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Priya Rai

Ninety One Asset Management

Compliance Associate

Postgraduate

Why do you enjoy your job?

I have various responsibilities in my role with Ninety One Asset Management. One includes monitoring the company holdings in securities and making a disclosure to the relevant regulator when a disclosable threshold is crossed. I’m also responsible for monitoring personal account dealing whereby I execute and investigate trades carried out by employees. I have also been working on setting up an anonymous third-party whistleblowing service which will provide employees with an alternative option to flag any issues. I believe this role is suited to me because it draws on my skillsets which I picked up during my degrees in Chemistry/Biopharmaceuticals. These include understanding the nature of a problem and what controls can be put into place to tackle the issues and prevent future problems. I also enjoy socialising and networking! Luckily this role enables me to connect with employees regardless of their hierarchy and geographical location. I also love understanding the ins and outs of anything and everything and teaching/explaining my understanding to a layman. This is a skill that I have been able to use in my role as I have helped conduct Annual Compliance Training sessions across the business.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The most challenging thing in my role was doing the Annual Compliance Training within a month of me joining. In my first few weeks leading up to training, I was learning about various compliance-related themes such as conflict of interest, market abuse etc. I then had to conduct training sessions alongside my manager to the entire London office which consists of over 400 staff members. It was a challenge because I had no prior finance knowledge and coming into the industry fresh out of university can be quite daunting. However, I delivered the training sessions successfully and was provided with a lot of benefits in return. I had gained a lot of knowledge in a short space of time (much of which is relevant to the IMC), I became more known with employees in other teams and geographical locations and became more comfortable in the office a lot faster. It also showed that individuals with different backgrounds and disciplines can understand the industry and have a lot to bring to the table.

How did you get into your job?

Prior to joining Ninety One Asset Management, I graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry from Queen Mary University of London. I then went on to pursue a Master's degree in Biopharmaceuticals at King's College London where I also graduated with a First Class degree. As much as I loved science, I knew working in laboratories was not for me. I found it too confining and unsocial and wanted to be in an environment where I could still apply my scientific knowledge and work in a team. I considered a role as a patent attorney and started a second Master’s degree in the Management of Intellectual Property. Whilst on the course I learned this was also not for me. The role was very independent and minimised teamwork greatly. After researching other avenues, a couple of friends introduced me to the financial industry. I felt this would be an environment where I could still put my skills to use and develop others. I would be given the ability to work on my own and within a team on projects. My passion for Science is still very high and due to the issue around the world with the new coronavirus, I have been able to apply my scientific knowledge by indicating how the virus spreads, researching the status in different countries and what this means for us as a global business.

What are your future aspirations?

I have learnt there is no clear path and your future aspirations may continue to change due to opportunities which may arise or due to personal experiences. As I have recently joined the financial industry, I am quite unsure about what my future aspirations are. However, I do know what I enjoy and what I am passionate about and it’s for that reason it is likely I will continue to pursue a career within the Compliance/Risk sector of the industry.

How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?

Investment20/20 has given me an opportunity which I didn’t think was possible. I also thought an individual with a background in science would struggle to fit in and not be of great service to the industry. However, I have been shown that I can fit in and the classes and training sessions really helped to shape my understanding and eased my entry into the financial world. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

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