Luke Dilworth - Funds Officer at Alter Domus
No two days are ever the same, which is one of the most exciting parts of working here!
My name is Luke Dilworth. I initially joined Alter Domus as an intern back in January 2019 for 8 months before returning in January 2020 and finally starting as a Funds Officer in September 2020. My prior work experiences included working as a forecourt attendant at my local shop and a summer internship accounting role, so I knew what areas interested me for my career. I'm currently working as part of the Fund of Funds team under Ronan Hourihan.
I'm currently pursuing my CIMA qualification and have recently completed my Management Level exams, with just three Strategic Level exams and a final Case Study to sit. In my spare time I play the cello and play 5-a-side football regularly.
What opportunities can you see for yourself at Alter Domus?
The most striking one is the willingness to promote from within and to retain staff. In my own case, having started off as an Intern, being asked back for my Christmas holidays during my final year and then finally the offer of a Graduate role, I know there's scope here to rise through the ranks naturally. As Alter Domus has been growing rapidly, winning more and more clients, this creates a bigger demand for those readily available to step up.
Another fascinating option is the global mobility programme on offer, which is something I would definitely consider after qualification. Having lived in Cork my whole life, it would obviously be hugely beneficial to discover new cultures and also to promote Cork further afield!
What advice would you give to someone starting their career?
You can't predict what you're going to end up working on and what skills and experience you're going to gain. When I initially started as an Intern, I never envisaged that I'd be spending my internship between French reporting and Regulatory reporting. Having not spoken a word of French in public since my Leaving Cert oral, it did come as an initial shock to the system that I was only "assez faible en française" and not as hopeless as I imagined.
Then the summer in regulatory reporting offered valuable insight into some of the background work that is often taken for granted such as client screening and CRS and FATCA reports.
Then when joining the Fund of Funds team, as fate would have it, several of the funds I'm working on are French, so I don't have to reach for Google Translate half as much anymore!
On the back of this, one of my highlights was having the opportunity to talk about my experiences during work placement at the MTU Open Day in 2019.
In a more general sense, the best advice I came across was to treat an interview like a business sale. Sell the benefits of having you on the team and how are you going to contribute to the team.
How have Alter Domus supported you through the development?
Alter Domus couldn't have been more supportive as I pursue my CIMA qualification. There has never been an issue with getting exam fees and study materials reimbursed, and I get sufficient time off in the immediate run up to the exam sitting and enough time on a daily basis that I don't fall behind in my studying. It has also been of great assistance to my professional development to be working on similar scenarios that I come across while studying and vice versa.
Alter Domus have proven to be more than willing to be flexible on the professional qualification that each employee embarks on. Before rejoining as a Funds Officer, having the opportunity to discuss the possibility of pursuing a CIMA qualification rather than the ACCA/ACA route with the then Cork Central Operations leader and HR greatly assisted my decision to take up the graduate role.
According to you, what does it take for a candidate to be the right fit?
Compatibility is important, based on how well you work as part of a team. Being communicative on both an internal and external basis are essential to ensure work gets done to an acceptable standard. Regular team socials do help create a bond and now that we're on the other side of lockdown restrictions, I would expect that there will be plans for a return to summer barbecues and an in-person Christmas party to name but a few.
Resilience is also crucial - not everything that you've planned first thing in the morning will work out as you would've foreseen. This can be especially true with a demanding client where the focus can shift in the matter of moments and you need to be able to meet their demands. No two days are ever the same, which is one of the most exciting parts of working here!