About me

Jake D.
History
History
BA
Alcuin
2010
United Kingdom

About this profile

Associate Director
Stephens Inc
United Kingdom
Finance and consultancy
Large business (250+ employees)

About the job

What I do

Mergers and Acquisitions in Investment Banking, with a specific focus on Financial Institutions Group (FIG) - advising banks, hedge funds, asset and wealth managers and insurance companies

Skills I use and how I developed them

At the beginning of the career, there is a lot of modelling and valuation of businesses, which requires strong excel skills. This is something which is taught to you on the job.

As you move up it become more about how you present the company to potential buyers and the strategic goals/ ambitions of the company which will make it attractive to a wider range of people. Being able to present complex financial models or business models in a clear coherent manner is an invaluable skill and one which will come with experience (although I do believe my History degree helped me with this).

A lot of the time you are dealing with the owners of businesses, large corporations or private equity businesses, so you need to develop your interpersonal skills to be able to relate to different groups.

Trust is also something which cannot be ignored - the client needs to know that you are always there for them and willing to help them through the whole process, whether it is sale, acquisition, JV etc

What I like most

Variation of companies that I get to work with and the challenge of working with some very intelligent and successful people

What I like least

The hours can be extremely long, especially at the start of the career

My career

My career history

Ernst & Young (2010-2013)
Fenchurch Advisory Partners (2013-2017)
Stephens Inc (2018 to present)

Courses taken since graduation

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst at Ernst & Young

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Hopefully running my business

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Be proactive in terms of seeking relevant and appropriate skills & experience. As someone who is involved in graduate recruitment - the market place is so competitive - employers are asking for more and CVs/applications really need to stand out.

My advice about working in my industry

Be prepared to work hard - it is an extremely competitive environment and you need to work hard to learn the basics and get ahead


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