Kariéra bez hraníc



Bankový sektor v Londýne

Bankový / Finančný sektor v Londýne

Finančný sektor v Londýne prekvitá, a udržuje Európu na druhom mieste hneď po USA v globálnom hodnotení. Eurozóna, Veľká Británia a Amerika tvoria približne 80% všetkých cezhraničných kapitálových tokov. To vraví dosť o zdraví a budúcom vývoji tohto trhu.

Čo sa týka pracovných príležitostí, považuje sa tento sektor za silne uzavretý - nemá rád nováčikov a je veľmi nedôverčivý voči ľuďom bez skúsenosti v bankovom trhu (ak nejde o kandidátov so vzdelaním na jednej z prestížnych univerzít typu London School of Economics).

Prieskum organizovaný magazínom MT - Britain's 100 Top Enterpreneurs 2007 - potvrdzuje, že brokerstvo, bankovníctvo a finančné investovanie je tento rok najdynamickejší sektor v Británii, z pohľadu vytvárania pracovných pozícií, zvyšovania obratu a zisku. Štyri z piatich TOP firiem na zozname sú z práve tohoto sektora, čo potvrdzuje jeho ekonomické zdravie, rast a atraktívnosť.

Čo sa týka hľadania práce vo finančnom sektore vedzte, že najviac personálnych zmien sa deje v januári, keďže osobné, tímové a celofiremné bonusy sa vyplácajú v decembri. Z toho dôvodu len málo vyššie postavených je ochotných meniť pôsobisko pred koncom roka, pretože (záleží od zmluvy, ale často je to tak) by ich to mohlo obrať o lukratívny ročný bonus. (Poznámka: sektor číslo jedna výške vyplácaných bonusov v Anglicku je finančný/bankový trh).

Viac, a najmä do zákulisných detailov, priamo z útrob jednej z najvplyvnejších amerických investičných bánk v Londýne, sa rozprávame s Rodrigom DeNoronha, ktorý pracuje ako Compensation Analyst na HR oddelení tejto banky. Jej meno bohužiaľ zverejniť nemôžeme, keďže ľudia z HR oddelenia nemajú právo komunikovať o interných veciach tejto banky externe.

 

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Pohľad na Docklands v noci pri odchode z práce...

 

Rodrigo, can you introduce us into how your department looks like and what your job is about in specific?

All right. Our org structure looks like that: HR is divided into 2 large sub departments: Coverage and Products.

Coverage is responsible for the relationship with the heads of each division in the company, helping them to plan and execute their HR strategy. Coverage is also responsible for major HR process such as hiring and termination of employment.

Products department is almost like the back office of HR. It deals with processes and cross division initiatives. Areas like Recruitment, Diversity, Compensation, Data Analytics, Benefits, International Services, Executives Compensation, these all are the part of Products.

My job sits within Products subdivision and I am part of the Data Analytics and Compensation team. On the Data Analysis side I am responsible for designing any sort of analysis required by my clients (as well as suggesting new ones or pointing trends within the workforce). For example all turnover statistics are managed and coordinated by my team. From the Compensation side, I am responsible for modelling and coordination of the year-end-process. The year-end-proces is the process that decides the bonuses for the employees.

I do like my job because the learning curve is steep and there are always opportunities to learn something new or move to different activities. Since I joined the firm 1.5 years ago I've supported 5 different divisions and now I am giving analytical support to all HR areas.

What do you think what skills a person has to possess, to make it in the banking sector? What do you think are the main things that make you successful where you are at the moment?

To work in an Investment Bank one needs to be prepared for a challenging and fast paced environment. The best way to do something today might not be the the best way tomorrow. People are constantly looking for improvement of processes, metrics and results. It is also a very hierarchical environment so if you are looking for a place where whenever you want to, you can expose your ideas, a bank is not this place.

So, to summarise, one needs to:

  • be able to react fast
  • ability to multitask never to be satisfied - always looking for better ways to do things
  • patience
  • capable to respect hierarchy

Why would you advise people to work for a bank and why NOT to work for a bank?

Why to work for a bank:

Because you get here this"Constant learning" type of environment, where it is very difficult to not have a steep learning curve. Even when it happens it doesn't last too long. When working for an Investment Bank (very different than working for Retail Bank!), salaries and bonuses are usually higher than in other markets/ companies.
The chance to switch areas in a bank is usually higher than in other companies. Because many activities are related to either client contact or to analysis, the jobs do vary, but the analytical edge is always present. So it is easier (and important to an individual) to have transferrable skills such as great analytical skills.

Well, why not to work for a bank:

Very rigid hierarchy: if you can't be patient to put your ideas and aspirations through it will be difficult to survive.
Very competitive atmosphere - many people want and conscieously plan to do the best and be reconised for it.

