Industry Career Profiles

Funds Industry Career Profiles

We asked funds industry professionals to share their backgrounds and experiences working in the industry. In the profiles below they talk about career development, where they're from, what they enjoy most in their roles and what they're involved in at their company and outside of work.

Rewarding careers suited to what’s important to you.

Achievement • Continued Learning • Flexibility • Travel • Regional Opportunities Diversity & Inclusion • Corporate Social Responsibility • Work / Life Balance Career Development & Mobility

Spotlight on Consulting

Niamh Walsh, Management Consulting Manager - Financial Services, Accenture

Niamh talks about her current role, international experience, and what she enjoys most about her job.

Tell us about your background and role at Accenture?

I am a Management Consulting Manager within Accenture’s Financial Services practice. I am a main point of contact within our International Financial Services (IFS) portfolio of clients with primary focus on the Funds & Asset Management industry.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

Design and delivery of a target operating model for financial crime and AML functions for a pillar Irish Bank. This involves driving strategic solutions, process improvements and encouraging an agile way of working moving forward.

Tell us about your career so far.

I have over 11 years’ international experience in the financial services industry in Sydney, Luxembourg, USA and Ireland. I have worked on multiple engagements across major investment and retail banks involving business solutions analysis, advisory, refinance analytics, risk analysis, process redesign, project management and transformational strategy. Prior to this, I was an account manager for a major fund administration software provider. I aided software development for a new Private Equity system and helped bring this software to market, with major clients based in Dublin, America and Canada. This role enabled me to leverage my experience as a fund accountant for hedge and private equity funds.

What’s topical or the next big challenge in your line of work?

Disruptive technology and regulation changes are the major challenges within the funds industry.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Working alongside our clients to help accelerate their success and alleviate the challenges they are facing.

Which achievement/project are you most proud of?

I take pride in all project deliveries for our clients however recently I successfully delivered an outbound campaign for a major bank which resulted in a significant reduction in the bank’s non performing exposures. This was a key regulatory obligation and strategic objective for the bank.

Describe your role in 3 words…

Rewarding, diverse, challenging

Regional Spotlight on Funds Careers

Maria Nugent, Financial Accountant - Structured Finance, DMS in Cashel

Maria talks about her career path in funds, activities she’s involved in, and work-life balance.

Tell us about your background and role at DMS / within Funds?

I have 10 years’ experience working in the financial services industry. I currently work as a Financial Accountant within the Structured Finance division of DMS in Ireland and I am based in our Cashel office. I am responsible for the management and delivery of services to our structured finance and aviation clients.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I enjoy that no two days are the same, the variety of our clients and the range of services we provide to them.

Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?

I am proud of the secondment I did in Tasmania, Australia while working with KPMG. Moving to a new country and culture was difficult but also liberating and something I would highly recommend anyone to do in their lifetime if they get the chance.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?

Initially in the Funds Industry I qualified as a chartered accountant and completed my training with KPMG Dublin in the financial services division, predominately in Funds. I have also spent 4 years working in the Finance department for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund in the National Treasury Management Agency.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

There are a variety of opportunities to further your career within financial services. There is also a vast range of different qualifications that can be completed while working in this area such as accounting, tax, financial advice, financial analyst, risk and compliance.

Are there opportunities to join networks outside of your day to day role/division - do you see a benefit in supporting these groups?

I am a member of the Sports and Social committee in DMS Governance, Cashel which was formed this year. As part of the social side we have held coffee mornings and bake sales to raise money for local charities. We have also organised well-being events such as yoga classes and well-being breakfasts for staff. We hope to expand these events throughout 2019.

Tell me about your work-life balance.

I currently have a good work-life balance and this is promoted within our organisation. Living in Cashel means a short commute time to and from work.

Ravi Shetty, HFS Corporate Actions Team, Northern Trust Ireland in Limerick

Ravi talks about his role at Northern Trust Ireland, moving overseas from India to work and live in Ireland and the activities inside and outside of work he participates…

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Ravi Shetty, HFS Corporate Actions Team, Northern Trust Ireland in Limerick

Ravi talks about his role at Northern Trust Ireland, moving overseas from India to work and live in Ireland and the activities inside and outside of work he participates in.

Tell us about your background and role at Northern Trust Ireland

I’m originally from Bangalore, India and am currently working in the HFS Corporate Actions team, Ireland - Northern Trust. Prior to this I have worked with the Corporate Actions team in Saxo Bank, India for 1.5 years. Prior to Saxo Bank, I worked in the Northern Trust fund accounting corporate actions team for 6 years and Thomson Reuters for 2.5 years.

You are from Bangalore, India and you work in Dublin, how did that happen?

As my wife moved to Ireland I tried looking for opportunities here and got selected for a role in HFS Corporate Actions team.

What is it like to work for your employer in another location?

It has been a great experience and dealing with the client on a day-to-day basis is a good learning experience. As I have already worked in Northern Trust Bangalore and a few partners already know me in the organisation, it has helped me to settle in easily.

Would you recommend a move overseas?

Yes, the onshore activities and the client interactions is a different experience, challenging but a great learning curve for me.

