Jeff started his career in the banking industry at the end of 2004 when he joined Macquarie as a graduate analyst in their credit team. In that short time he’s progressed to a senior analyst role and currently is a manager within the Client and Risk Analysis department. His job involves analysing clients’ financial statements to ascertain whether the bank can offer them financing.
I worked full time for a few years before I started uni and I knew I liked working with numbers. In addition, I thought there was a lot of opportunity in finance with good prospects for career progression.
I work in an area of Macquarie called ‘Relationship Banking’. Our clientele are small- to medium-sized businesses and high net worth individuals who have lending and deposit needs. The core of my job is assessing clients’ lending requests. This will include analysis of their financial statements to see if they can service the loan on an ongoing basis, and assessing the acceptability of the security offered. Other factors such as how long they’ve been a client of Macquarie, how much experience they have in their industry, and the strength of their personal net asset position are also considered when making recommendations.
It boils down to three things. Firstly, I really enjoy the work I do. Secondly, I really enjoy the team I work with. And finally, I work for a company that really looks after its employees. Macquarie has a good reputation for looking after its staff in terms of remuneration, career development and training, and valuing work–life balance.
As for the actual work, I might get through five deals in one week but then get a larger deal which could take a whole week to analyse. The constant turnover of deals means you’re always seeing results and you’re getting to analyse different situations all the time. I also enjoy mixing up the analytical work with some more HR/managerial type responsibilities like training, performance appraisals, and recruitment interviews.
To be honest, the time pressure involved in getting deals analysed quickly can be stressful from time to time. And that level of stress is probably something I don’t enjoy. But it only happens now and then.
At a graduate level, the industry average may be a package of between $40 000 to $60 000. There’s generally a salary component and a discretionary bonus component which rewards performance beyond your job description. There’s also scope to increase your package fairly quickly if you are a good performer.
That bankers are nerds. In fact, it’s partly true – we’re good with spreadsheets! But we don’t sit around talking about spreadsheets at lunchtime. Most people I work with have really interesting lives outside of work.
Working with a client base which is made up of mostly small- to medium-sized business and high net worth individuals means you learn a lot about how good businesses operate and what makes certain industries tick. We deal with a lot of real estate clients and people who are involved in property so we also get a few different points of view on the property market which most people are interested in.
There are many roles in banking and investment banking. Read the job descriptions and work out what might interest you. Employers are looking for people who are interested in what they do, and you’ll enjoy your job more if you’re interested in it!
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