• Role: Investment Manager
  • Location: Exeter
  • University: West of England
  • Degree: BA (Hons) Economics and Marketing

Denis Oppong

Why choose a career in broking?

When I was about 13, I had a friend whose father was interested in investing on the stock exchange and I remember him reading the financial press and regaling us with stories of his recent successes. I still recall us walking through Bournville village with the heady aroma of chocolate in our nostrils, joking how we would both make our fortunes on the stock exchange. I had caught the bug and thereafter that is all I wanted to do.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The client relationship side is very important to me along with the personal service offered to the clients, which will have to be adjusted over the years as the clients’ circumstances change.

I have recently achieved the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) Certificate in Private Client Investment and Advice (PCIAM) exam which I am now enjoying putting to good use as an Investment Manager.

I enjoy the challenge of preserving and growing an individual’s portfolio, while, at the same time, it is important to be versatile to your clients changing needs.

When on holiday I would find an excuse to scamper off from the beach to the nearest internet cafe to find out the performance of the stock market. My partner would ask me whether I was on holiday or still at work and in all honesty it was probably at this stage that it occurred to me that the job was not just an occupation but a real interest of mine!

I have been studying charts since 1995 and this fascination in technical data is still applied for investment analysis. Using trend lines and moving averages this remains a hobby of mine and a useful way to analysis equities, coupled with interpreting financial data from annual reports to make sure that the company has solid fundamentals by using profitability and investor ratios. Nonetheless, I can accept that past performance is not always a guide to future performance!

What is your typical day?

This involves showing up at the office before the stockmarket opens for trading, so that I can read the broadsheets before having a general meeting with colleagues to discuss the market and macro, micro economic key data. After this, portfolio valuations are reviewed and, dependent on whether the client is discretionary or advisory, I act accordingly. If they are discretionary it is quite in order to make the necessary changes but, of course, if they are advisory the client has to be contacted to discuss the possible change.

The job also involves meeting existing clients or prospective clients face-to-face. In dealing with clients, ‘reason why’ letters are sent out so that they are aware of the action taken on their behalf.

In this industry there is always a need to get new clients, so you have to network, which means regularly keeping in contact with intermediaries, such as accountants, financial advisers and solicitors. This could simply entail having a half an hour conversation over a cup of coffee. I believe it is essential to know your clients and to understand their needs. Additionally, you have to have trusted and a have a good relationship with your intermediaries as they may be able to assist your clients with their needs in the future.

Occasionally, we have corporate events where the Exeter office invites intermediaries along to sporting events such as football games which are always enjoyable for all. In a recent event, Exeter City played Leeds United and Redmayne-Bentley Stockbrokers being a Leeds-based firm I can safely say at least our office was happy with the result.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?

There will be challenging times but you have to believe there will also be good times.

I believe you should never give up and have a defeatist attitude, you must always be willing to adapt because nothing stays the same forever.

To have job satisfaction you have to be passionate and enjoy the job. As Gary Player, the South African golfer once said: ‘It’s funny, the more I practice, the luckier I become.’

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