We caught up with Eimear to find out about her experiences at abrdn and get exclusive insight into what a typical day in her role looks like. Read on to find out more…
Tell us a bit about your background
I studied Accounting and Finance at LSE in London. After graduating I applied directly to the abrdn graduate scheme, a key attraction of which was the rotational aspect which would allow me to rotate across different functions within the business. I joined the multi-asset investment stream, rotating to three different teams within before finishing my graduate scheme early when I was offered a permanent role as an investment analyst in the Absolute Return team.
What is your role at abrdn?
My role as an Investment Analyst is very varied, as it covers both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Within Multi-Asset Investments, you usually have a specialist asset class area, for me, this is within Equities and ESG (Environmental and Social Governance). The role is very dynamic as it is based on what’s happening currently in the market, this focus on current affairs means that there are always new and exciting projects to work on. Recently. I have been supporting new project developments and working with new funds, with a particular focus on responsible investing and ESG so research has been key here. There are also many quantitative aspects to my role where I use software to carry out tasks such as statistical analysis for our funds.
Alongside my role, I am studying towards my CFA. So far, I’ve completed one out of the three levels and am working towards achieving my level two in February. To support my studies, I have 5 days (per year) of study leave leading up to the exams and around the exam period, my team at abrdn are understanding and give me the space to focus on my studies.
What does a day look like in your role?
Although no ‘day in the life’ as an Investment Analyst is the same here’s an example of some of the things you could expect to be doing.
My mornings start with a meeting with the wider team where we cover topics including markets, news, and other current issues which could potentially impact our work. We review what is coming up that day, discuss what research meetings are on, and have updates on any portfolio changes.
9:00 – 9:30
I spend this time reading up on broker research and catching up with any news, so I am ready for what is ahead in the day.
9:30 – 10:30
Project meeting for a new trade idea that I am working on with my team. Due to the nature of the role and the fact that we are watching macro-markets all the time, projects are short-term and dynamic so we may have to prioritise something new that’s come up on the day.
10:30 – 12:00
Projects based on new trade ideas are research-heavy so I would spend my time following the meeting reading up on the industry and topic area, before writing up my findings. Depending on the nature of the project, the research could be very quantitative where I am using Excel for analysis or qualitative where my time is more heavily focused on reading up around the topic.
12:00 – 13:00
Lunchtime! Having the flexibility to work from home means that I can spend my lunchtime relaxing, catching up with friends, or chatting with colleagues. Towards exam season, I also find that this lunch hour is a great time to do some studying.
14:00 – 15:00
In our team at abrdn, we target consistent absolute returns from global multi-asset markets for our clients and so there are often many research meetings to attend both internally and externally. Meeting with external research providers is always so interesting, we can gain insight into macro views and research from a number of different sources which often helps us to form our own trade ideas and help our clients achieve their goals. With my recent focus on ESG research, I love that I can help clients focus on more than just their financial outcomes, but also how they can invest in sustainability to create a more positive world.
15:00 - 18:00
In the build-up to our quarterly round table meeting where all of our investment strategies are reviewed, most of my afternoon will be spent doing a rigorous process of updating all the research on abrdn’s current funds across the various asset classes. I find this an exciting time of each quarter and enjoy the process of keeping up to date in anticipation of the 3-day debate.
18:00 – onwards
A bonus of working at abrdn is being a part of a friendly graduate cohort, this means that after a day at work I can catch up with the other grads over a few drinks and get to know them. I am also part of the NextGen Network; through this, I have been to various social events outside of work and I would definitely recommend to any new grads joining abrdn to get involved. Networks are a great way to network with senior leaders, learn new skills, and get to know new people.
What is your favourite thing about your role?
Idea generation is definitely the highlight of my role, I love the variety of projects I can get involved in and how I am able to become an expert on something that I previously knew nothing about. Recently, I carried out thorough research on Chinese renewable companies, I presented the outcome to my team and got to see how it performed and how funds invested in it based on my research. I also find working on new funds super exciting, especially when there is a real emphasis on sustainability as this is one of my greatest interests.
I also value that at abrdn you join the team as a part of a graduate cohort, this has created a really supportive group dynamic that is particularly helpful around exam season. It is great to feel like you have other people in it with you and if you’re stuck on something there’s always someone there to help you out.
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You can also check out exclusive application advice from their graduate's persepctives in this article.