Top tips on how to take your career to the next level

Thursday 20 September 2018

Going back to work after the summer holidays can be tough! But it’s also a good time to look at your career and decide what you want it to look like in the coming months or years. To give you a little inspiration, we’ve asked six successful professionals to tell us a bit about their career and share their top tips for progression.

Jane Coffey, ASIP
Jane Coffey is lead of the CFA UK Soft Skills working group, and an accredited executive and career coach. She also works with Essentia Analytics, helping portfolio managers identify their behavioural biases and work on optimising their investment process and embedding a data-driven continuous improvement feedback loop.

 Prior to this, Jane was an equity portfolio manager for over 25 years, initially running European equity portfolios. She headed the European Equity team at Aviva Investors, and Sun Life of Canada before becoming Head of Equities at Royal London Asset Management in 2003. She was also on the executive board of RLAM until 2013.

 Jane holds a BA in Economics and German from the University of Sussex, is an ASIP member of the CFA UK and Fellow of the Institute of Directors. She also holds a diploma in Executive Coaching from the AoEC and in Company Direction from the IOD.

Top tip: Remember to build, nurture and maintain your network throughout your career and not just when you want to move roles or need help. This doesn’t mean collecting hundreds of LinkedIn contacts (although LinkedIn can be very useful) but constantly thinking of how you can support and help your contacts and network and reach out to them in a non-transactional way. The more you give, the more likely you will find people looking out for you.

Gillian Elcock

Gillian Elcock is the Founder and Managing Director of Denny Ellison, a research and training firm focused on the equity research and asset management industries.

Before founding Denny Ellison, Gillian worked as an equity research analyst for several
years at asset management companies in the USA and the UK, including Putnam Investments and Insight Investment. She started her career as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.

Gillian is the author of the award-winning book How to Get an Equity Research Analyst Job: A Guide to Starting a Career in Asset Management.

She is Vice Chair of the Content and Networks Steering Committee of the CFA UK as well as Co-Chair of the Research Analysts Special Interest Group (RASIG) and Chair of the SIG Council.

Gillian holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and MEng and BSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Top tip: Try to find something that you really enjoy doing that motivates you to get up every morning. It may take you one, two or even more tries before you find out what that thing really is. The worst thing in the world is to hate or even only barely tolerate your job, but that’s the state of play for far too many people. Don’t compare yourself to others
your true calling may be totally different from those of your classmates or your friends. Imagine if Roger Federer had tried to become a chef, or conversely if Jamie Oliver had tried to establish a career in tennis. Even if we don’t all quite achieve the levels of success of these two people, we can all try to find a job that we enjoy, are good at, and can earn a living from, all at once.

Alastair Dean, CFA

Alastair Dean has worked for Stonehage Fleming since July 2015 and works within the Equity Fund Manager selection team where he is responsible for due diligence and research on global and regional equity mandates. Prior to this he worked on the investment team for four years at Mazars Financial Planning and was responsible for fund manager selection across a broad range of asset classes and portfolio construction for private client portfolios. Prior to this, he worked as a CLO Trust Analyst since 2007 for a variety of banks, including US Bank, ABN Amro and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

He graduated in 2007 with a degree in Business Maths and Statistics from the London School of Economics and began his career at ABN AMRO. Alastair qualified as a CFA charterholder in 2014.

Alastair is a member of the CFA UK Society and is also a member of the Careers Committee.

Top Tip: Hone your skills and aim for improvement every day, be it in areas that you are already good at, or areas where you need work. The more skills and experience you have the more employable you are!

Elena Koycheva, CFA, CAIA, CIPM

Elena Koycheva is a member of the Global Business Development Team at BlueBay Asset Management where she focuses on developing new business opportunities with institutional clients and financial institutions while presenting the firm’s capabilities in fixed income asset management. Prior to joining BlueBay in September 2016, Elena was a member of the Lead Portfolio Management Team within the Global Portfolio Solutions Group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where she worked on providing pensions and multi-asset class investment management solutions to defined benefit pension plans and worked on global business development opportunities for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, insurers and third-party distributors. Elena started her investment management career at Candriam Investors Group (formerly Dexia Asset Management) where she acquired experience in performance analysis and business development.

Elena holds a Master’s Degree in Portfolio Management and a Master’s Degree in Corporate Finance from IAE Gustave Eiffel, University of Paris XII and a Master’s Degree in Banking, Finance and Risk Management from the University of Paris XIII. She holds a Summa Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Business Administration: Finance, Minor in Economics from Richmond, the American International University in London. Elena is a CFA charterholder, a CAIA charterholder and a CIPM designation holder

Elena leads the CFA UK Society Career Opportunities Working Ground and is a member of the CAIA London Executive Committee. Previously, Elena was a member of the CFA UK Membership Committee and the Careers Committee. She also worked closely with the Society’s Gender Diversity Network.
Top tip: Never stop learning! Investment management is more dynamic than ever before and we owe investors a professional understanding that keeps up with the latest trends. This also ensures long-term career success. In addition, be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Always challenge yourself and believe in your own values.

Anna Salim, CFA

Anna Salim is a Senior Investment Associate at Revolution Capital Group, a pan- European and North American mid-market private equity investor, focused on special situations such as turnarounds and corporate carveouts. Based out of Revolution’s London office, Anna leads the firm’s European origination efforts and works within the deal team to evaluate and execute investments in companies that can benefit from Revolution’s operational and strategic expertise.

Prior to moving to London and joining the world of private equity, Anna was based out of Toronto where she worked in Institutional Equity Research at Cormark Securities, covering the Canadian Financial services sector. Anna also has extensive experience in asset liability management, having worked as a portfolio manager within Corporate Treasury at TD Bank Group, where she managed the market risks of TD’s non-trading banking book. Anna holds an Honours BA in Economics from Victoria College, University of Toronto and an MBA from Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario. She received her CFA Charter in 2012.                                     

Top tip: Take an entrepreneurial approach to your role – get involved in as much as possible, bring a unique perspective to every deal, and show real passion and curiosity for getting into the details of every project.                                                                       

Oksana Yudenko, CFA

Oksana Yudenko heads up Business Development and Strategy at Alterest, a London-based data analytics platform transforming the way loan portfolios are managed. Prior to that, Oksana spent seven years on an innovative discretionary wealth advisory team at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. Oksana holds an MBA from London Business School and is a CFA charterholder.

Top tip: Go after your goals with determination but stay open-minded. You never know what opportunity ends up being your dream job.

Don’t miss our next event: Harnessing curiosity to drive your career