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On the job with an Investment Analyst

Manager, Investment Research & Analysis, FCSI, CIM, Manulife

1. Tell me about your current job as Manager, Investment Research & Analysis at Manulife

In my area, Investment Management Services, we manage the Manulife mutual fund and segregated fund managers. There are over 150 different funds that we oversee. Personally, I am responsible for a group of fund managers. We are responsible for the hiring, monitoring, reviewing, and sometimes firing of managers. We provide information and peace of mind that fund managers are being tracked and watched.

For example, some of Manulife’s funds are managed by Fidelity. I am responsible for reviewing the funds on a quarterly basis (performance, management style, etc.) to make sure the managers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing --- meeting the fund’s mandate, performance, etc. This is done by reviewing various reports we receive from the firm as well as external reports and an on site due diligence visits with the fund company. From this quarterly review, I will prepare a commentary which will go out to the sales force (i.e., the brokers, planners, and other sales people who sell Manulife funds).

2. So, your clients are who?

My clients are the mutual fund wholesalers. The mutual fund wholesalers’ clients are the financial advisors and planners who sell the funds to their clients, the public.

3. What is the compensation structure of your job?

Salary plus an incentive bonus.

4. What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m usually in the office by 8 am and begin my day by catching up on the newspapers and other information sources such as subscriptions to research and information sources. I often have discussions with current and prospective fund managers. Everyday there is usually something going on with one investment manager or another. I usually spend some time preparing weekly and or monthly commentaries about the funds.

Usually the busiest time is at the end of the quarter when we’re doing our due diligence. The weeks can be really long with 12 hour days...

5. Do you travel with your job?

Yes, once per year we visit each fund manager. Since our fund managers are located all over the world, we travel to see them. We usually spend one day going through every aspect of their company – from the senior management group to the compliance department, so we get an idea of the direction the company is going in.

6. What skills does someone need to have to do your job?

Quantitative skills because I am constantly analyzing and interpreting data and information. Being proficient in statistical analysis helps a lot. Having the CSC has helped and the CFA is an asset. As well, the skills I’ve learned through training and experience.

7. How did you get into the financial services industry?

I started cold calling for a broker and then moved to BMO Investorline where I was an Investment Representative. I then became a mutual fund salesperson for two years and then an Investment Fund Analyst for 3 ½ years – both with Bank of Montreal. After that I joined Manulife and took CSI’s Investment Management Techniques Course (IMT) and the Portfolio Management Techniques Course (PMT).

8. How has education played a role in your career success?

Education has had a positive contribution to my career success. It has definitely opened doors for me. You have to have it if you want to go anywhere in this business.

9. What do you like best about the FS industry?

The industry is constantly changing, there is always something new. There is room to implement your ideas.

10. What advice do you have for someone starting out in the financial services industry?

Break into the industry by getting into a large organization. That way you can learn about the different areas and get a feeling for what you might like to do and what you need to do to get there. Large organizations have more opportunities for you to learn and try.

11. What kind of education do you think they need?

CSC minimum.

The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee and not necessarily those of the firms where they work.