It was great to hear the personal career stories and advice from Macquarie investors Peter Steyn and Jamie Laskovski at our first Investor Insights virtual roundtable of the year on 15 March.
Peter is a top-rated investment professional leading Macquarie’s equities research division for Building materials, Steel and Waste Mgt. He has a wealth of experience across the industry and had some enlightening stories to share about some of his successes, and how he coped when he was on the wrong side of the call.
Jamie is an Associate Analyst in Macquarie’s equities research division, covering Telecommunications, Media and Technology. He shared his transition from university to a career in investment management and his best advice for landing the job. Having applied for over 100 positions, Jamie came to understand that hiring managers were looking for a demonstrated passion and curiosity about markets, and he had some great advice for building your own portfolio and honing your financial modelling skills.
Future IM/Pact founder, Yolanda Beattie facilitated the conversation and asked the speakers about their roles as sell-side analysts and how it differs from the buy-side.
Jamie offered a great explanation on the differences between sell-side and buy-side and why he chose to pursue a role as a sell-side analyst. He explained that sell-side refers to investment banking firms such as Macquarie or JP Morgan who dive deep into stock analysis and “sell” their recommendations to clients on the buy-side, who are generally institutional and retail investors such as super funds, hedge funds or private equity groups.
“I gravitated to the sell-side because I wanted to learn the skills of detailed analysis early in my career. On the sell-side, we are analysing a smaller set of stocks in much greater detail and need to know all the little nitty gritty details, which is how we add value to our clients on the buy-side.”
Peter elaborated on how building strong relationships was key to his success on the sell-side, and how he feels about the constant sales aspect of the role.
“Over time I’ve built deep, hard-fought relationships with clients through well-researched, well-considered and consistent advice. Eventually you come to have strong, trusting relationships that become less about a sales process and more of a natural and interactive process of sharing information and insights.”
Jamie reflected on his first day at Macquarie, working from home during covid lockdown. He started his role during the August reporting season and was thrown straight into analysing results and working with financial modelling which were vastly more complex than the ones he was used to at university. His advice was to accept and embrace the steep learning curve of the first six months and really apply your passion and curiosity about the markets, asking lots of questions and learning from colleagues. He also suggested investing time now in researching and understanding financial modelling through courses or online information to make the transition easier.
Peter shared his advice for how people entering the industry can build a sustainable market-facing career, in a fast-paced environment that can be intense and emotionally-driven.
“Having perspective, patience and trusting the process is key. The intensity of daily market movements can be overwhelming so having a steady foundation and removing the emotionality out of decision-making is critical. The more patient you are, the more you learn and the better you become.”
Both Peter and Jamie emphasised how important it is to have a passion and curiosity about the markets and to persistently build your networks by reaching out to people on LinkedIn, attending networking or industry events, and staying connected with Future IM/Pact.
“We need a range of different perspectives and viewpoints in this business so never underestimate your ability to add a contribution to a sell-side team” said Peter.
Stay connected with Yolanda and our speakers Peter and Jamie by following them on LinkedIn to hear their ongoing industry insights.
Find out more about our Future IM/Pact Early Career Program, offering you unparalleled access to industry leaders, tailored development experiences and networking opportunities throughout the year.
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