Emma Kennedy, Fund Accountant, Northern Trust Limerick
Northern Trust Limerick
Bachelor of Business Studies, University of Limerick (2012)
My current role and what it involves
I am a Fund Accountant so my primarily role is to value funds on a daily basis. I do daily reconciliations of cash, stock, FX’s and deal with client queries and issues.
What led to your choice of career in the funds industry and why?
I spoke to friends who completed their university co-op placement in Fund Accounting. It sounded interested and something I thought I would enjoy. My degree course included some finance modules that covered basic products such as stocks and bonds, that I work with on a daily basis. Having a basic knowledge of these did help my work. However a lot of training was needed when I joined Northern Trust.
Application and interview process
The application process consisted of interviews and a number of practical assessments such as Excel and financial maths. The interviewers were very nice and made me feel comfortable. I was recently promoted and the interview process for that was something similar.
Further study and training
On the job training is always taking place and there is great scope for learning. The training department at Northern Trust are brilliant and they provide us with all relevant training for our role. I am participating in a number of in-house training courses at the minute.
What do you feel is the strongest asset you have brought to your current position and how did you develop this skill?
Attention to detail/accuracy. This is one of the most important skills in Fund Accounting. Accuracy is key over timeliness. There is a big emphasis on mitigating risk at NT. Through my daily valuations of funds I try to develop this skill and I am always conscious of errors, reconciliation breaks and investigating and flagging any issues asap. This in turn narrows the possibility of risk and big errors.
What tips would you have for graduates looking for jobs in the funds industry?
Be willing to work hard and always learn. There is so much scope to learn especially at NT. It is also very deadline driven so be good with time management. Be assertive, expect big change. The transition from college to work is huge. You will have more commitments and responsibility.
Where do you hope to see your career developing?
I have recently been promoted and moved to another New Business area of Fund Accounting. I plan on staying with Northern Trust for a few years and continuing along the learning curve. It is interesting and fast paced. Each day you will see something different. It is an exciting area to head to straight after college. I thrive off change and learning. The fund industry certainly provides this. I was also able to apply a few principles and foundations I studied in my degree. It is also challenging and deadline driven and these are things that excite me. I would recommend new graduates to enter the fund industry after college to see what you think of it. The last thing they will experience is boredom!