Career Case Study: Investment Banking Operations

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Matt Sugden-Jones, Middle-office operations analyst, Citi

Matt graduated with a degree in Politics & Economics from the University of Bath and joined Citi’s analyst programme in July 2010.

There are a lot of misconceptions about working in operations, with many assuming it’s not as exciting as the front office. However, working in this area appeals to me for a number of reasons. I work for the cash equity middle office, in a control and process reengineering role. This means that I focus on trying to automate trade

flow, drive process change and improve the service we provide for clients.

Because we’re responsible for establishing strong controls across the organisation, as well as delivering more effective transaction processing for clients on a global level, I think operations gives you a unique overview of the

entire business.

I’m quite a hands-on person, and my job gives me the opportunity to really make a difference; it’s great to see the results. We’re always trying to change the face of the business and reduce costs for the bank. What’s more, in the current regulatory landscape, operations is arguably more important than ever and is certainly receiving a lot of attention.

There’s also a lot of opportunity for innovation and, if you’re able to come up with the right idea, the team here can make it become reality. For example, I identified a solution at the beginning of this year, which has saved the company $1m annually. Being able to see that sort of tangible benefit is rewarding.

No day is ever the same: I have my routine duties, which include looking into breaks in straight through- processing or how we can provide a solution for a client. However, there is also direct interaction with senior managers who provide ad hoc tasks – analysis of figures or producing in-depth reports, for example. I also had the opportunity to travel out to Japan last year.

The job also requires a lot of networking: we regard the people we interact with elsewhere in the bank as internal clients, but we also deal with clients externally, which keeps life interesting.

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