A Day in the Life of ... Ben Black

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Ben Black
Degree: BA History
University: King’s College London
Grad year: 2011
Role: Analyst

Why did you choose to work for Canaccord Genuity Limited (CGL)?

Canaccord Genuity has always had a stellar reputation in the mid-market, which drove my decision to apply. Since joining, it has offered a fantastic opportunity to work in a small team with more exposure than you would typically have at some of our larger competitors. This means you really are getting stuck in to live deals and meeting clients as soon as you have finished your training, which makes it a very fast paced and exciting atmosphere to learn in.

What does your current role involve?

I work in M&A advisory in investment banking and as you progress, the role you play really changes over time. In the broad sense, we offer companies strategic and financial advice, helping them formulate and articulate their growth plans to raise equity and/or debt finance from the private or public markets. We also work on the other side of the table, advising companies on whether they should be acquiring other organisations or assets.

As a junior investment banker, your job is predominantly to manage the detail and help your clients formulate their business plans and understand the key risks and attractions of their business from an investor’s perspective. You might be doing anything from drafting marketing materials and building financials models, to analysing market trends or liaising with investors to help them understand our clients and their businesses properly. The only thing you can really guarantee is that it will vary every day!

What training does CGL provide?

CG provides the same 8 week graduate programme, with the same training companies as the bulge-bracket banks. The difference here is that there are eight to ten of you in the room as opposed to 20+, which makes the training much more interactive and tailored towards individuals. After the graduate training, there remains a huge amount on offer and indeed a programme right through to MD level – drawing on different skills that you will need as your career progresses. If there is anything you feel is lacking along the way, you can always ask for training to be provided.

Do you have any hints/ tips/ advice for anyone wanting to work in banking?

Try it first! It is a fantastic and rewarding job for anyone with an interest in how businesses work and what drives growth and M&A, however, it is not for everyone. There are plenty of opportunities out there for internships and work experience, which will give you a flavour of the industry. Clearly these are still very competitive, but don’t shy away from applying to lots of them and equally don’t be put off if you don’t get one.

What differentiates CGL from other mid-market firms?

Canaccord Genuity has established itself as the only truly integrated investment bank serving mid-market companies. Whilst many of our competitors have a focus in one particular offering, we are the only firm with the ability and real depth to offer advice across the full spectrum of M&A advisory and Capital markets, Research, Sales & Trading and Wealth Management.

Tell us something about CGL that we won’t be able to find out on the website

The people! The culture here is genuinely collegiate and collaborative, which makes it a fantastic place to learn and to work. Because we are a smaller size than some of our competitors, it becomes even more important that the whole team is open, communicative and that everyone is learning. We don’t have face-time or a push-down culture and everyone works to the same goal of providing our clients with the best advice. If you are looking for a long term career in investment banking, this genuinely is a great place to learn and develop alongside the people around you.

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