Picture your future | Investment banking on The Gateway

Picture your future

Third-year analyst, Philip Creed, shows The Gateway a day at Nomura

I arrive at the office around 8.30am, but it's a very relaxed start to the day - people turn up at various times depending on schedules.

We're given the freedom and responsibility to manage our own time, as long as we're sensible about what we do. I like to come in early to keep on top of current affairs and market activity overnight, to read through research notes, and to catch up with my emails because there's never enough time during the day.

My office is open-plan, which is useful because I work in a big team of 30 people and a lot of the job is about communication. The managing directors and executive directors have offices, but their doors are nearly always open. There's a good atmosphere in the office and everyone has a laugh.

I'm finishing off a pitch book for a client, which I've been working on for the past week. I'm tidying up the wording, doing a final check-through for consistency, and getting it printed.

I work in the Natural Resources and Power team, and it's our job to assess the needs of a company, decide how we can help them, test whether our theories are correct and then take them to the company. For me, that means I spend a lot of my day at my desk going through a company's public information and trying to understand what their key drivers are, who their industry peers are, and so on. It also involves building models in Excel, putting various assumptions in, and trying to find the fair value of a company.

Our Head of Strategy chats to us about the Greek debt crisis and what's likely to happen in the eurozone.

Once a week, the economic and strategy team comes and holds an open meeting with our team, which anyone is welcome to attend and ask questions in. It's good that they're completely open and available to us, which means we can keep up with what's going on and apply that knowledge to our work - something clients always appreciate. Recently, some Middle Eastern members of the bank talked to us about events in the region, and answered question after question which was really valuable given our coverage of the oil and gas industry.

For lunch, my colleagues and I take a break and pop down to the canteen together.

Everyone in my team gets on well. On Fridays we usually head out for a few drinks after work, and we also get the opportunity to go to events together. The team is very multinational, so there's a lot of competitiveness between us around sports - rugby is the big one at the moment due to the World Cup! I've been to a couple of rugby games with Nomura, which is good fun because you watch the match and go for a drink or dinner afterwards - it's a really relaxed atmosphere and a nice opportunity to get to know the senior bankers better.

I'm working on building a model for a live deal with the M&A team, so I study the financials of the client and try to understand their capital structure.

Going through the financials can be quite academic! It involves digging down and getting to the bones of the financials of the company, rather than just looking at the headline numbers and broker forecasts. I did a Masters in Corporate and International Finance at Durham University which has helped my understanding, but the training programme I did at Nomura was fantastic - it was very intense for ten weeks, but it teaches you exactly what you need to know. I did the training with someone who'd studied French and German and had never opened an Excel spreadsheet in their life, but by the end of the programme they'd been brought right up to speed!

My associate and I discuss the assumptions for the model and check the details before we send it to the director, the senior person working on the deal.

No matter what level you are there can always be mistakes made, so it's good to get someone else to go through your work because within two seconds they'll spot any issues. In your first year as an analyst you're looked after well and someone else will always give your work a thorough check before it goes to the seniors. But, at Nomura we're growing so you have the opportunity to build responsibility very quickly - that's what I enjoy most about the job. Even as juniors we're encouraged to think up different methodologies and new ideas, not to just go with the standard menu of products on offer. Last week, I was in Spain in front of a client, taking them through a model and the assumptions we were using. They'd been checked through and agreed upon beforehand, but it's still a big step up!

I finish work around 10pm. Sometimes I can be at work until after midnight but if I'm here very late it's because there's a good reason for it - there's no need to stick around just because your boss is sitting round the corner! It's the same for weekends, we're encouraged to take them off - our managing directors understand that the happier you are, the better you'll work.

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