Edward Grissell took on the fast-paced industry of sales on the global markets after graduating from university with a graduate role at multinational bank Nomura. How has he found the experience so far?
What first attracted you to a career in banking?
I really wanted a career that would challenge me and give me the opportunity to have responsibility from an early stage as a graduate. I had an interest in financial markets and a banking graduate role gives me the chance to play a part in it.
How did you secure your graduate role at Nomura? What did you do to make yourself stand out?
Getting experience and a feel for the industry early on is vital in helping you to secure a graduate role when you get to that stage. I attended a Spring Week at Nomura whilst at university. It’s the best way to get your foot in the door and get a broad insight into the firm and the roles on offer.
On the Spring Week I took part in organised activities – as part of one of the activities I had to make a sales pitch – I ended up selling my shoe!
During the application process it’s important to make the most of your experience and attributes that make you different from other candidates. And on an internship you need be sure to be personable, proactive and ultimately someone who the potential employer can visualise as indispensable to the team.
What is your role at Nomura? Why did you choose this area of banking?
I work on the sales side of prime brokerage, sitting in global markets. I feel my role suits me as it is challenging and I am inquisitive about the product. Secondly, the role itself gives me access to gain a much broader knowledge in terms of financial markets.
One of the most important factors in choosing this role was that I felt that I got on well with the team.
Could you describe the department and team you work with?
The service we sell can be thought of as a one stop shop for hedge fund clients, we provide them with the ability to short stocks, to obtain leveraged finance and to synthetically create positions amongst much more.
We also extend our products out to sell other services including clearing and settlement services, Futures and Options Execution and Clearing and OTC (Over-The-Counter) Derivatives Clearing. These services can be thought of as post execution services. It is important to note that regulation has meant our products are changing and adapting all the time- hence motivation to learn constantly is vital.
The role then broadens to almost a business development role, where we have to focus on the bank as a whole and where we can add value to our clients.
What does it mean to work in Global Markets?
The Global Markets division generally handles client transactions for financial institutions, corporates, governments and investment funds around the world. We act as market makers, trading in fixed income and equity securities, including currencies, interest rates and credit in cash, derivatives and structured products. We have taken market-leading positions across the globe by leveraging the strength of our talent, client relationships and technology.
In my opinion, global financial markets are the engine of the world, they make the world function and without them, it would be a very different place. To work in global markets for me means playing an integral part in our economy.
What is it about working in Global Markets that you enjoy most?
I find that I do spend a lot of my time at work outside of my comfort zone which is really useful for development. I really enjoy the challenge.
What was the trickiest thing you’ve had to overcome so far?
The sheer amount to learn is something that can seem very daunting- so that is something that can be constantly ‘tricky’. Going alone to conferences and networking events can also be tricky, especially considering those you are networking with have been in the industry for a lot longer than you.
Will there be any opportunities to travel or visit offices abroad?
Yes, within Europe and possibly New York or Asia.
Do you have any ambitions for what you’d like to achieve in banking further down the line?
I feel my current role sets me up well for progression up the ladder in the future. However for the foreseeable future I think there is plenty to be aiming for in my current role!
What would you say graduates need to do to be successful in banking?
I’d say generally being proactive is a necessity, as well as the ability to think outside of business norms. Contrary to what many think, an entrepreneurial spirit in banking is vital, which cannot be stressed enough.