Sarah Executive Director/Vice President, Tactical Research Global Investment Research Division, London
These were people I could imagine working with for long hours at a time, and still enjoy socializing with them in the evening.
I received a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. After graduating, I joined the graduate recruitment program at a global consumer products company, but after about three years, I realised my real interest lay in finance. I investigated all the different areas within the industry and applied to a number of firms, including the graduate scheme at Goldman Sachs. In the end, I chose Goldman Sachs for its reputation as one of the pre-eminent financial institutions and the quality of the employees I met. These were people I could imagine working with for long hours at a time, and still enjoy socializing with them in the evening.
Looking back five or even ten years ago, I would never have thought I would end up in finance, let alone at Goldman Sachs. However, having tried a number of different industries, I realized that if I wanted intellectual stimulation and the support and opportunity to achieve more than I could ever thought possible, then this was the place to be.
Working in Global Investment Research
I work in the Tactical Research team within the Global Investment Research (GIR) Equity department. Our team creates fundamental investment strategies by leveraging stock, sector and macroeconomic views. We develop quantitative tools to help identify these strategies, which we then publish and market, both to internal and external clients. We also set up tradable baskets behind our ideas. Furthermore, we work very closely with the Directors of Research to institutionalize alpha generation across the Research division. My key responsibilities include attending the Investment Review Committee to discuss changes to stock ratings and price targets, staying on top of news flow, identifying new strategies and turning our ideas into published reports.
The most interesting thing about this is working from a number of big-picture, macro themes right down to the individual stock analysis. I sit in the middle of all the macro and sector data points and then try to analyze how this filters down into stock repercussions. The environment is forever changing, and as soon as you have identified one theme, it’s often straight on to the next idea. Three years into GIR, I still feel like I am constantly learning, with no end in sight—which is inspiring but also somewhat daunting at times!
I believe the culture of Goldman Sachs is all about challenging you to be the best you can be, whilst giving you the support that you need to achieve it. All my managers, both direct and indirect, have been incredibly supportive in giving me the opportunities and challenges I need to progress. I started in GIR in the Clean Energy sector team, and I got to meet the CEOs and CFOs of companies very early on in my career. I attended marketing trips to meet clients based all over Europe and the US to discuss our views and the latest industry developments. After nearly three years in Clean Energy, I was offered the opportunity to move to the Tactical Research team to get a broader market perspective and develop new skills.
The most rewarding part of my job is working with highly motivated and intelligent colleagues who constantly stimulate you to achieve more, more quickly and more efficiently. No one is ever too busy to help, no matter how junior you may be. I also love the ability in my current role to go from macro to micro, to look across all sectors or to focus on one or two stocks, and the wide breadth of people this brings me into contact with.
The most challenging part of my job is sifting through all the information that is constantly bombarding the market to try to identify what is really fundamental or game-changing. You have to be open to accepting when an idea is not working or when a successful idea has run its course, and then be quick to identify the next strategy to play out.