Executive Director/Vice President,
Securities Division, London
Securities Division, London
Boxing, Surfing, Traveling
I studied business and finance at Edinburgh University in Scotland, which is just a quick flight from my hometown of Belfast in Northern Ireland. During school I did an exchange program in Austin, Texas, and spent a full year at the business school of the University of Texas.
I had a few interesting internships before starting a full time career. One internship was in Saigon, Vietnam, at a brokerage there, which really sparked my interest in finance. I also interned at a mortgage derivatives fund in Texas, and after that interned on a mergers and acquisitions team at a bank in London. All of it was very different from trading and the role I have now.
I work in Prime Brokerage in the Securities Division, which offers a wide range of services to our hedge fund clients. I started in a sales role in Securities in 2011, but moved over to developed market trading. Now I’m focused on emerging markets trading.
Coming out of school, I wanted to join a large global firm that was regarded highly. I had heard so many things about the interview process at Goldman Sachs as being intimidating that I thought I didn’t have a chance. Once I was in the actual interview, I was relaxed and positive. My advice to people who are preparing to interview is to keep in mind what the people you’re interviewing with are hiring for. In the end, they’re looking for people who not only have the intellectual elements, but have the right character and personality. Goldman is a very collaborative place and hiring managers are looking for people who will fit well and work well with the team. Be genuine and demonstrate why you can contribute and be a valuable team player.
I enjoy trading in emerging markets—to me it’s more dynamic. In emerging markets, each market has idiosyncrasies to grapple with that you wouldn’t find in more developed markets. For a junior person like me, this means there’s more opportunity to learn. If a client wants to buy stocks in a small country few people have access to, where it may be difficult for international banks to set up an entity to buy stocks there, it may take longer to find a party that has those stocks. Trades like this may take weeks or months, and I enjoy putting the legal and regulatory frameworks in place.
Sales people develop mutually beneficial relationships with institutional clients. Being in trading, you get very close to the sales teams and you see what they’re doing and what their day to day is like, and you see that it can be very challenging at times. For me, the rewards to doing good trades and being innovative, and bringing new solutions to the clients, are much more interesting than strictly doing trades all day.
I try to keep up with boxing training when I’m outside the office. I also enjoy surfing—we have some amazing waves in Ireland, and the place is so small that one is never more than 40 minutes from the coastline. Here in London, it’s a great city to travel around and explore. It’s also close enough to get to places like Denmark and Norway, where I visit friends quite often.