How did you get this job Rodrigo? Could you give us some tips and tricks on how should a person from outside of the banking sector get into it? Simply, how to go about the whole hiring process?

London's banking sector market is all based on recruitment agencies. Very few employers hire directly on the market. This puts any foreigner in a disvantageous situation. Agency recruiters work for the fees they receive for their matches. So, they try to do the easiest matching as possible. For those candidates that do not tick all the boxes (previous experience in London and a work permit for example - not applicable for Slovak people though), it is harder to get a job, but not impossible. On the good side, London market is usually buyoant so there are always positions available, so one just needs to be very resilient.

My personal experience: It took me 6 months to find my current position. It was this long mainly due to the fact that I didn't have previous contacts with agencies. At the begining, the order of the day is to apply for as many positions as you can. They do not need to be 100% of what you are looking for, as long as they somehow match your wish list, you should be fine. I say that because at the begining agencies will approach you to meet you and understand who you are, what you are looking for, etc. Some agencies have such a long list of candidates that they normally have enough candidates for every position they advertise. They use the advertisement to attract new candidates so don't be put off if you apply for a job you want and you are not put forward at the end.

After a while agencies start to get back to you and offer positions even before they go on the internet. You are now closer to get your job, since you will be able to see the jobs before the open market.

Selection process is mainly based on interviews (I did loads of them) and tests. Once you pass the recently graduate period, there are some things you don't need to show anymore so it is very rare to find selection processes where you will be invited to a group exercise or something similar. For interviews, I suggest you prepare well, either through reading up and studying some available books on the market or mocking your interview!

If you are not in the banking sector and want to move to the bank sector the first thing to do is to understand the different areas of a bank and identify the ones you would like to work in. It is also important to understand the differences between a retail bank (the one on the street) and an investment bank. They have very different areas of work. Once you identify the areas you would like, the idea is to find out what skills you have are transferrable. In some areas you will need more than that, you will need to be a recent graduate, or finishing an MBA or be a very very experienced professional. In others, just having worked in functions relatively similar will give you the edge. Operations department is usually a very good "back door". Many people come through this area to reach other areas of the bank in the future.

For banking jobs in London, it is best to look at local sites like this one: http://www.canarywharfjobs.com/
Agencies: For HR jobs in general: HR Professionals and Morgan McKiney are the top agencies.

Whats the banking corporate banking culture look like? (relationships, work-life balance, health policies).

Investment Banks are not flat at all. They are very hierarchical as I mentioned before. Bosses usually leave you to do your work as you prefer but do hold you accountable for everything. There is a culture of meritocracy (who does better gets more) so relationships are useful to develop your job but they are not the main reason for promoting you to different positions or better jobs. You must perform well to get the opportunities. Long hours are very common but I guess this happens not only in the banks but also in others industries, especially the fast paced ones. Investment Banks tend to have a dress code more relaxed than retail banks (no need for ties but you will see loads of people wearing them). Control is very important but as I said, you usually have some freedom of action so it is not like you have someone watching you 24 hours of the day. But it is not completely free that you can work from home everyday.
Health and Family benefits are usually above the standard and quite good.

What is a typical (if at all) organisational structure of an investment bank - what are the positions that your bank is typically recruiting for?

Most investment banks have their front office divided into 3 or 4 main areas:

Investment Banking: responsible for merge and quisitions, launch of IPOs (Innitial Public Offering), etc.
Equities: traders and dealers they are involved with equities strategies and execution.
Fixed Income: very similar to equities but most of the operations in Fixed Income are related to government papers.
Investment Management: Responsible for the admisnistration of funds.
Private Banking: the bankers for millionaires. They deal with individual clients, not companies.

Front office areas are where the best paid jobs are.

The back office is more similar to a retail bank:

Operations: they are responsible for the paper work of the transactions that are designed by Fixed Income and Equities teams.
Finance: the corporate finance department.
Human Resources
Technology: All its specialists are responsible for developing systems inside the bank.

Most departments are "hot" at all times and have positions available almost all the time. However, Operations and Finance usually have more vacancies because they are quite large.

Other areas: Corporate Services, Security, Corporate Affairs, Corporate Marketing, etc.

Well, Rodrigo, thanks a lot for this very insightful and pleasurable chat - would you like to say anything more?

Good luck to everybody, I am sure you all will do well once you get prepared, and feel free to ask me questions!

Príležitosti pre mňa


Kariéra Bez Hraníc, spol. Yeminee s. r.o.
E-mail: stanka.svecova@gmail.com, Skype: karierazahranicami
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