Peter O'Callaghan. Fund Accountant, HedgeServ
What’s your name, job title and employer?
I'm Peter O'Callaghan, I’m a fund accountant and I work for Hedgeserv
What is the difference between an accountant and a fund accountant?
The main difference between an accountant and a fund accountant is a fund account would obviously look at the cash flows of debits and credits of a particular hedge fund compared to an accountant which might look at general ledger bookkeeping. With Hedgeserv you're looking at cash flows such as cash transfers, trade subscriptions, redemptions and charges as well
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
A typical day for me at Hedgeserv would be: I look at the cash flows such as debits and credits that are hitting the accounts of a particular hedge fund so these particular cash flows could be Redemption subscriptions fees charges and particularly trades as well and this is to ensure the accurate reporting of the fund’s net asset valuation and balance sheets as well.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
In my opinion the one skill I definitely recommend to be successful in this particular position is time management. For example, every day we have deadlines to meet so as to publish reports such as trial balances to the clients every day for the previous days fund’s valuation. Also, you have deadlines for month-end. Quarter-end and year-end where you have to hard close the books as well.
What did you do as a student that has helped you in your career?
I'd say in college the one thing that really improved my time management was assignments and especially in the accountancy modules I did at the University of Limerick. Another thing that was a real beneficial aspect of my time management at college was doing an internship abroad. I was studying Business Studies in the University of Limerick for four years and in your second year it’s compulsory to do an internship as part of the curriculum. Most people would stay domestically but I decided to go abroad to Luxembourg just get out of my comfort zone and 90% of the internships abroad from this particular curriculum are actually based in Luxembourg so I I took it with no hesitation because I knew this would really develop my career in this particular industry.
How did you get into your job?
By the time I was finished my program abroad it was my final year of my degree in UL and after I completed that particular year and passed the exams, I spent a little bit of time searching online for a job at Hedgeserv. A friend of mine who is already working at the company, he referred to me and after hearing good stories about Hedgeserv, how it's a great company to work with for recently graduated students I couldn't say no when I got the offer.
Did travel play an important role when choosing your career?
The opportunity to work abroad was an aspect of me choosing this particular company because I heard they have offices all around the world such as Luxembourg and Sydney and also Kraków. In fact, I'm planning to go to Kraków for a two-year contract and work in there in the same position and in fact my flight is tomorrow morning.
What advice would you give to a college student?
The one piece of advice I would give to a first-year student in achieving the success that you need to work in a company like Hedgeserv is to get out of your comfort zone. Do an Erasmus, do an internship whether that’s domestically or abroad. I'd also recommend speaking to your career guidance counsellor and also going to gradireland job fairs.
What do you love about your job?
My favourite thing about working at Hedgeserv is the fact that everyday macroeconomic events whether geopolitical, financial or economic has profit and loss impact on the performance of your hedge fund