What do you enjoy the most about your job? 

As I have worked across different organisations, I have seen the accounting and the custody side of corporate actions which has been great and has helped me understand both sides of processing.

Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?

The top three are:

At Northern Trust Bangalore I worked on a market value check template to develop a control before we process any event to ensure we are within the tolerance.

At Saxo Bank I worked on the account migration from global custodian to local custody.

At Northern Trust Ireland I worked with internal teams to develop income accrual controls for coupon rate changes on clients due to the CPI factor change on UK Gilts.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way? 

I started my career at Thomson Reuters where our data was used as a feed provider for sourcing corporate Action information.

In Northern Trust Bangalore, there was a new team set up where the activities were transitioned and I worked with the onshore team closely to ensure all the activities were migrated smoothly. I was with the fund accounting support team working on dividends and corporate actions processing, across equities and bonds.

In Saxo Bank, I worked for the Corporate Actions team and as a broker my role was to work on the instructions, notification and entitlement processing for the clients. I have worked on the equities, bond income and CFD processing in Saxo Bank for Mandatory, Voluntary CA and the income transactions.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services? 

Financial Services has great scope and a lot of learning as it involves multiple functions and every department has their own knowledge base.

What types of CSR/ volunteering opportunities have you gotten involved in with your organisation? 

I had been a part of the productivity forum and the Fund Accounting Bangalore cultural committee. As a cultural committee, we have organised multiple events across Fund accounting teams in Bangalore in order to get all the teams closer outside work.

Are there opportunities to join networks outside of your day-to-day role / division – do you see a benefit in supporting these groups? 

Yes there are. We have a number of Business Resource Councils focusing on areas such as Diversity and Inclusion, Women in Leadership. There are also initiatives like “Pep Talk” to aid work like balance. I try to get involved outside of my day-to-day role when I can. It’s a good way of getting to know different people and building a network.

Tell me about your work-life balance.

I make sure that I create a list of activities I need to complete every day and prioritize the work accordingly. Outside of work, I have taken up swimming classes and also joined a soccer team, matches are played every week. I also spend some time cycling and running daily.

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Career Profiles - Series 1

Carol Andrews, Managing Director of Client Experience at BNY Mellon

Carol talks about how she started out in the industry and describes her current role and what she enjoys most about it. She also shares her proudest achievements, lessons she's…

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Carol Andrews, Managing Director of Client Experience at BNY Mellon

Carol talks about how she started out in the industry and describes her current role and what she enjoys most about it. She also shares her proudest achievements, lessons she's learned, her work on the 30% Club and her goals for the future.

Tell us about your background and role in the funds industry.

I have 25 years experience working in financial services progressing through various roles in Ireland and internationally. I started working with BNY Mellon through a joint venture with AIB back in 2001 and joined BNY Mellon as Head of AIS Client Services - Hedge Funds in 2007 where I was responsible for $100 billion in assets under management.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

I am the Global Head of Service Directors, for client Experience. As champions for our clients, Service Directors have an opportunity every day to enhance the client experience—to promote consistent, effective engagement with clients and advocacy across the company.

Tell us about your career so far at BNY Mellon. What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The people and building relationships both with the extraordinarily talented people I work with and the fantastic clients we serve every day.

Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?

I am most proud of being a Mum to a lovely seven year old little boy, he is definitely my best achievement by far!

Professionally, I am very proud of the time I spent working in New York. It was a steep learning curve but it was a great experience and taught me a lot.

What are you looking forward to in 2018?

I am in the middle of a Masters in Business at the IMI (UCC) which will conclude at the end of 2018. It has been a three year process, and hugely impactful to me personally. I have learnt a lot and I am looking forward to finishing it!

What's the next goal?

At the moment, I am working on making a little more time for myself and getting the balance right on work, play and rest.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds? / What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

Be curious, don’t take it personally and remember you learn with every move. Linear moves in the funds industry really help you learn the business.

We hear you’ve been working on a several Community / CSR projects. Can you tell us more about it?

I am one of the founders of the 30% Club in Ireland, and currently lead the chapter for Ireland. The 30% Club Ireland formally launched in January 2015, is part of an International Organization – founded in the UK in 2010. Our aim is to develop a diverse pool of talent for all businesses through the efforts of our Chair and CEO members who are committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations.

Business leadership is key to our mission, taking the issue beyond a specialist diversity effort and into mainstream talent management. We believe that gender balance on boards not only encourages better leadership and governance, but diversity further contributes to better all-round board performance, and ultimately increased corporate performance for both companies and their shareholders. We now have almost 200 confirmed supporters in Ireland and our focus is on gaining visible and practical support for gender balance at all levels from business leaders in private, public, State, local and multinational organisations.

Tell us about the Diversity & Inclusion initiatives that are underway in the Funds Industry.

