Julian graduated with a Bachelor of Business degree in Australia, and worked for about three-and-a half years in real estate finance and residential developments in Sydney. He moved to London at the end of 2005, joining Macquarie Bank, where he worked first in real estate structured finance and then real estate capital. He completed the Masters in Finance programme in 2010.
After three years in London and facing the challenging environment of 2009, I realised that there was going to be a shortage of jobs in what I did, so I made the decision to develop further skills and make a move into equity research covering real estate. I had attended presentations on behalf of Macquarie at London Business School, so I had a fair idea what the programme was all about, and a good friend who had recently completed it suggested I take a look for myself. I’d completed the CFA programme by then, and the preliminary information sessions suggested that for someone like me, who had a finance background and wanted to move within finance, the Masters in Finance was the relevant programme.
It’s a fantastic programme; it gives you a ten month career break and provides a great environment to develop your skills and really think about what you’re looking for in a career. I found it very beneficial to be based in London and made a lot of friends, so I now have good friends and a valuable network all over the world.
The elective modules available on the programme cover a variety of subjects and provide the opportunity to really tailor your experience. My electives included securities analysis and financial modelling, advanced accounting subjects and macro-economics. When I hit the desk I didn’t need to worry about the finance theory and could focus on getting up to speed on other aspects of the job.
The most obvious impact of the programme for me was that it opened the door that secured my current role.
When approaching the job search I went through the alumni database, and looked for those in equity research, making contact with three. This resulted in several calls and meetings to get an understanding on how to make the transition, understand the industry and more – I actually secured one interview through alumni
connections. Barclays Capital recruited on campus, and the Masters in Finance subject matter and my choice of electives gave me the depth of understanding to get me through the interview process. There are also two other London Business School alumni working with me in Equity Research at Barclays Capital.
I began my equity research role with Barclays Capital in August 2010, and it has moved me into public markets – instead of looking at direct real estate transactions, as I was before the programme. I’m now modelling listed real estate companies, completing company valuations, looking at historical performance and analysing the capabilities of their management teams and their strategy to determine if they’re a sound investment. It’s quite a change, and different skill sets are required.
The Masters in Finance provided me with the opportunity to expand my skill set in order to follow this new career path within banking. The elective modules in securities analysis, financial modelling, equity portfolio management, and accounting all provided the skills and knowledge I now use on a daily basis.
London Business School is a fantastic place, with strong connections to the City and other industries. It has access to potential employment companies, but is also very international, with students of lots of different nationalities and valuable experience to give you a perspective and contact in different countries. The Masters in Finance experience includes building your CV, and developing interview skills and a structured approach to finding a job.
I found the expertise, from people who had been in the industry, very valuable for getting through the door.
London Business School is one of the best schools in Europe, so you also get some instant recognition and respect, which definitely helped me – especially being Australian – to secure the job I wanted in London!
*Since having his interview, Julian has returned to Australia where he is now a Research Analyst for Resolution Capital.