1. Brief job description:
Provide assistance in the legal, compliance and risk functions of GAM Systematic whilst taking on ad hoc projects.
2. What were your main responsibilities?
Aside from a supporting role in reviewing marketing material, updating fund documentation, monitoring PA dealing and gifts/entertainment, I took a lead role in developing and monitoring our automated best execution and market abuse reports. I also refined the NAV decline surveillance system and have handled all communications with brokers on this topic. On a quarterly basis, I produced a number of detailed reports looking at compliance monitoring, best execution, market abuse and fund performance.
3. Did you have any projects to work on?
- I have represented my departments in a number of projects including, but not limited to:
- the set-up of an Australian trust vehicle for one of our investment programs;
- the rebranding of the firm from Cantab Capital Partners LLP to GAM Systematic LLP;
- the closure of a fund and the subsequent deregistration and liquidation of entities associated with it;
- an internal audit looking at market abuse;
- regulatory reporting, including form ADV and RTS 28.
4. Day in the life – what does your day look like?
The fact that each day was different was one of the things that I enjoyed most. Working across three departments, which are each broad in themselves, I had wide and deep exposure to the industry. My departments each consisted of just myself and my manager, meaning that I was responsible for many important and challenging tasks.
5. What skills have you learnt, or improved on (department specific, personal, technical etc)?
Before the start of the scheme, I had pretty much no knowledge of the industry so naturally it was a steep learning curve to first understand what was going on around me and then to attempt to make a positive impact, beyond what was expected of me. I have always been very competitive but being the least experienced and least knowledgeable person in the room has taught me a lot about perseverance and the value of asking questions.
Working for the Cambridge team, I was in a unique position to experience both the collegial nature of a smaller firm whilst also experiencing the challenges and benefits that come with working for a much larger, listed company.
6. Did you take any qualifications?
7. Do you have any further learnings or reflections, including adapting to the “remote working” environment?
In an industry that has a reputation for being rather cutthroat, I have been pleasantly surprised by the people I have met. I will never forget when I was in the office quite late one evening aiming to get a marketing presentation signed off for a pitch the next day. In this high pressure environment, I was sat at a table with the founder of the firm on one side and the Co-CIO on the other. I was shown an immense amount of respect when sharing my thoughts and was treated as a peer. Throughout my career, I will ensure that I always treat all colleagues, regardless of seniority, with the high level of respect and kindness that has been offered to me over the year.
I found remote working difficult at first. I am certainly glad that I had the chance to experience the Cambridge office’s pool table and ice cream freezer and I do miss the drinks with colleagues after work. However, I learned to appreciate the benefits such as not having to commute every day. Remote working also put extra emphasis on the importance of communication which has been a good life lesson.
8. What are you moving onto next? Has this year inspired your future outlook or decisions?
I am going to the University of Warwick to study Management. I will continue to work for GAM Systematic as an intern for 1 day per week. I am keeping an open mind about my future career but I feel as though I may well end up in the finance industry.
9. Can you summarise your experience?
It has been an incredible experience and the best year of my life. I have made business connections and friends that I hope to keep for a long time to come and the amount I have learned cannot be overstated.