One of the 30% Club’s core beliefs is that women in management today are the pipeline for business leaders of the future. With this front of mind, we initiated research in 2015 to provide annual data as a baseline to assess ongoing improvement. In the research conducted for our recent ‘Women In Management: The Leadership Pipeline Report’ (2017) – which was conducted in partnership with Ibec and Dublin City University- we highlighted that the participation rates of women at all levels in the management hierarchy have increased since 2016, however there continues to be a drop in female representation at higher levels of management which shows that gender inequality remains a challenge. There also continues to be significant sectoral variation in female representation. This year the % of women holding CEO positions stands at 19%, a slight increase from 17% in 2016, and 14% in 2015.

The 30% Club launched as a campaign in the UK in 2010 with a goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-100 boards - currently the figure stand at 27.9% up from 12.5%. In the FTSE 33 companies have already reached 30%. Board level participation in Ireland is at 13%.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role or career in 3 words…

Exciting, challenging and partnership.

If I wasn't working at BNY Mellon, I would be...

A rugby player!

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Zhuriqa Jalil, Client Services Team Leader at Brown Brothers Harriman

Zhuriqa talks about her current role and the type of work she does, as well as the support and opportunities available. She also discusses her background and education, as well as…

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Zhuriqa Jalil, Client Services Team Leader at Brown Brothers Harriman

Zhuriqa talks about her current role and the type of work she does, as well as the support and opportunities available. She also discusses her background and education, as well as her continuing career development.


Tell us about your background and role at BBH?

My name is Zhuriqa Jalil and I have been with Brown Brothers Harriman Fund Administration Ireland Limited for a little over 10 years.

Originally from Sarawak, Malaysia, I moved to Ireland in 2005 with the intention of completing a degree in accounting and finance. 13 years down the road, I am still in Ireland and I am now ACCA qualified and I recently completed a Professional Diploma in Applied Alternative Investments. With the financial support of the BBH scholarship programme as well as support from my direct manager, I was able to juggle study and being a working mother.

My career with BBH started in the Financial Reporting department, I transitioned over to the Client Service Group around 4 years ago and at the moment I am a Team Leader. Career mobility within BBH is not uncommon, definitely worth keeping in mind if you’re considering a career within the fund industry.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

In my current role, I am very much client facing and I find it satisfying to be able to match clients’ needs with the services we offer. This means that I have to challenge myself by keeping up to date with regulations and industry developments.

What’s topical or the next big challenge in your line of work?

The fund industry landscape is always changing with new regulations and evolving technology. I make sure I am prepared for these developments through the support and training I receive in-house and by keeping myself up to date with information from Irish Funds and other publications.

In short, I would say the learning never stops!

Tell us about other initiatives and activities that are underway in the funds industry.

In BBH, it is not all about work. We have a number of networking groups (or BANC network as we call them) to support employees in their chosen activities or cause. In Dublin some of the groups include the Asia Link Network, Pride Network, Parenting Network and the Young Professional Network. We even have an in-house toastmasters club!

AND FINALLY…

If I wasn't working at BBH, I would be...

If I were not working at BBH I think I would bake and sell kek lapis, a layered cake very popular in Sarawak!

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Tom Dolan, Head of the Galway office and Client Services Director at BNP Paribas Security Service.

Tom talks about his current role and career, his proudest achievements, what he's looking forward to and what he's learned along the way. 

Tell us about…

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Tom Dolan, Head of the Galway office and Client Services Director at BNP Paribas Security Service.

Tom talks about his current role and career, his proudest achievements, what he's looking forward to and what he's learned along the way. 

Tell us about your background and role at BNP Paribas.

I am ACA Qualified and have +20 years direct experience in the Funds Industry.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

The main focus of my role is to ensure desired levels of service are delivered to clients in a consistent manner. I am the point of escalation for certain key clients. In addition I have Head of location responsibilities for BNP Paribas in Galway.

Tell us about your career so far at BNP Paribas.

I joined BNP Paribas in June 2015 just as the acquisition of Credit Suisse’s Fund Services business had concluded. Initially I focused on rolling out BNP Paribas products services and applications to transitioned clients. Over time I assumed a Relationship Manager role for key clients. Recently I have assumed a Management oversight role within our Client Delivery teams.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

My role is challenging and fast changing as technology, regulation, client demands, trading strategies and staff needs constantly evolve.

Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?

The expansion of our Galway office over the past 18 months which has enabled BNP Paribas to attract experienced Financial Services staff to the Galway region.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Achieving our objective of improving client service delivery through process automation.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?

Initially within the Funds Industry I worked on the audit side (PWC) and gained invaluable experience regarding controls testing and balance sheet validation. Since 2001 I have held Management, Client Relationship and Operational Oversight roles within various Fund Administration Companies (including 3 years offshore). Prior to joining BNP Paribas in 2015 I had worked at Citco Fund Services for 5 years and Deutsche Bank Fund Services for 6+ years.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

Just as in life, honesty is always the best course of action when issues arise.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

The Industry is vibrant, challenging and rewarding. There are many different roles available to people as their careers progress.

Tell us about the Diversity & Inclusion initiatives that are underway in the Funds Industry.

At BNP Paribas we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Over the last few years we have held a diversity and inclusion week in Ireland and across the globe and we have a committee dedicated to this in Ireland also. Last year our diversity and inclusion week included speakers from the 30% club and we also had a talk on mental health. This coming year we are celebrating international Women’s Day on 8 th March by hosting an internal panel discussion with some of our female and male leaders discussing their careers, the challenges they have faced and offering career advice to employees who attend.

