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Darrell Sharpe

Aviva Investors

Mandate Monitoring Trainee

Graduate

Why do you enjoy your job?

In a nutshell, my role is to ensure that the Fund Managers and Traders adhere to the investment guidelines stated in the Investment Management Agreement. We ensure that the clients wants and needs, as well as regulatory requirements, are met. I like the fact that my role allows me to work with the front office daily. We may get an order or trade flag on our system and we have strict time constraints to ensure we perform the required analysis quickly and correctly allowing that trade to pass through to the markets in a timely manner to ensure best execution for the client. I really enjoy learning about different asset classes and how they are used to construct a portfolio.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Personally, I have found the most challenging thing is getting to grips with the terminology used within the industry. You may have an abstract grasp of a concept but applying it to real world scenarios can sometimes be difficult too. It has also been a challenge to keep up with the heavy workload. The nature of my role means there are a lot of deadlines and I’ve been entrusted with many responsibilities early on. This is great for my professional development but can at times prove difficult to keep on top of.

How did you get into your job?

I had a variety of jobs prior to working in the Investment industry. I worked for a blind manufacturing company, laboured on building sites and even did a stint at Smithfield meat market. Eventually I decided I wanted a ‘career’ and figured I’m good with numbers, so why not become an accountant? I didn’t have any A levels so enrolled onto a part-time Access course while working so I could go onto university and study Accounting and Finance. My degree exposed me to the world of finance and piqued my interest in the industry.

After failing to secure a place on a graduate scheme (perhaps due to my unorthodox journey) I came across Investment20/20 and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. After applying for the 2017 intake and securing an assessment centre place I was unsuccessful. Rather than give up I decided to complete my IMC and re-apply the following year. I attended two more assessment centres and secured a role at Aviva Investors. Overall my journey has taken me 5 years, from deciding to go to university to starting my new job in the city. It has been difficult at times, but I sometimes have to remind myself just how far I have come.

What are your future aspirations?

I’m currently studying for the CFA level 1 exam. My five-year goal is to become a fully-fledged CFA charter holder and secure a front office role. I’d like to be in a revenue generating part of the business. My long-term aspirations are to better understand where my interests/skillsets lie and follow those. I like the idea of private equity so that is a potential avenue to investigate further.

How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?

Life changing, Investment20/20 has provided me with an opportunity I was beginning to believe wasn’t possible.

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