What is your title at Progeny and what does your role entail?
I am a Trainee Investment Analyst at Progeny. I am responsible for conducting due diligence on stocks – both at single stock and at fund level. I undertake quantitative analysis across all our portfolio solutions and assist in their management. I implement investment strategies as directed by the Progeny investment managers.
How long have you worked in your field?
I have worked in this field for just under two years. I joined Progeny as a Trainee Investment Analyst after attaining a First Class BSc in Mathematics from the University of Leeds in July 2019.
Why did you choose this profession?
I first gained an interest in the financial markets by reading the FT Weekend newspaper and the Investors Chronicle during grammar school.
However, it was not until my time at university that I really developed my knowledge of the industry. I joined the Trading and Investment Society early on and was an active member throughout each year. The society had an annual competition in which we would split into teams, each with a different investment strategy with the aim to outperform one another.
This experience, coupled with the external speaker events, is how I realised I wanted to turn my hobby into a profession. Interestingly, one event that has stuck with me was where we had two Investment Managers from Investec provide an insight into the industry and one of them was Robert Harrison who I work alongside at Progeny today.
Tell us a bit about the education and qualifications you need to do your job.
I gained my degree in mathematics, however, that is not the only route to becoming a Trainee Investment Analyst. Education to degree standard is required, and areas such as mathematics, finance and economics would all be beneficial but not essential.
To conduct my role, the CISI Level 4 Diploma (Investment Advice Diploma, or equivalent) is required.
In addition to the qualifications, what further skills, experience and attributes do you think make for a good Trainee Investment Analyst?
There are a number of attributes that would make for a good Trainee Investment Analyst. Good numerical skills and a strong understanding of Microsoft Office, in particular Excel, are obvious attributes.
But the ones that may be overlooked are the interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with investment managers, clients and fund managers to name a few. Also, a good Trainee Investment Analyst will need to have a well-developed attention to detail and be inquisitive to really understand the matter at hand.
What advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow in your career footsteps?
I would say if you have a developing interest in the financial markets and you would like to pursue a career as a Trainee Investment Analyst then ensure that you do your research.
For me, one of the most enlightening decisions I took in my journey to becoming a Trainee Investment Analyst was to open a personal trading account. It does not have to be a substantial amount of money, but it provided me with a vested interest in the global financial markets and I was able to witness first-hand how various factors can affect investment.
If increasing your understanding of the financial markets is a hobby of yours then I believe this would naturally help you prepare to develop this more formally into a career in the financial services.
What do you see as the next step in your career?
I am currently working towards my CISI Charted Wealth Manager Qualification and upon completion I aim to progress towards an Investment Manager role in which I can have a more active input into the investment strategies here at Progeny.