< The Finance Professionals' Post: March 2015

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10 posts from March 2015


Do Not Do This in Banking Interviews


Now that internal promotions are all the rage, investment banks are slower to invite people to interviews. Why hire externally when you can promote a junior with far less hassle? When you’re invited to a finance interview, it’s therefore become all the more important that you don’t mess up.

Below, we have a selection of real life interview disasters provided to us anonymously by finance recruiters who work inside and outside investment banks. Read and learn. On no account commit the same mistakes yourself.

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Insider Trading Law After the Newman Decision: What Does It Mean to Financial Industry Professionals?

In December 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued what has been described as a landmark decision in United States v. Newman.  In its decision, the Court vacated the insider trading convictions and sentences of Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman, two hedge fund professionals convicted of insider trading after trial in federal court in Manhattan.  The decision has been greeted by the white collar defense bar as an important repudiation of the Government’s heavy handed pursuit of insider trading. 

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What’s Next for Cuba?

The following is an excerpt from CNBC: Iwalter2

Now that the decision has been made in Washington to reset Cuban-American relations, it’s a good time for an outside perspective on where things may go from here. Bottom line: Cuba may well become a rising star in the region and an attractive economic partner for the U.S. if things are managed well. In financial terms, Cuba will be a “buy” when the time comes. A recent visit revealed some impressive strengths buried not far below the surface.

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Should Your Investment Commentary Be Different?

“Should your investment commentary present a distinctive point of view?” That’s the great question posed by a participant in one of my presentations on “How To Write Investment Commentary People Will Read.”

My answer? It depends.

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Book Review: A Risk Professional’s Survival Guide


This highly readable and informative book can serve the needs of a variety of individuals. The end-of-chapter problems make the book suitable for a classroom setting for those who plan to become practicing risk managers. Readers interested in gaining a general overview of risk management will also find the book valuable.

World events and new financial products have shown the importance of risk management to the finance industry. The numerous mathematical models customarily invoked in addressing risk management can make it difficult for students of the subject to learn to put into practice the tools of the trade. In many traditional texts on risk management and finance, theory and application are taught separately. The theory is usually presented first, and then the concepts are reinforced by examining a case involving a real or fictional firm, either in the main body of a chapter or as an end-of-chapter homework assignment. In most instances, different firms are used throughout the book to illustrate the various concepts.

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From Fired to Hired

Losing Your Job Can Be Less Painful—and More Productive

While it’s true that the 21st century job market is loaded with opportunities—think of 60 million Baby Boomers retiring—it’s also fraught with peril.  Globalization, technology, and competition are impelling companies to do more with less money and fewer people.  Those powerful forces can propel you into unemployment, no matter how smart, hard working, or effective you are. 

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China: Ecological Civilization Rising?

Returning to China for the first time in a quarter century this month was equally awe inspiring and terrifying. The observation deck of the truly gorgeous Shanghai World Financial Center is breathtaking, a fitting testament to China’s rise. But it was the unexpected sense that we might be experiencing history at DeTao Group’s summit in Shanghai, “Future New Economy: Sustainable Model Toward an Ecological Economy,” that left an indelible mark on me.

I had the honor to address the DeTao Group summit on the topic of regenerative investing in natural capital. Inspired by the vision and leadership of DeTao Chairman George Lee, it was an extraordinary experience. The warm hospitality and genuine appreciation and respect extended to all the visiting “experts” was quite exceptional. As George told me, “in Chinese culture, we honor our teachers.”

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Wall Street Bonuses Are Climbing, but Not Everyone Is Smiling


Here’s a crazy fact, one that likely won’t sit well with Elizabeth Warren and other Wall Street detractors. The average bonus for employees in New York City’s securities industry actually increased in 2014 despite the fact that profit was down 4.5% from a year earlier, mostly due to embarrassing litigation costs. Though the narrative is a bit more complicated than what appears on the surface.

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Book Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing


This book, which introduces novice investors to Vanguard Group founder John Bogle’s approach to passive investing, is one investment guide that does not intimidate readers into thinking that investing is so complicated they need professional help. On the contrary, it encourages laypeople to oversee their own investments.

Bogleheads—investors who have adopted Vanguard Group founder John Bogle’s investing philosophy—have morphed from a loose association into a formal group organized around a website that attracts more than 50,000 visits daily. This second edition of The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing introduces investors to the Boglehead approach to passive investing. Authors Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf are all well over 70 years of age, are financially set, and have no hidden agenda. They do not work for Vanguard or any other company, nor do they earn commissions from selling investment products. Furthermore, they would be content if readers borrowed the book from a friend or the library instead of purchasing it.

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25 Real Life Questions Asked in Corporate Finance Interviews


MBAs have a variety of opportunities after graduating. The most common career paths are consulting, investment banking, and tech. But many others go the corporate route, working in an accounting or strategy role at a company outside of financial services.

As one would imagine, the questions that are asked in corporate finance interviews are rather different than those that take place at investment banks or consulting firms. Below is a list of 25 real-life interview questions asked of MBAs by corporations in need of finance talent. How would you do?

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