As the Funds Industry positions itself for the future, how are our businesses and clients responding to industry trends?

Clients continue to move away from in-house administration of Investment Funds and service providers have continued to consolidate with a drive to enhanced Technology as the key to longevity.

How do you and the team manage such an intense role?

The key is to prioritize, keep calm and explore all choices available to seek optimal solutions.

Tell us about your work-life balance.

In general, the staff in Galway experience shorter commute times meaning more time is available for involvement with family and interests outside work.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role in 3 words…

Interactive, rewarding and challenging.

If I wasn't working in Funds, I would be...

Less travelled.

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Karen Campbell, Vice President - Change Management at State Street Ireland

Karen talks about her current role and career, taking time out, working remotely, her proudest achievements, and what she’d say to someone considering a career in the funds…

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Karen Campbell, Vice President - Change Management at State Street Ireland

Karen talks about her current role and career, taking time out, working remotely, her proudest achievements, and what she’d say to someone considering a career in the funds industry.

Tell us about your background and role at State Street Ireland?

My name is Karen Campbell and I currently work as a Vice President in the Change Management department within State Street Ireland.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

I manage change projects for key State Street clients. This can range from launching new products within their fund range to managing technology builds.

Tell us about your career so far at State Street.

I have worked in the funds industry for nearly 20 years in a number of roles – starting as a Fund Accountant and eventually managing the New Business Integration unit within State Street. I took 2 years out after having my children and came back to State Street in a Change Management role on a work from home basis in a bid to gain a better work life balance. I have been working in this way for over 2 years now and it has proved to be successful.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I enjoy the variety of projects – I am working with key State Street clients who are always at the forefront of new industry initiatives so I get to work on really interesting projects.

Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?

Last year I worked on the onboarding of a significant client in terms of the number of funds and breadth of the product range. The project involved teams from multiple locations and had a significant amount of senior focus. At times it was challenging but it was ultimately rewarding to see the project complete successfully.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Working with my manager and the Change team to continue to develop and improve our offering both internally and to our clients.

What's the next goal?

Become a better networker.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?

I started my career in Financial Services straight from college as a Fund Accountant. I was then promoted to Team Leader within the Fund Accounting department and enjoyed managing a team for a specific client for a number of years – overseeing net asset value (NAV) production, client service and monthly reporting. I then decided that I wanted to try something new and applied to work in the New Business Integration (NBI) unit – managing the onboarding of new clients to State Street Ireland. The role was varied – I was able to work across the various functional areas and get a good understanding of how they fit together. I eventually ended up managing the NBI team. The role was interesting – working with clients as they brought new products to market and I enjoyed managing my team and helping them to develop their own careers.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

To always keep learning – the industry is constantly changing and it is important to keep up to date with new developments.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

I would definitely encourage people to consider a career in financial services. There are a lot of opportunities. The roles on offer are diverse and the industry in Ireland is dynamic so it’s definitely an industry where you can develop in the long term.

Tell us about your work-life balance.

I think I’ve achieved a really good work-life balance with the help of State Street. I have been able to move closer to my family which has provided a significant support for me to continue with my career. I get to drop my kids to school in the mornings and then start working in a job that is challenging and interesting. I relish the fact that I am able to do something that I enjoy – that uses the skills I have built up over the years. I travel to the Dublin office once or twice a month and I enjoy catching up for coffee with the people I am working with on a daily basis. The technology that allows me to work from home is fantastic – and in the most part it is not visible to the clients that I work with, where I am located to do my job. I have been able to take on relatively significant projects and execute these well while working from home. I work with people from many different State Street offices – so not being at a desk in Dublin has not impacted on my ability. My manager is very supportive of my working arrangement and I have never felt that I have been restricted in what I can do because I am a work-from-home employee.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role or career in 3 words…

Interesting, Challenging, Varied.

If I wasn't working in Funds, I would be...

I did my degree in economics – so something like an Economic Researcher would also be an interesting role. 

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Karen McAffee, Senior Manager for Financial Reporting within the Investor & Treasury Services Division of Royal Bank of Canada.

Karen talks about her current role and career at RBC, what she most enjoys, her proudest achievements and what she's looking…

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Karen McAffee, Senior Manager for Financial Reporting within the Investor & Treasury Services Division of Royal Bank of Canada.

Karen talks about her current role and career at RBC, what she most enjoys, her proudest achievements and what she's looking forward to next year.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

I am a Senior Manager for Financial Reporting within the Investor & Treasury Services Division of Royal Bank of Canada. The role has a number of aspects but primarily my team are responsible for delivering financial reporting to our fund clients. This encompasses audit management, financial statements preparation and review; and more recently the delivery of regulatory reporting

Tell us about your career so far.

I was always interested in finance. I graduated from Maynooth University with a B.A. (Joint Honours) in Economics and Finance. I started my career as a junior fund accountant with a fund administration company working my way up to account manager. During my tenure I started my Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) studies.

