Jacob Ethan Smith
- Course: Mathematics MMath, BSc
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Placement Student
- Company: Redmayne Bentley LLP
What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?
I work for Redmayne Bentley LLP and we are the largest private investment management and stock broking firm in the UK. We provide advisory and discretionary services to retail clients as well as facilitating trade execution.
What is your role within the company?
My role changes over the course of the year as I rotate through three departments. My overall role is to carry out certain set tasks and then provide ad-hoc services to other members of my team.
Can you give me an insight into a typical day?
My daily tasks changed across departments and as I have only been in two so far I can give a breakdown of that time.
Investments: First thing in the morning I have to write a report about the previous day’s market events. This means reporting on issues concerning British and American markets primarily with a general overview of any global economic news of interest. This is then distributed to the whole firm. Then I create a technical analysis of the FTSE 100 index up until the close of the previous day; this is then given to clients. Afterwards I begin work on my research project. I have more activities that occur weekly or bi-weekly such as writing for the Yorkshire Evening Post or our newsletter.
Corporate Actions (CA): The morning starts off with gathering the notices of all corporate actions that were announced the previous day for all companies our clients hold. After that I process and format all non-deliveries of stock/ dividends and then balance the firm’s incoming cash from the Bank of New York (BONY) before processing the incoming cash allocated for company’s dividends. After the morning’s jobs are done I move on to starting internal events for given CAs and sending out letters and emails to our branches and clients regarding the events.
What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?
I enjoyed my time in investments the most as I spent time with people of a similar mind-set and the insight I got from their thinking and investment strategies was extremely interesting. I enjoyed being informed and fluent in current affairs, both political and economic and it has led me to learning an awful lot.
My time was described as “specialist”, as during my research project on Algorithmic Funds I created a machine learning program designed to analyse economic variables and help predict and monitor economic regime shifts (shocks). I enjoyed liaising with my firm’s director of investments to test the models efficiency and potential uses within the firm. This project has helped me develop my learning from my university course and apply it into an industry setting.
Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?
I decided to do a year in industry to develop my skills and to gain an invaluable experience that will aid me in my future career. I understand that getting into the workplace in a career that you want can be difficult and so I wanted to try and make good connections and gain as much experience as I can.
What do you think you have got out of this experience so far?
My time on placement has been invaluable so far. I have gained strong connections to members of the industry, progressed in exams towards a professional qualification and developed my understanding of current events and their implications to the industry.
Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?
Definitely try and find a placement in an area you are interested in. Ultimately you will be working in that field for a year and so if you don’t find it interesting or even potentially useful for your future than your time will pass by very slowly. Often an industry is much broader than you are initially expecting and so many companies may overlap in the area you are interested in in a way that you may not have thought about. So it is definitely worth looking into all possible different routes into your area of interest.