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Meet Tessa

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I think private banking is different because there is a focus on soft skills. I think some people get the perception that it is quite a lot like investment banking… it is very different.
Tessa, Portfolio Manager
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Position: Portfolio Manager, Wealth and Investment Management

Location: London, UK

I read Economics at the University of Manchester, and while Barclays doesn't specifically ask for applicants to have a maths-related degree, I have found it useful. Colleagues studied subjects like philosophy which is obviously very different, so that was also something that they were looking for.

The Wealth and Investment Management division of Barclays appealed to me because it seems to be a real area that the company as a whole is investing a lot of money in.

The graduate programme seems very well structured. They have different rotations during the programme, one of which is the international element and several months in the products office, which gives you something that is a bit more market focussed and a final rotation in one of the wider wealth businesses.

I wouldn't really say I had a typical day; it's varied, which is something I enjoy. I start by listening to the morning call, reviewing what happened in the markets, and supporting the bankers in the team on day-to-day things and corresponding with them, pre- and post–meetings. If a deal goes ahead, this is very rewarding. And then on the side-line, in the last year, I have had a lot of project work, which a lot of graduates get involved in.

For me, I enjoy client interaction the most. To understand the client, how they have gained that wealth over the years, look at the different investments and the rationale of why it might be best for them. And sort of pitching that to your banker and going through it prior to the meeting.

A career highlight was definitely passing the first level of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) qualification. It is a difficult exam, and something we all work hard towards so when you pass, it feels really rewarding and obviously nice when colleagues pass as well. I think the studies have allowed me to better understand products and the markets, giving me deeper knowledge so I feel confident in making client recommendations. The CFA qualification is highly regarded throughout the industry, and helps in many ways throughout your career, not just your role at Barclays.

I think private banking is different because there is a focus on soft skills. People may perceive that it is quite a lot like investment banking, but I would emphasise that it is very different.

It is important that you understand what the role is actually going to be like and where your skills lie. Appreciate that Private Banking is very different from other aspects of finance, and that in particular, you need to understand the relationship side very well.

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