Author: Maha Khan Phillips
Elena Koycheva, CFA, is senior RFP writer, Global Business Development, at BlueBay Asset Management
She attended Richmond, the American International University in London, where she began her degree in business administration in 2005. She then went on to complete a master’s degree in portfolio management from IAE Gustave Eiffel at Université Paris-Est Créteil in 2009. In Paris, Koycheva’s education in portfolio management was sponsored by Dexia Asset Management, where she also worked as a performance analyst. “From my perspective, all my education was very complementary, and it helped me think about investments in a very comprehensive way,” she explains.
Koycheva went even further in academia, being awarded masters’ degrees in both corporate finance, and in banking, finance, and risk management. If that wasn’t enough, she also earned several professional qualifications, including becoming a CFA charterholder, a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), and being awarded the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM).
In 2012, she joined Goldman Sachs where she was lastly an associate in the Global Portfolio Solutions Group. “It was great because I was involved in various areas such as business development, product management, portfolio management, and worked with defined benefit pension schemes on a global basis. I really learnt a lot,” she says. She moved to BlueBay Asset Management, a global fixed income specialist, two years ago, where she sits within the business development team, and works on structuring investment proposals covering the whole spectrum of long-only, absolute return and alternative fixed income solutions.
She has been volunteering with the Society for some years now. “It really started after I got my charter. You find you have some spare time after completing the charter, and it was really important to me that my education, and professional development, continued. It all started with my interest in the Women’s Network, then I became a member of the Membership Committee, and I’m currently leading the career opportunities working group. People want to hear from investment professionals and understand what it’s like to work in various roles in financial services,” she explains.
Koycheva was a finalist for the Women in Investment 2018 Unsung Hero Award. She believes more can be done to bring women into the investment business. “It’s not a women’s issue, it’s an industry wide issue. Are we tapping into the best talent? It’s interesting that women drop off after five to ten years in the industry, so it’s a big loss to the industry as a whole. This is much broader than gender however. If one is to really engage then it needs to be with the entire industry and not just on women but on topics including diversity, ethnicity, and inclusion as well.