Shauna Lenehan, Senior Custody Account Manager, Brown Brothers Harriman Trustee Services
Bachelor of Commerce (UCD 2010)
Senior Custody Account Manager
Brown Brothers Harriman Trustee Services
My job and what it involves
The Custodian is responsible for the safe keeping of the assets of a fund. In my current role as a Senior Custody Account Manager, I act as a primary contact for our Custody clients. This means on a daily basis researching client queries in relation to cash, trading and corporate actions, amongst many others, and providing them with accurate responses in a timely manner. I am actively involved in projects with the aim of improving internal processes for the benefit of my department and overall client experience. I am also responsible for providing guidance and training of newly hired staff.
Why the funds industry?
I have always aspired to work in financial services and more specifically the funds industry due to the fast paced environment. The skills learned in funds servicing are transferrable to roles not only in Ireland but also internationally.
My degree and my career
The core modules of my degree, Commerce, consisted of Management, Accounting, Economics, Finance and Information Systems. Commerce was a good degree to develop a well rounded understanding of the business world. Commerce did not however provide me with a sufficient knowledge of the funds industry so I have since complete a Certificate in Investment Funds Services to bridge this gap in my knowledge base.
Application and interview process
I submitted my CV to Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) through the employee referral scheme to apply for an entry level position. My initial interview for BBH was conducted by Talent & Acquisition and the Custody department head. As I had no funds industry experience, the interview was an opportunity to allow me discuss my strengths, weakness and interests. I was provided with possible workplace scenarios and asked to provide solutions as to how I would deal with them.
Further training and study
Personal learning and development is highly valued within BBH and as a result there is an excellent in-house training programme which has courses on a wide range of topics including Business & Industry learning, Communication Skills and Business Acumen. While some of the training courses are mandatory, I also been able to take full advantage of the training courses in which I have a particular interest.
I have also had the opportunity to participate in the BBH Scholars Program. This has allowed me complete the Certificate in Investment Fund Services course run by the Institute of Bankers. The course focuses on the three main areas of fund servicing in Ireland: Custody, Fund Accounting and Legal & Regulatory. I believe my strongest skill is excellent communication. As a result of the many presentations, both group and individual, I gave throughout my degree I learned effective communication skills and gained confidence in public speaking. In a client servicing role these skills are necessary to complete my day to day work effectively. I’ve joined Toastmasters since joining BBH which is a fun way to reinforce communication skills in a friendly, pressure free environment.
Advice and tips for graduates
Being a graduate is a great opportunity to learn from your co-workers. I would advise graduates to take advantage of the experience of those around you and ask plenty of questions. The funds industry is constantly changing and evolving so it is important to stay up to date with market and regulatory trends and changes. Being aware of your industry in a broader sense will enable you to fulfil your day to day role more effectively.
I hope to continue to develop in my current role but also to gain experience in other areas of funds servicing. I think it is important to know multiple aspects of the funds servicing world in order to progress into more senior roles with added responsibility.
I would recommend the funds industry to any graduate looking to begin a career in a diverse, ever-changing environment. The many opportunities available mean that it is possible to find a role which suits your particular strengths.