Meet our people: Nduka Amadi
Prior to joining Baillie Gifford, I was working as a Senior International Relations Manager at the University of Nottingham. I was attracted to the Client Manager programme because they were actively seeking people from outside the investment industry. Obviously, when you join this means there’s a bit of a knowledge gap at first, but no one expects you to have investment expertise straight away. There’s a lot of value put on your existing skills, and everyone is encouraged to bring their previous experience to the table. For example, I was asked to share my opinions in a stock discussion about why some companies are more successful in breaking into the higher education industry than others.
The first year of the job is largely spent developing your understanding of the firm, investment management and Baillie Gifford’s clients. Coming from a role where I had a lot of responsibility, it was challenging to adjust back into a learning mindset. However, the firm provides lots of support. There are in-house courses for the formal exams that you sit over two years, and you also receive wide-ranging skills training, such as writing and presenting workshops. Day-to-day, you’ll start by shadowing client meetings and gradually this evolves into more responsibility. My line manager has been instrumental in helping me build internal networks by introducing me to lots of different teams, and I also have a dedicated mentor, who’s on hand to answer any questions.
Our Client Service teams are currently divided into two streams – one has responsibility for working closely with our clients and the other specialises in gaining an in-depth understanding of the firm’s investment strategies. I spent my first year in a client facing team, working with one of Baillie Gifford’s biggest clients. Now in my second year, I’m gaining experience as an Investment Product Specialist. We meet with the clients regularly to answer their queries and provide quarterly and half-yearly updates. They are often interested in finding out about topical news stories, what’s in the pipeline and what trends we think are interesting. It’s our job to keep them abreast of what our investment teams are doing and why.
Before I relocated, I had only visited Edinburgh ten years ago as a tourist. Luckily, Baillie Gifford work with an excellent relocation service. They gave me information about each neighbourhood in the city so I could find the right fit. Then helped with the whole renting process – from liaising with agencies to setting up the utilities and getting the keys. Edinburgh is a brilliantly compact city and I was surprised by how much is happening throughout the year. Baillie Gifford also has an annual programme of social events for employees and their families, which is a great way to meet new people.