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Meet Valerie

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There are many opportunities here for people with diverse talents. Anyone who is entrepreneurial, hardworking, and able to contribute good ideas can make a difference.
Valerie, Head of Research Operations
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Position: Head of Research Operations, Investment Bank

Location: New York, USA

I manage Research Operations, which consists of a team of 75 supervisory analysts and publishing professionals, supporting more than 700 research analysts across the globe. Our team is responsible for reviewing, editing and approving hundreds of reports each day. It could be described as a mini-publishing company within a bank.

In order to have best-in-class research, we need to have best-in-class content and delivery. Our clients expect us to produce timely, insightful analysis on market-moving events and deliver it to them through multiple channels: email, on Barclays Live (client portal), hard copy and, lately, through our Research App. With so many distribution channels and constantly changing market conditions, we are continuously under pressure to meet deadlines. There is never a dull moment.

Looking back on my career, I would never have expected to be in this role today. I grew up in France and received degrees from McGill University in Montreal and Balliol College, Oxford. I worked in journalism and publishing for ten years. I was part of a political magazine start-up in London. Working for such a small firm made me understand the world of publishing, from writing to actual production. We were exposed to everything.

In 2000, I saw an advertisement for a role in an investment bank. They were looking for someone who was creative and from a publishing background to join their economics team. I was thrilled to hear that I had been selected for the role, despite my lack of experience in economics or banking, and I have never looked back. In 2003, I was promoted to head of Fixed Income Research Operations in Europe and in 2005, I was asked to relocate to New York to head the function globally.

Moving my family to New York was both exciting and challenging. I was fortunate to be given the support that I needed from Barclays to make the transition and have benefited from informal mentors who have guided me along the way. Having exposure to different cultures has helped me succeed in my role. Our strength as a firm has a lot to do with our diverse population and talent, and our global footprint. Teams with different nationalities, and educational and professional backgrounds, are stronger and more productive, encouraging you to see things from a different perspective.

My move to New York and my new responsibilities are a constant reminder that you don’t have to be a ‘banker’ to succeed in the world of finance: there are many opportunities here for people with diverse talents. Anyone who is entrepreneurial, hardworking, and able to contribute good ideas can make a difference. You just need to be prepared to learn what you don’t know. If you don’t like to adapt to change, this is not the right industry for you.

In 2010, I was promoted to Managing Director. Since then, I have been involved in the Women’s Initiatives Network (WiN) in Barclays’ Investment Bank division. There are over 2,600 members globally and our goal is to attract, retain and develop talented women. Recently, I was appointed Diversity Champion for Research and I was invited to join the Investment Bank’s Global Diversity Council. It’s important to foster an inclusive culture at all levels of the organisation. 

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