Grenoble School of Management organizes on September 27th the Audit Finance Boot Camp within its premises of Grenoble. On this occasion, GFS and GEM offer you a series of testimonials. GEM Finance Society had the chance to interview Peder Joraandstad, Analytics at Bloomberg, who returns in this interview about his career and his position in the American Financial Group.
Hello Peder, can you tell us about your career and your integration with Bloomberg?
I have been lucky to have quite a few different internships before I started at Bloomberg. I did my undergrad in the UK (Business & Marketing Management), and during this time I worked at a few different firms, and had a yearlong placement with a market research firm specialising in FMCG. After I finished my undergrad, I worked about 6 months as a shipbroker in Oslo. This was not a typical finance job per se, but it did give me a lot of insights into commodities and the finance of global shipping and oil production and trade.
It is partially due to this change of industry that I wanted to pursue finance further, as I wanted to get a better understanding of the topics I touched upon in this job.
Why did you choose to work at Bloomberg?
I chose to work at Bloomberg because they made a very convincing pitch that it is a good firm to work for and I share most of their values. I particularly enjoy working for a company whose services help bring transparency to the market. It is also not a ‘position taker’, meaning that unlike an investment firm or a bank, we do not follow the market in the same way, which means I skip out on what I believe would be a very stressful lifestyle. It also seemed liked a brilliant place to grow and build on the knowledge I got from my studies. Beyond that BBG does a lot of philanthropy, and most of our profits are used for charity work. This was something that made a good impression on me.
Can you describe a typical day of work?
Working in the analytics department my primary function is to be ‘on the queue’. This means that I am the first point of contact when clients raise a technical query. My specialisation is fixed income and commodities, so anything related to this will go via our team. Similarly, we have teams specialising in all asset classes.
In addition to this we do proactive work, which means reaching out to clients to inform them about functionalities related to their work and instructing them on how to use these. We also go on visits to our clients and do trainings face to face. This way the role have different aspects ranging from sort of an advanced ‘customer service’ to more consultative work.
When you become more advanced you also do a bit of teaching internally and can take on other tasks, like training new starters, which I am currently involved with.
What do you like most about your job?
There are many things I like about my role. To point out a few I get to interact with some quite clever people and help them solve some of their problems. We are at the heart of the market, and I am getting first-hand experience into how people navigate financial markets. I also get an incredible education in-house, as they have on going courses as you progress your career. I am currently doing my Fixed Income Advanced Modules, and have exams every other week.
It is also a job I can leave at 1800 and not have to think about until the next day. This is important for me. Sometimes I have to stay late to study, but this is not a big impact on me and they serve dinner in the evening a few times a week.
The training you had for sales and analytics?
The training you get is everything and equips you for your role. It is not expected that you have any financial knowledge (we hire from all backgrounds) so the teaching is very thorough and in a comfortable pace. In spite of having done an MSc, I have only learnt that I hardly knew a thing.
The courses can take you down any avenue, be it from technical analysis for equities, to complex fixed income derivatives.
How did you choose your specialization? And what do you think are the benefits of working at Bloomberg for your career?
For me it was great to combine commodities and fixed income in the beginning. I had some exposure to commodities from before so I found this very interesting, but I was always planning to go the FI route. I find this to be a highly complex and all-encompassing area that I want to explore in depth. You are to some extent free to pick you specialisation, however the demand in the firm has some sway over what asset classes you might do.
Doing fixed income sets me up great for my potential next career move, which is to cover Norway as a sales manager. This means I become the main point of contact for a large number of clients, and will have to travel there on a weekly basis for meetings. Norway is quite big on FI and so having this specialisation makes sense to me from this perspective as well.
To end this interview, do you have any advice for the students that want to break into finance?
For me doing the MSc Finance at GEM was my real bridge to finance and I consider myself quite lucky to have landed where I am. I would perhaps remind students that there is more to finance that the large investment banks! I was sure I wanted to go into corporate finance, but now find myself in the wonders of market finance. So, having a plan set in stone might not always be the best approach.