Winston Yap

Since my last blog post, I’ve not only moved roles as part of the Wealth and Investment Management graduate rotation programme, but this time also moved countries!

I moved to New York a few weeks ago now and have settled into my role in the Guided and Discretionary Investment Management team based at 200 Park Avenue, also known as the MetLife building on top of Grand Central Station.

Being given the opportunity to rotate internationally is both an incredible opportunity and a privilege. There are other graduates from the 2012 class, who have rotated to New York and we’re staying in an apartment block near to Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen. 

One of the great things about the graduate programme is that there’s a fantastic initial training programme before you hit the desks where you are able to get to know the other graduates. As a result, we’re often able to help each other out for specific queries when they arise, as we all have such broad experiences on our different rotations and it’s also good see some familiar faces in an unfamiliar city.

The first few weeks here have flown by and I am learning a huge amount whilst being here. I had some preparatory handover calls with the graduate who was previously in my role, so I had an idea of the day-to-day work I would be doing. The Guided and Discretionary team, where I currently work, aims to provide holistic advisory and discretionary investment management services based on Barclays unique Investment Philosophy

Many of our clients undertake the Financial Personality Assessment, which has been developed by behavioural finance experts, to not only understand their risk profile, but also five other character traits in respect of how they feel about investing that help us customise investment solutions and optimise the investment journey for our clients. If you’re interested, you can see an abridged version of the FPA here.

My role here is mainly to assist in the servicing of the client accounts by supporting the Investment Representatives and their teams and assist in the implementation of ongoing projects to develop the proposition. In addition, in my first week, my rotational line manager mentioned that I should also feel free to meet with other teams to learn about the Barclays Wealth Americas business as a whole, and I’m very much trying to make the most of this while I’m here. I will blog about the teams I have spent time with as I spend more time here.

Whilst adjusting to living and working in a new city, I have also been studying hard for my CFA Level I exam, which is in December. It’s a rigorous internationally recognised qualification that forms part of the graduate programme, but also requires a lot of commitment to study for, whilst working full time! This has been tough, but I’ve found that I work better earlier in the day, so I’ve been getting up at around 5.30am to get some study time in before work. That way, I get most of my evening to myself.

Finally, I have of course been enjoying living in a new city and making the most of what it has to offer. One of the highlights so far has been a new tickets initiative which has just started in the Americas business. Barclays sometimes has tickets to events for client entertainment which go unused because of unforeseen circumstances. The new initiative enables staff to be able to apply for these unused tickets so that they don’t go to waste. 

Last week it just so happened that tickets for Ed Sheeran at Madison Square Garden became available. Since Ed is far more known in the UK than the US, I was quicker than many of my American colleagues to apply and managed to get tickets to what was an awesome concert! Here’s a picture of some colleagues and I at the Ed Sheeran concert. It just so happened to be Lewis’s (2nd from left) birthday, so it was an excellent way to top off his birthday.

That’s all for now – I look forward to keeping you up to date with the goings-on from across the pond here in New York.