We caught up with Alice, a Legal Analyst at 9fin, to find out more about her route into the profession, what makes 9fin unique and her advice to future applicants.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m from a little seaside town in Cornwall and studied Law at the University of Bristol. As part of my course, I studied abroad at the University of Hong Kong – as well as a personal challenge to push myself outside of my comfort zone, it was an incredibly rewarding experience. I studied a bunch of different modules that were not offered by the UK’s curriculum at undergraduate level and also experienced a different culture. As well as this, I have always had an interest in financial markets and skewed my modules and research projects towards commercial law
What inspired you to apply you to 9fin?
I loved the fact that it is a start-up, which means that you can make a real impact from day one. When I first started, I was the only Legal Analyst on the team, so I was given a lot of responsibility straight away but also provided with plenty of support in both my personal growth and career development. Due to the small size of the team, it also means you are working side-by-side with the founders - so you learn a lot from them. They are true innovators within the industry and have a unique outlook on the role of technology – they do not see it as something that just serves the business, to them it is the business.
It also allowed me to marry up my interests in finance, law, and technology – so it was a perfect fit that has allowed me to gain exposure to the industry!
What is your role and how long have you been at 9fin?
I have been a Legal Analyst at 9fin for give or take 7 months. I analyse high yield bonds and leveraged loans which are then read by investors and can influence their decisions on whether they push back on the legals of a deal. I also analyse data that enables me to write reports on the current legal trends in the market.
This is my main role within the team, and of course technology is heavily implemented into this process.
What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your role
For me, as generic as it might sound, it is communication. Since joining 9fin I’ve realised how important communication really is – if you need help or have any questions, you just need to communicate that to the team. It keeps things running smoothly and at a faster pace.
What would a ‘normal’ day look like as a Legal Analyst at 9fin?
It varies every day, depending how busy the primary market is. Typically, one or two deals are launched that require analysing. I also spend time liaising with clients and building those relationships as well as engaging with other project teams within 9fin – this helps when it comes to identifying ways to grow and improve our legal product offering. It could also potentially involve preparation for presenting a webinar or the next legal trends report.
What do you find most interesting about the industry you’re in?
For me it is how innovative and dynamic the whole environment is. Everything is fast paced and as someone who prefers a varied workload, it fits my personality and work style perfectly.
What is the company culture like at 9fin?
Very open. You can voice your opinion and feel like your opinion actually matters, rather than just being a cog in the machine that you get at some other companies. Even being relatively new and junior in the role, I feel like I am able to speak my mind and I have actually had an impact from the beginning! If you think of a way that technology could be making your life easier, you can just engage with the relevant teams and they will help bring your ideas to life!
How important is diversity to 9fin?
It’s really important. 9fin offer an alternative path into investment banking in a healthy and positive environment where you do not feel disposable. We are always sourcing candidates from diverse backgrounds as well, which is the reason why we have partnered with Bright Network.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at 9fin?
They do not hire based solely on previous experience; they are searching for talent There is a really important distinction between talent and experience and I think I am a good example of having limited experience but managing to obtain the job based on potential.
My advice would be to make sure you demonstrate your willingness to learn and show off the transferable skills you have developed. From my experience with the process, these are the most important aspects to stress.