Interviews – Financial – James Davis

James Davis, 22, is an assistant portfolio manager at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. He assists in the management of private money in the private investment bank

What is your role within the organisation?
I help a manager and team with the investment process within the company as a whole and help deal with clients.

How did you get the job?
I applied in the summer and had four interviews before I got the job. The first stage was largely eliminatory. I had to do a psychometric test. I was fairly lucky; I’ve heard of people going through an interview procedure of fifteen rounds. I was the only graduate they employed in September. They then employed another graduate in January, but out of a group of 40, there are only about four people under 25. Age is a concern because you will obviously be lacking experience.

What experience did you have?
I worked for the investment bank Flemings doing an undergraduate internship for two months. I also did work experience at school and at university. This experience definitely helped me get the job. That, combined with academic qualities, which may be lacking in my case, definitely helped other people.

What sort of training were you given?
I was given lots of training and have four sets of exams. I was given general training within the department and by the manager.

What does an average day involve?
I usually work from about 8am to 6pm, five days a week. I get in to read the newspaper so I am up to date about what is happening, then I check my e-mails and appointments. I speak to clients throughout the day, either organising their timetable and checking what time they can come in to discuss their investment interests. My day to day job involves constant client contact but on a weekly basis I might work out where investments are going with the client.

What has been the achievement you have been most proud of?
Since I’ve started work the highest point has been specialising in two sectors; telecoms and media. Within a team we analyse these sectors. This is very interesting; it’s both relevant and exciting.

What sort of characteristics do you need to work in your role?
You need to work well in a team, you need to be motivated and you need to be able to look into the future. Above all, it’s important to be able to have fun.

Where do you go from here?
The next rung is from assistant to manager. It all depends how hard I work and my degree of success.

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