When I joined RBC as a supervisor, it was a rapid learning curve. The support I received from colleagues though was incredible. As my level of knowledge developed, I was promoted through the ranks with many opportunities to continue my development along the way. With an expanding team supporting a growing client base, resulting in increasing volumes and complex funds, our team continues to go from strength to strength.

During my time with RBC, I have experienced different financial statement systems, helped implement an outsourced model, and taken on new regulatory reporting. So it has been varied, challenging, exciting and rewarding.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The wide variety of tasks coupled with the interaction with a broad number of people. For example, I can be at an external board meeting, come back to review a set of financial statements, attend a potential client presentation, look after people management tasks and catch up on emails - all in the one day. No two days are the same although overall there is always our set objectives within the annual audit cycles to meet the reporting needs of our clients.

Which achievement are you the most proud of?

Five years ago, I went to Malaysia for a few months to set up a new financial reporting team. This was a huge undertaking as the team consisted of new employees who needed to be trained in the audit process in a short timeframe. The days were long but rewarding and I always made sure I started each with a swim in an outdoor pool. Given the average January temperature in Kuala Lumpur is 25 degrees Celsius, it was one of the perks of the trip.

What are you looking forward to next year?

I will be part of an internal Securities Financing Transactions Regulations (SFTR) project team which, although in its early stages, will result in learning new skills, increase my regulatory knowledge as well as broadening my RBC network of colleagues.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

If you work hard, collaborate and always act with integrity you will be recognised for your commitment, and career progression opportunities will arise.

As the Funds Industry positions itself for the future, how are our businesses and clients responding to industry trends?

There have been so many changes in recent years – change is a constant! Regulation has been a key conduit which has helped further protect underlying investors. The implementation of regulatory standards, though, has taken a significant amount of resource over the past few years and as a result the funds industry is behind in the ongoing evolution of technology. While other industries have already seen significant advancements (especially in the retail space), our industry has been behind the curve. But we are an industry that works through collaboration and we’re already seeing examples of this collectiveness through active participation in industry forums, discussing how disruptor technology can help the industry evolve - e.g. how can Blockchain, robotics, AI, etc. help solve the challenges of tomorrow and improve the underlying client experience while maintaining strong compliance. The funds industry needs to keep sight of the next generation of investors and the expectations they will have in how they expect to interact with our industry.

Describe your role in 3 words…

Busy, challenging, rewarding 

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Elliott Moore, Risk & Valuation Specialist at Citco

Elliott talks about where he studied, why he chose the funds industry, and what he enjoys most about his job. He also shares what he's learned so far and what he would say to someone considering…

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Elliott Moore, Risk & Valuation Specialist at Citco

Elliott talks about where he studied, why he chose the funds industry, and what he enjoys most about his job. He also shares what he's learned so far and what he would say to someone considering working in the industry.

Describe your background, What did you study?

I studied Finance at Queen’s University Belfast, graduating with a first class honours. I gained as much experience as I could through internships across many areas of finance including Morgan Stanley, the Financial Times, and of course – Citco.

As a recent graduate, why Funds?

I had a 15 month industrial placement in the Citco Risk & Valuation team during my 3rd year of university. I enjoyed and learnt so much I was very keen to come back. My manager was excellent at keeping in contact and offered me the opportunity to return after graduation.

When you joined Citco from college what were your first impressions?

It’s a very comfortable and friendly working environment; flexible working hours, paid overtime, free drinks/breakfast, lounge area.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I love the encouragement and free reign to pursue projects that I believe will be of benefit to the team, such as; masterclasses, lunch & learns and R&D. I’ve a lot of control over what I want to learn, and this allows me to take responsibility for my own work and career development.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

Never to just click buttons, always ask what is going on behind them. Dig into things you don’t understand and don’t be afraid to propose new solutions.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of working in Funds?

For the team I work in, a finance background serves as a great foundation to develop more quantitative skills. Bloomberg seminars are encouraged, CFA study is supported, and I’m constantly developing programming skills on a daily basis. Citco is great in that the direction of your personal development is very much up to you.

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Dara Flynn, NAV Supervisor at SMT Fund Services (Ireland)

Dara talks about her current role, how she got into the industry, working her way up and what she enjoys most about her job. She also shares the lessons she's learned and gives some advice for…

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Dara Flynn, NAV Supervisor at SMT Fund Services (Ireland)

Dara talks about her current role, how she got into the industry, working her way up and what she enjoys most about her job. She also shares the lessons she's learned and gives some advice for those looking to get into the industry.

Tell us about your background and role at SMT Fund Services / within Funds?

SMT Fund Services have provided me with opportunities I never dreamed possible when I started out in the funds industry. I have been incredibly lucky. I have been with the company for over 10 years and in that time I have worked in a number of different departments which I have really enjoyed. I started out as a junior in the pricing/trades department, worked my way up over the years and eventually became a supervisor in Net asset value (NAV) with an extraordinary opportunity to move to Japan to open a finance department in our Tokyo Head Office.

