“I always wanted to go to a top-tier school and I couldn’t have had a better experience”
For Ido Givon, taking the Masters in Finance (MiF) in 2014 was a dream come true. He quit his job as an M&A manager at investment bank Giza Singer Even in Israel to move to London. Ido then spent the next 12 months fulfilling his long-held ambition to live and study in the world’s greatest financial centre.
“I really love finance and wanted to explore it in an academic sense,” he says. “I spent each day at LBS studying a subject close to my heart, which was fantastic. I’d go from a class on M&A to one on corporate finance or fixed-income securities and felt like I was on a fairground ride – it was that exciting.”
The programme gave Ido the opportunity to broaden his finance knowledge. He was well versed in investment banking, but wanted to explore other areas of the industry such as corporate finance. “I was exposed to methodologies and frameworks that I’d not really explored in my career,” he says.
Studying at LBS also instilled in Ido the confidence and expertise to intern at Blackstone in the summer of 2015. “I would never have been able to go from working at an investment bank in Israel to one of the world’s leading investment firms without LBS,” he says. “I was interviewed by several senior professionals at the firm, one after the other, on a series of technical and theoretical issues. The School was an amazing boot camp that prepared me for this process, and for joining a firm like Blackstone.”
Away from the classroom, Ido took advantage of the full LBS experience. He became co-president of the student-led Private Equity & Venture Capital Club and was elected career representative for his class, where he helped peers prepare for job interviews. Ido later became a Student Ambassador, sharing his experiences with people thinking of studying at the School.
Understanding the nuances of finance is serving Ido well in his current role as associate of EMEA M&A at Nomura in London. The job, which he started in early 2016, sees him and his team working with clients to develop deal structures, analyse acquisition opportunities and execute complex financial analyses, which are all crucial to a transaction’s success.
“I have a greater insight into the technical aspects of M&A, making me a better mentor to the junior people in my team,” he says. “I also understand how to value a company and the complexities of investment bank financing, which is something we encounter when working on deals.”
Reflecting on his time at LBS, Ido describes the experience as life-changing. “I always wanted to go to a top-tier school and I couldn’t have had a better experience,” he says. “I made new friends, deepened my knowledge in areas I would never have covered and was ultimately able to transition to one of the world’s leading banks.”