Mr. Jake King-Smith is an alumnus of the ICMA Centre, having done his undergraduate studies in International Securities at the University of Reading. He managed to secure a summer internship in the Sales & Trading division at BNP Paribas and turned this internship into a permanent role. After graduating from university in 2010, he joined the Corporate Rates Sales team at BNP Paribas and built his career for the next eight years. After developing an expertise in that field, he joined Goldman Sachs in September 2018 as Executive Director.
During the talk, Jake alongside explaining the different departments of an Investment Bank, discussed about their relationship within the bank. For example, Debt Capital Market, where Mr. Smith is involved, is working closely with the M&A department on project especially on debt advisory using a wide range of financial instruments that include interest swaps, equities, FX and derivatives.
Mr. Smith also shared some useful tips on how to stand out in his application and be successful in the financial sector. He highlighted the importance of insight days and internship opportunities because it can lead to graduate scheme offers which was the case for him at BNP Paribas. Another recommendation was the importance of building connections in the sector you want to develop your career in by using tools such as LinkedIn or by attending events like the ICMA Insight talks that he found really inspiring at the time he was an ICMA student.
During the Q&A session, Jake answered several questions from the attendance. Some of these questions asked about what skills or experience he was personally looking for during an interview, the difference in today’s trading compared to 10 years ago and what position a student without experience in Investment Banking, should consider to start their career.
Mr. Smith stressed the fact that it is really important to stay updated on financial news and to make sure to understand it. Also, he suggested that it is by trying a role that you might find the place that fits you best in Investment Banking, there is no wrong way of entering Finance.
The ICMA Centre and the UoR Finance Society thank Mr. Smith for attending University of Reading to deliver an insightful talk!