Due to the experience I gained both from my time in Japan and working in different departments through the years, once back from Tokyo I was offered a Business Analyst position to help develop our operations systems which is an area I had never considered working in. I found myself working very closely with operations managers from all levels and IT developers on coding trying to streamline the new systems and I even surprised myself with how much I enjoyed seeing the industry from a technical side. Before that my IT problem solving skills amounted to switch the computer off and on again.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

Supervising day-to-day operations in order to produce NAVs for our clients in a timely manner.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Working with my amazing team, it’s the number one reason I look forward to work most days. I enjoy the challenges that the industry throws up too - the funds industry is always changing and strategies that were once popular become obsolete and new financial products pop up all the time so you have to keep up. It can be very interesting.

Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?

Being chosen to open the office in Japan will always be the highlight of my career. When I left college I wasn't sure if funds was the right place for me, but one day as I made my daily commute through Tokyo on the way to work I remember thinking, ‘you made the right choice’.

What are you looking forward to next year?

Not knowing what's next or where your path will take you. This industry is international, and finance is the same no matter where you go. Who knows where it will take me next.

What's the next goal?

To keep developing my career as much as possible. I'm always open to new opportunities and this industry has tons of it.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?

I originally wanted to be a history teacher but this career kind of found me instead. I started out thinking I'll just see how it goes for a while and then 10 years later I feel I'm still going strong. From day one I could tell that this was the path that would help me progress the best. I still love history but I've never doubted that I made the right choice.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

To be open-minded, flexible, willing to learn and I believe most importantly to be a team player. If you have those qualities there is very little you can’t achieve in this industry.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

This won't resonate with everyone but I know from experience that some people can be intimidated by a career in finance and I would like to tell those people that they shouldn't be. There are some that believe you need to be a shark or a maths wizard to excel and that is not the case at all. If you have good communication skills, if you can work well in a team, if you like a challenge then I promise you can do really well in this industry.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role or career in 3 words…

Fun, exciting, challenging.

If I wasn't working in SMT Fund Services / within Funds, I would be...

A travel writer.

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Jurgita Mockute, Assistant Vice President - Client Integration at Citco.

Jurgita talks about her academic background, working in the US, her current role and career progression, as well as her work on Citco's Innovation Hub for sharing ideas to make…

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Jurgita Mockute, Assistant Vice President - Client Integration at Citco.

Jurgita talks about her academic background, working in the US, her current role and career progression, as well as her work on Citco's Innovation Hub for sharing ideas to make business improvements. She also discusses her continuing skills development and her participation in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme where she mentors students.

Describe your background? i.e. What did you study? / What experience did you have prior to joining the funds industry?

I studied History (BA) in Lithuania followed by BS in history with teacher certification and later a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in the USA. All programs were a great preparation to work in any industry.

Apart from writing my graduate paper on regulation in Hedge Funds, I did not have any experience in the funds industry.

Describe your role in Citco…

Bringing the best services to our clients.

Tell us about your career so far at Citco? e.g. Have you always been based in Dublin? Have you always worked in this department?

I worked in several Citco offices; I started in a trade processing team in Rye Brook, NY and Jersey City. I transferred from Jersey City to our Dublin office where I had an opportunity to work in the Enhanced Middle Office team. From there I moved into the Client Integration team in Dublin.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The ever-changing environment that challenges me every day!

Which achievement / project are you most proud of?

Through an internal leadership development program I participated in within Citco we created an initiative known as the Innovation Hub. The aim of which is to share innovative ideas with the company that will ultimately lead to business improvements.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Participating in a Project Management training course and become PM certified!

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

To always be open to challenges and opportunities.

Can you tell us about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects that you work on in Citco?

I’m an active member of the Citco CSR Ireland committee and the area I’m most involved in is the ‘Business in the Community’ mentoring program in Ireland. This rewarding program involves mentoring a 16 year-old school student; discussing their career ambitions and helping to impact their engagement with education.

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Saskia Clibborn, Senior Consultant, Organizational Effectiveness at Northern Trust.

Saskia talks about her work history and current role, what she enjoys most about her job and community projects she's working on. She also discusses work-life balance…

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Saskia Clibborn, Senior Consultant, Organizational Effectiveness at Northern Trust.

Saskia talks about her work history and current role, what she enjoys most about her job and community projects she's working on. She also discusses work-life balance and what her next goals are.

Tell us about your background and role at Northern Trust.

In the last 12 years, I have been working in Talent Management – more specifically in Learning & Development – for a management consultancy, for Diageo, and then for Northern Trust.

Given that I have been keen to further expand my career within Talent Management for some time, I was delighted that I was given the opportunity to work in a new team called Organizational Effectiveness & Design a year ago. In this role, we partner with HR to identify areas to make NT a more effective organization, from a global perspective.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

Our team is new (one could consider it a start-up) and one of my key contributions last year focused on developing the team’s maturity by developing governance, approaches, tools and frameworks, reflecting best practices in Organizational Effectiveness & Design. As the scope of my role is global, the tools and frameworks we create can be applied in all regions.

