Features - Alum of the Month
Joshua Mahony MSTA
New York Programme
September 2010 Intake
Joshua Mahony, a graduate of The University of Sheffield, shares with us the impact his Mountbatten experience (where he interned at Deutsche Bank), has had on his high profile post programme Market Analyst career. Joshua is regularly interviewed on live television about his opinions on the latest economic or political stories, but views studying for the MSTA technical analysis qualification, where he received the highest final mark from around 150 students, most of whom were analysts working for banks, hedge funds, energy firms and publications such as The Economist, as being his highest achievement to date.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I managed to get a job working at Barclays Capital on the trading floor. It was a project management role, yet gave me exposure to the front office of a major investment bank, which was certainly a great experience. I was actually there for the whole Libor scandal, with Bob Diamond quitting and a bleary eyed Rich Ricci giving an emotional speech to the trading floor in the aftermath. It wasn’t long until he followed Bob out of the door. However, the world of big banks wasn’t for me and I wanted to get into a smaller firm, my first thought being asset management. I ended up working for Alpari UK, a spread betting firm for over 2 years, learning the ropes as a market analyst. That firm went under overnight, after the Swiss central bank de-pegged their currency. Certainly a bit of a shock, but ultimately these things tend to work out in the end, and within a month I had a role working for the best firm in the industry, IG.
Unlike analysts in banks, the role is less specialised and you end up being a one-stop shop for anything market related. Speaking on live-TV about my opinions relating to the latest economic or political stories, running seminars teaching trading techniques, speaking to journalists, writing analysis on company or economic issues, going out with clients, the list goes on. The role can be challenging, with work coming at you from all directions. Often you end up live on TV with no preparation and no idea what the anchor is about to ask you. But in some ways, those occasions give you a buzz and make your day more interesting.
How did the Mountbatten programme help you get to where you are now?
Quite frankly, I would not be where I am today without the Mountbatten Institute. I won’t be the only person who believed that the programme completely changed my employability and upon coming back to London I finally got the feeling that I had something to offer because of my newly improved CV.
How did the Mountbatten experience prepare you for the role you do now?
One of the biggest problems I had after university was the fact that I was useless at public speaking, as exemplified by my lacklustre presentations in my Mountbatten classes after work. But those classes did give me the experience to improve my presentational and analytical skills. Now I spend my career talking to cameras, giving presentations to a room full of people, and generally putting myself into positions that were well outside of my comfort zone pre-Mountbatten.
What has been the achievement you are most proud of in your recent working life?
I would say that it actually relates to an academic course I embarked on outside of my previous market analyst job. Studying for the MSTA technical analysis qualification, I received the highest final mark from around 150 students, most of whom were analysts working for banks, hedge funds, energy firms and publications such as the economist.
What advice would you give to others who aspire to a high profile Market Analyst role?
It is a pretty niche role, which doesn’t come up very often. I got lucky falling into it, but for the most part, it pays to know people in the industry (we are a small community). That could mean getting in touch with some of the main analysts in the city (everyone is reachable via Twitter these days) to ask about their role and any opportunities. Generally when hiring, firms will either look for an experienced analyst (costs them more money), or someone they want their main analysts to train up from scratch (cheaper for the firm). That means entry level roles are available, albeit rarely. If you have a passion for economics/financial markets and are not shy about having your voice heard, it is a great role.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I plan to work abroad again, be that Asia, or perhaps back to New York. I would also like take on a Chief Market Analyst role at some point, which has a lot more of a high level strategic role within the firm alongside all the analyst work.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I set up the first official Mountbatten 11-a side football team in New York. Unfortunately the fact that I had to leave meant that it was difficult for me to ensure it is carried on through the years. Annoyingly I didn’t keep a shirt as a momento, because they are probably sitting around in a cupboard somewhere not being used.