Mark Vogelweith joined Morgan Stanley at the Canary Wharf offices in 2016. When financial and economic news rock the career path of an engineering student… From Paris La Défense business district to London, itinerary of an ESILV financial engineering major graduate.
The American multinational investment bank and financial services company operates in more 42 countries and owns offices in the world’s biggest financial districts, including London’s.
Financial engineering meets digital technologies
After a scientific French baccalauréat, I enrolled in an IT-focused engineering school. Into my second year of studies, the subprime mortgage crisis was all over the news.
I started to get interested in the world of finance through financial news, but also through books and talks with professionals. I liked finance right away!
My goal was to find an engineering school that would teach IT, maths and finance. ESILV soon came up as number one choice, with its financial engineering major and IT classes.
I enrolled at ESILV in the third year. During my time there, I acquired the skills to understand and master financial products, maths models and IT tools.
Combining theory and practice in an engineering school
The teaching methods combine theory and practice. One perfect example is the Advanced Fixed Income with Bloomberg class, taught by Daniel Aidan, Head of Structured Products at BRED. We learned how to use the Bloomberg Platform. The main benefit of this class is that it took place in the Bloomberg trading room students have access to on ESILV’s campus.
The alumni network is also one of ESILV’s strong points. I relied on this network to meet alumni, and it helped me a lot to find internships.
I did my first work placement at Crédit Agricole, as Securitisation Risk Manager Portfolio Assistant, then I worked in the BRED trading room as Sales Trader Assistant on the rate and FX desk.
Thanks to the skills I acquired during my engineering school years at ESILV and my internships, I got offered a job right after graduating at Société Générale in London, as Risk Analyst on the Credit Trading desk.
For three years, I worked next to traders, within Société Générale’s trading room. This rewarding professional experience enabled me to get into Morgan Stanley.
Working at Morgan Stanley, in Canary Wharf
I am now a Portfolio Risk Manager at Morgan Stanley London. My team’s missions include dealing with Morgan Stanley’s aggregate risk through different asset classes (Equities, FX, Traded Credit, Rates, XVA, Lending) and risk types (Market, Credit, Counterparty, Liquidity), which makes this job unique.
The main tool we use is stress testing. It helps us following our risk profile, identifying concentrations or vulnerabilities of our portfolio and recommending actions so as to mitigate risks.
In order to complete this mission successfully, it is crucial to be proactive and to adopt a prospective approach.
Usually, the day starts with a morning meeting. We talk about events on the market, potential risks we may have to face and desk positions. Our team has a holistic way of analysing these elements. This very analysis and the risk management decisions are then transferred to Senior Management.
I think my work hours are reasonable. I start at 8.30AM and leave the office at 7PM at the most. Days go by quickly because they are intense, with a substantial workload…but as the saying goes “love does not count the cost”!
Right now, I see myself staying at Morgan Stanley. I truly enjoy my team, the atmosphere and the corporate culture. All great chances of learning new things and getting better at my job every day!
My position has me interact with various departments, from Risk Management to Senior Management, trading, economists…and more! I’d like to keep on improving myself, and why not manage a team one day.
Advice for future finance professionals
Do highlight your IT skills, it will definitely make a difference! During your internships, keep in mind to stay professional at all times: be on time, respect deadlines, prepare meetings ahead….
Never be afraid of asking questions, never stop learning and find a way to stay up-to-date with online courses, professional papers, etc.
Interested in learning financial engineering? Find out more about the Master’s Programme at ESILV, engineering school in Paris.