I also focus on specific business projects. For example, given NT has recently acquired the fund administration business of UBS Luxembourg and Basel, I worked for the HR Consulting function to develop a strategy and project plan to help integrate our new partners into NT culture. We are currently executing on this plan.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Every day is different, and that’s what I like. One of my core values is variety, and I feel that is aligned with my role. There is always a start and a clear end with anything I work on - once a project or a piece of work is completed, I look forward to starting the next, which I know will be different again.

Variety is not only reflected in the work I do, but also in the people I work with. Given my role is global, I work closely with my colleagues in Asia and North America. I appreciate difference and diversity. Diversity is also a key focus for NT on a corporate level.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Continuing to build our team, and working on high impact, corporate wide projects.

What's the next goal?

To keep immersing myself into the new world of Organizational Effectiveness.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?

After I graduated, I started working for a global management consultancy in Munich. This role was part of Learning & Development Operations and I ensured smooth delivery of our global leadership programmes. Those programmes were rather comprehensive, lasting for one to two weeks, and taking place in various countries across the globe. Given the amount of travel and the exposure I got, it was an exciting first role.

After some time, I realised that I was particularly interested in shaping the content, and in facilitating learning programmes. So I pursued a new opportunity, within the same company, but in its London office. This role allowed me to focus on content development and programme facilitation. After some time, I was promoted to another role focusing on performance management.

Keen to further expand on my experiences, I decided to leave the company to take on a role in Ireland with Diageo, a global drinks supplier. Diageo was closing three of their production sites, and I was hired to prepare employees for their future careers beyond Diageo. This was a challenging, yet a rewarding experience.

Since 2015, I have been working with Northern Trust, where, as mentioned above, I spent my first three years in Learning & Development, before moving into a role in Organizational Effectiveness & Design.

We hear you’ve been working on several Community projects. Can you tell us more about it?

I have recently volunteered for Junior Achievement – a charity aimed at ‘inspiring and motivating young people to realise their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work’. I delivered a business-related curriculum over a 5-week period to a group of 10-year-old students, once per week. I thought it was very rewarding to see all the children so engaged in the topic, and hopefully motivating them to do well in life. Their wit and fresh ideas were impressive.

Tell me about the Diversity & Inclusion initiatives that are underway in the Funds Industry.

Here in NT, Diversity & Inclusion is a significant topic, both locally and corporate wide. There are a number of ‘Business Resource Councils’ in Ireland, one of which, the D&I Multi-Cultural Business Resource Council, I am a member of.

Tell me about your work-life balance

Since I have returned from maternity leave, I have reduced my hours to 80%. This gives me the opportunity to still pursue my career, whilst being able to spend an extra day with my son. I very much value NT being flexible in this regard.

Furthermore, I work from home two days per week. From a personality perspective, this arrangement works well for me. I tend to focus on thinking/project work on my working from home days, and among others, ensure to schedule enough time for in person meetings and connecting with colleagues during my office days.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role or career in 3 words.

Ever-changing, evolving, fulfilling.

If I wasn't working at NT, I would…

Go back to university to study, most likely a PhD in a related field or an MBA.

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Brian McCabe, Global Client COO and Head of Innovation EMEA at State Street.

Brian talks about when he started out in the industry, his two roles at State Street and the projects he is most proud of. He also discusses what he enjoys most about his job,…

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Brian McCabe, Global Client COO and Head of Innovation EMEA at State Street.

Brian talks about when he started out in the industry, his two roles at State Street and the projects he is most proud of. He also discusses what he enjoys most about his job, his next goal, and what he's learned along the way.

Tell us about your background and role at State Street / within Funds?

I’m 44 yrs of age and started in this industry when I was 23. I’m Irish and from Dublin and have a business degree from the University of West Glamorgan in Wales. I currently hold two roles at State Street: Global Client COO for one of our largest EMEA-based clients and Head of Innovation for EMEA.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

I have two distinct and separate roles at the moment:

  • Global Client COO: I’m responsible for the overall service delivery, governance and future operational strategies for a global client across all business lines.
  • Head of Innovation EMEA: This is about creating a sustainable innovation agenda for the business and our clients by exploring new and innovative technologies to solve business challenges or create new business models.

Tell us about your career so far at State Street.

I have been in the funds admin/custody business for 21 years. Most of my career has been with State Street and I spent 4 years with HSBC. I’ve had a lot of different experiences in those 21 years spanning most of the core operational areas, including accounting, custody, TA, new business take-on department, Client Relationship Management, Project management, Product Development, General Management, Head of Operations and the position of CEO.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I really enjoy the variety of my work, meeting new people and the ability to influence and create change. I always need to be moving forward in my career.

Which achievement / project are you most proud of?

The set-up of our offshore operational hub in Poland. I was the general manager and head of operation there for about 3 years, so starting with a few folks to about 800 when I left in 2010.

More recently was the completion of Ireland’s FinTech Strategy Paper, an industry effort which I led. This was a cross sector effort including the entire financial services and government agencies. The paper was used as part of Ireland’s strategy for FinTech.

What are you looking forward to this year?

To maturing and expanding our innovation agenda.

What's the next goal?

