What's your name, job and employer?
I'm Kristian Healy. I'm an Investment Analyst at Davy.
What does your job involve?
In my current role I work in the Professionals and Executives team, which advises the clients within the Wealth Management department at Davy. Essentially as an Investment Analyst I am an assistant to the private client advisors, helping them out with anything and everything. The main tasks would be preparing for meetings with either new or existing clients. That could involve showing a new client the different portfolios and ideas we have and the different products we can give them so that ultimately they can achieve their long term goal, whether that be to save money and provide money for the next generation, or maybe they're looking to buy a second holiday home, a new car or something like that. If we're meeting an existing client we review their current portfolio, offering them some recommendations and potentially giving them advice outside of investments, like how they might structure their pension and how they're planning for the future.
What skills are important to be successful?
I think the most important skills you need to be successful in that role are actually softer skills. It's not so much the financial and mathematical skills that you learn in college, it's the softer skills, the people skills, the public speaking and presentation skills. When you understand something in your own head, how do you get that across to a client so that they can understand? Clients can have differing abilities when it comes to their understanding of finance. You could have someone who has worked in finance their whole life or someone who has made their money in a completely different area and has no understanding of finance. You have to break it down so the client understands it.
What skills have you learnt through your rotations?
The Davy graduate programme consists of four rotations over the two years, with six months in each rotation. Your first two rotations are decided for you, a mix of where the different heads of teams think you're best suited based on your skills or your personality. The last two rotations are usually a bit of your own preference. My first two rotations were firstly in Investment Strategy and the second was where I currently am now as an Investment Analyst in the Professionals and Executives team. The third and fourth rotations were on Capital Markets, the first one on Equity Trading and the second on Equity Sales. The good thing about the rotations is that they give you a good chance to find out what area you want to work in. Like many people, I started along the route of being very interested in finance but didn't know what area I would be suited to. Hopefully by the end of the four rotations I will find that area and can build a future career around that.
What advice would you give a first year student?
The best advice I could give to someone younger than myself who is interested in a career in finance is to put yourself outside your comfort zone. It's not essentially a skill that you have to have, it's just something you have to do. For example, when you're new to a job you feel like you don't understand a lot and you are out of your comfort zone temporarily, but after a month you can become very accustomed to the job and it's very easy to just sit there and not put yourself out there. I started by studying Actuary in college. About six months into it I had the opportunity to do an internship with a large investment bank in Belfast. Again, that was me putting myself out of my comfort zone to go out there and see what it was. It's not a typical route for an Actuary to go down the finance side but it's something I wanted to do. That led me to do a twelve month placement in London. When you put yourself out of your comfort zone you develop other skills, maybe softer skills that you didn't know you had before.