe this role is suited to me because it draws on my skillsets which I picked up during my degrees in Chemistry/Biopharmaceuticals. These include understanding the nature of a problem and what controls can be put into place to tackle the issues and prevent future problems. I also enjoy socialising and networking! Luckily this role enables me to connect with employees regardless of their hierarchy and geographical location. I also love understanding the ins and outs of anything and everything and teaching/explaining my understanding to a layman. This is a skill that I have been able to use in my role as I have helped conduct Annual Compliance Training sessions across the business.
The most challenging thing in my role was doing the Annual Compliance Training within a month of me joining. In my first few weeks leading up to training, I was learning about various compliance-related themes such as conflict of interest, market abuse etc. I then had to conduct training sessions alongside my manager to the entire London office which consists of over 400 staff members. It was a challenge because I had no prior finance knowledge and coming into the industry fresh out of university can be quite daunting. However, I delivered the training sessions successfully and was provided with a lot of benefits in return. I had gained a lot of knowledge in a short space of time (much of which is relevant to the IMC), I became more known with employees in other teams and geographical locations and became more comfortable in the office a lot faster. It also showed that individuals with different backgrounds and disciplines can understand the industry and have a lot to bring to the table.
Prior to joining Ninety One Asset Management, I graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry from Queen Mary University of London. I then went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Biopharmaceuticals at King’s College London where I also graduated with a First Class degree. As much as I loved science, I knew working in laboratories was not for me. I found it too confining and unsocial and wanted to be in an environment where I could still apply my scientific knowledge and work in a team. I considered a role as a patent attorney and started a second Master’s degree in the Management of Intellectual Property. Whilst on the course I learned this was also not for me. The role was very independent and minimised teamwork greatly. After researching other avenues, a couple of friends introduced me to the financial industry. I felt this would be an environment where I could still put my skills to use and develop others. I would be given the ability to work on my own and within a team on projects. My passion for Science is still very high and due to the issue around the world with the new coronavirus, I have been able to apply my scientific knowledge by indicating how the virus spreads, researching the status in different countries and what this means for us as a global business.
I have learnt there is no clear path and your future aspirations may continue to change due to opportunities which may arise or due to personal experiences. As I have recently joined the financial industry, I am quite unsure about what my future aspirations are. However, I do know what I enjoy and what I am passionate about and it’s for that reason it is likely I will continue to pursue a career within the Compliance/Risk sector of the industry.
Investment20/20 has given me an opportunity which I didn’t think was possible. I also thought an individual with a background in science would struggle to fit in and not be of great service to the industry. However, I have been shown that I can fit in and the classes and training sessions really helped to shape my understanding and eased my entry into the financial world. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”