Neeti Managing Director, Private Wealth Management Investment Management division, New York
The most interesting part of my job is the constant intellectual stimulation.
I am a managing director in the Investment Strategy Group (ISG) for Private Wealth Management. ISG helps provide objective, tailored and analytically rigorous investment advice for high net worth clients. Specifically, I focus on identifying and analyzing interesting tactical opportunities across all major asset classes such as equities, commodities etc.
My activities include reading research ranging from broad macro to industry-specific issues, building and monitoring screens that help track different factors that we believe are key drivers of returns, and talking to experts in different arenas – essentially doing a more in-depth analysis of different investment themes. I am part of a talented, motivated team where each member brings a unique perspective to the table as we all come from different backgrounds. As you can imagine, we enjoy some extremely lively discussions!
The most interesting part of my job is the constant intellectual stimulation – reading, talking to a variety of really smart people (ranging from strategists, political analysts, economists etc.), and trying to identify the key themes that are likely to drive asset prices over the medium term. I also really enjoy spending time with our clients who often tend to provide real life perspectives on the issues that we are considering and are often a great inspiration for new ideas.
The most challenging part of my job is juggling multiple responsibilities. One of the things I am trying to do better is to learn to let go and delegate more – although it may be harder to ask someone else to do something and then manage that process rather than to do it yourself, there is nothing more rewarding. Also, it creates a tremendous amount of leverage and efficiency within the team.
There are so many rewarding aspects to my job: constant intellectual stimulation, exposure to and learning from a global, diverse set of people, working with really smart, thoughtful, proactive people on a daily basis, helping to shape the career paths of young people, watching them become more confident and empowered to question conventional thinking. In addition, it is immensely rewarding to make a recommendation that, for example, either went against consensus at the time or identified a new theme, and watch it add tremendous value to our clients' portfolios!
I came to Goldman Sachs through campus recruiting at Oxford University. Like other business school graduates at the time, I was interviewing with the usual suspects in consultancy firms and investment banks. Goldman Sachs was my first investment banking interview. After my interviews at Goldman Sachs, I hoped that I would get an offer because the interview process felt so much “more me” than my consultancy interviews had. Fortunately for me, I did get an offer and I did not proceed further with any of my other interviews.
My impression of the first few days here was incredibly positive but somewhat intimidating too. I was surrounded by all these incredibly smart, motivated, high-energy people who were willing to go out of their way to help me settle in and feel comfortable. I also remember feeling somewhat useless for the first few days because everyone seemed to have a purpose, while I was still waiting to be staffed. At that point, people would stop by, introduce themselves and tell me to enjoy it while it lasted – boy, were they right!
Ten years ago, growing up in Kenya, I had not even heard of Goldman Sachs. However, I have always had a passion for markets and investments. Even in school, my favorite subjects were macro economics especially currencies, international trade, equity market analysis and understanding what drove bubbles and busts in financial markets. Thus, while I did not think I would be working at Goldman Sachs, I did expect to be working in this field. I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing what I am passionate about at a firm such as ours.
In this competitive landscape, having good grades is just an order qualifier, not an order winner. I think it’s essential for anyone interested in a career in finance to read broadly, to travel and expose yourself to different cultures and experiences, and to learn to question conventional wisdom. I don’t think there’s been a more exciting time to be in finance – globalization and democratization are changing the lives of billions of people whose incomes and standards of living are rising. Being a part of this change and identifying opportunities therein requires a tool kit that is much broader than what we learn in the classrooms.