I’m excited to see how the innovation role plays out; it’s completely new to the business. There are no tried and tested routes - you’re dealing with new technologies and new ideas. It’s not your usual stuff and requires a lot of self-belief and motivation to keep it driving forward.

Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?

When I started in 1997 I had no idea of what I was getting into. I knew I was interested in the stock market and a job in the fund industry came up, and that’s how I began. No special thought went into it at that stage!

I started out in the early days in an operational area - Accounting & Custody. I moved through a number of different roles and functions during my time at the bank. I put a lot of myself into every role and I think every 2-3 years is when I needed to make a change and move on.

I came to a point when I was 34 where I decided to take 8 months off and travel the world with my wife. It was the best career decision I’ve ever made! I came back invigorated and took up a role to set up the operations in Poland which meant I had to move there with my wife. It was a great experience and it gave me a huge amount of autonomy and really allowed me to make a mark on this new venture. After this I felt I needed something bigger and left the bank and took up employment as Head of Operations for another bank. This was a great experience also, with lots of change and big challenges. Looking for a complete change and challenge, I returned to State Street to take up a Head of Innovation role. It was a new area - unproved, untested and in a lot of respects, virgin territory. This is what I enjoy the most.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

Be the best you can at what you do and opportunities will find you!

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

It’s a very dynamic global industry, where the skill-set you build is universal and transferable, plus you get to travel and meet lots of interesting folks.

As the Funds Industry positions itself for the future, how are our businesses and clients responding to industry trends?

I would say there are two schools of thought here. The first is that he industry has a track record of reacting quickly to change, where change is being imposed or it’s just a matter of having to do something (e.g. regulation and market changes). On the other hand, with the advent of FinTech we need to be better positioned to take advantage of the new and emerging technologies. This means having to think differently and collaborate differently. Some of the technologies require greater market collaboration to really optimise their benefits such as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for instance. We are learning to do this but we need to keep pushing this agenda.

What’s topical / next big challenge in your line of work?

FinTech is a very topical item at the moment, with new and emerging technologies looking to provide new opportunities to create value.

How do you and the team manage such an intense role?

With integrity and trust. This sounds cliché but that’s the reality. Our clients want to be able to trust that we’ll do as we say. This can of course be challenging within large functionalised and globally disbursed organisations.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role or career in 3 words…

Interesting, Challenging, Rewarding

If I wasn't working in Funds, I would be...

An engineer – designing and building stuff!

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Sarah Kenefick, Managing Director - Global Fund Accounting & Cork Site Co-Head at BNY Mellon.

Sarah talks about her current role and what she enjoys most about her job, as well as what she would say to someone considering a career in financial…

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Sarah Kenefick, Managing Director - Global Fund Accounting & Cork Site Co-Head at BNY Mellon.

Sarah talks about her current role and what she enjoys most about her job, as well as what she would say to someone considering a career in financial services. She also talks about how she manages a good work / life balance and her proudest achievements.

Tell us about your background and role at BNY Mellon / within Funds?

I have 20+ years of Financial Services industry experience and spent the first 10 years in roles in Dublin and Luxembourg. I joined BNY Mellon (AIB/BNY as it was at the time) when we opened our Cork office in 2006 and have held various roles here during this time, predominantly in Fund Accounting Services.

Describe your current role in a nutshell.

I am responsible for Global CSD Fund Accounting services for a key franchise client with a team in Cork, Ireland and overseas. I also co-head BNY Mellon’s Cork site which is an interesting and diverse role.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The people – I have a great team and fantastic colleagues who are committed and passionate about what they do. I also love learning which is an opportunity I am afforded every day – the industry is fast paced and there is always something new on the horizon.

Which achievement / project are you most proud of?

My two children – healthy and (almost always) happy! In work, my greatest achievement is really where I am today. I have worked hard to progress my career and have grasped all opportunities along the way

What are you looking forward to this year?

We have some complex, fast-paced projects on the go and I am looking forward to seeing them through to a successful conclusion.

What's the next goal?

Professionally my role continues to evolve and I’m looking forward to getting involved in new learning and career opportunities.

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?

Actively seek out new opportunities. Every project or initiative you involve yourself in can aid your own development and career progression.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?

Don’t be put off by the ‘finance’ aspect - it is not all about numbers. Financial Services can offer you a varied and interesting career beyond managing shareholder deals or calculating a NAV.

We hear you’ve been working on a several Community / CSR projects. Can you tell us more about it?

Like other BNY Mellon offices, Cork has an active Community Partnership Committee. Each and every one of us who have been involved in volunteering and CP events have gained so much on a personal level. BNY Mellon very much encourages us to participate through company matching donations and paid volunteer time.

Tell me about your work-life balance.

I do believe that the balance is yours to make and whilst it is often difficult to do so, you get back what you put in. My job is a busy one and my family is, too, so I find the little things really help – exercise before work; calendar and meal preparation on Sunday evenings, etc.

AND FINALLY…

Describe your role or career in 3 words…

Varied, Evolving and a bit Crazy at times!

If I wasn't working in the funds industry, I would be...

Maybe a teacher, although I’m not sure how good or patient I would be. My mum tried to encourage me down this road when I was younger.

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