A job in investment banking can be strenuous and demanding: it’s always challenging, but exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable as well. It’s a fast paced industry and both the opportunities and the rewards are great for graduates who are hungry for success.
I have worked in the Morgan Stanley over-the counter derivatives client service team for 18 months. Our team is tasked with managing cash flow settlements, dealing with an array of queries ranging from trade discrepancies, corporate actions and position reporting.
What do you do?
I work as an analyst in equity derivative client processing, within the trading and client operations functional area.
My team interacts with the firm’s biggest clients to ensure the timely settlement of cash flows and resolution of any discrepancies. We help our clients with an array of issues that stem from their trading positions. Often our services are tailored to individual client needs, which can involve creating solutions to complex processes. Strong client relationships are very important.
Another important aspect in our role is communicating with our internal stakeholders. This includes other teams within operations and also the wider firm, such as trade support teams, collateral, prime brokerage, sales & trading and global capital markets. We use these networks for client queries that require specialist input from outside teams.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Covering a wide range of clients presents many challenges, particularly as we are faced with a variety of needs, dependencies and expectations. This allows me to continuously build on my skills and knowledge.
As an analyst in operations, I never stop learning or adapting my approach to match the needs of my clients. Often our services are rewarded in the form of recognition from the client and it can even help the firm attract new business. Being in the front line, where we can have such an impact and help the firm achieve its goals is thoroughly rewarding.
Working very closely with our clients allows us to build strong relationships with them. I have even met clients at fun events, such as bowling and quizzes, getting to know them on a personal as well as a business level. Completing a task is much more enjoyable when you know the client and the benefit your assistance has for them.
How did you get your job at Morgan Stanley?
I joined the Morgan Stanley operations analyst programme after completing an 11 month internship as an undergraduate the previous year. My experience as an intern allowed me to get to know the firm, its business and culture. I also built a strong network of people at the firm that helped me to get recognised.
Networking is such an important skill at any stage of your career. It offers you opportunities and a platform to showcase your talent, making it essential for career progression at all levels. Through my networking I was asked to base my dissertation on Morgan Stanley, which kept me involved with the firm whilst back at university. This gave me the opportunity to deliver a study that showcased my abilities, which together with my performance as an intern, helped me to gain an offer to join the graduate scheme.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?
An underlying interest in the financial markets is usually a good starting point for anyone seriously thinking about a career in the finance industry. Although you would not be expected to know every level of detail in the equity markets or how the bond market will react to news on the European crisis, for example, you can illustrate your desire by having some knowledge of, and an opinion on, current affairs.
If you are just starting out, choose a topic of interest and gain as much understanding as you can. You can use this knowledge in interview situations, which will demonstrate your passion, helping you to stand out from the crowd.
You should also know exactly what role you are applying for. Although this may sound simple, it does catch people out. There is a diverse array of roles, departments, schemes and sectors within the industry and all are very different. Knowing what is involved in the role you are applying for, not making broad assumptions, will help your chances of securing your dream job.