Why did you choose a career in Capital Markets Consulting with FD?

After graduating from QUB with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, I took up a Financial Engineer position with First Derivatives almost immediately. I enjoyed my time at university, but it ultimately confirmed to me that I wanted a career which would not only challenge me mentally, but offer me opportunities to use my problem solving, methodical background in a field away from aircraft design, and also opportunities to travel.

On joining First Derivatives, my aspirations were facilitated immediately. Training started day 1, with brand new, practical, hands-on experience married with theoretical lessons. 11 years on, my learning still continues on a daily basis and I feel like I made an excellent decision in choosing a career in Capital Markets Consulting with First Derivatives.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I hugely enjoy leading a team of enthusiastic, intelligent, driven, diverse and interesting individuals who are a pleasure to work with and a credit to both themselves and First Derivatives. My most recent roles have been particularly enjoyable to me as the subject matter – distressed debt secured by real estate in Ireland and UK – is of particular interest to me. First Derivatives have such a wealth of experience in these projects, that we play a leading role in every aspect and workstream within the programme. This provides my team and I with wide and varied experience but also direct reporting lines into the client’s senior management. This can be quite intense but equally rewarding when compiling positive client feedback on a regular basis.

What does your current working day look like?

My team consists of roughly 60 FD consultants plus circa 30 other consultant/contractor/permanent members of staff. Resources are split over 3 locations so I try to spend some time in each location every week, meeting the resources based there, which in itself can be a challenge. No two days are ever the same or even similar, there are always curve-balls thrown in to keep you on your toes. In large though, it’s spent in meetings with my PM and workstream leads to identify any problem areas or bottlenecks; meetings with key stakeholders to understand their concerns and any commercial/legal/regulatory risks which may impact project priorities; constantly challenging myself and my Operating Model to ascertain if we are over/under staffed in any particular workstream; all the while keeping a close eye on the project plan, the key milestones, deliverables and dates; with my mind never far off the budget which I have available to deliver the project successfully.