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Career Insights: Equity capital markets is about people skills and multi-tasking

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Hannah Malter, senior originator, equity capital markets syndicate Asia,  UBS

Hannah has degrees in commerce (finance and accounting) and arts (French and economics) from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She joined UBS in 2007.

Working in equity capital markets (ECM) can be more about people skills than anything else. The ECM environment is extremely dynamic and often one is called upon to resolve problems or find solutions for clients at extremely short notice. In essence, the syndicate desk is charged with balancing the best interests of the firm’s corporate clients with those of institutions and other investors which are also UBS clients. It’s a delicate balancing act.

I am responsible for the execution of ECM trades across the Asia region. This means not only execution and pricing of deals but also a high level of risk management. Transactions span both primary and secondary markets and include initial public offerings, accelerated placements (offering shares in a short period, with little or no marketing), block trades (large purchases of securities), and rights issues.

Numeracy and a thorough understanding of equity capital markets are obviously important for the role, but it is also necessary to work to tight deadlines and on multiple projects simultaneously across several business divisions.

Anyone wanting to work in ECM should ensure that their research is thorough, seeking to gain experience of as many areas of investment banking as possible. Typically, the hours are long and the work can be demanding so it is important to ensure that you are properly prepared for the challenges. Perhaps the most important qualities are flexibility and a thorough knowledge of client needs.

It is important to ensure that the capital raising needs of our corporate clients are satisfied, but not simply at the expense of buy-side institutions, retail or other investors. In light of the scale and breadth of UBS’s equities platform it is particularly important for us to oversee an equitable outcome. If we fail, our clients can be expected to take their business elsewhere.

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