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Career Insights: The job has a lot of upsides, but don’t make social plans, says Morgan Stanley DCM associate

Don't make plans for social events.

Don't make plans for social events.

Elias Spangenberg, associate, debt capital markets,  Morgan Stanley

Elias graduated with a  BSc in Accounting & Finance from University of Warwick in 2009 and joined Morgan Stanley that year.

“The debt capital markets team, at least at Morgan Stanley, is a joint venture between the investment banking division and sales & trading. This means there’s a lot of interaction between us, M&A bankers and traders in the sales & trading division.

My job focuses on Nordic and UK corporate debt issuers, and this means working on everything from relatively simple capital raisings to  more complex risk management and derivatives transactions. It’s the latter that I’ve currently been working on today, but even then I’m working on other projects and issuing regular updates to the clients I cover for existing deals.

Spangenberg, Elias_July09_3

Elias Spangenberg

DCM is more transactional than  other parts of investment banking, and I really  like that. It means that there are finite projects and clearly defined  goals. Winning a competitive mandate  or executing a transaction always feels great.  DCM is also good if you want to combine technical skills with client-facing activity. Most areas of investment banking will tell you  this, but it’s a very team-oriented environment. It’s therefore really important to demonstrate before joining that you can work as part of a team, whether that’s through groups at university, sports or  other engagements.

The job requires a lot of attention to detail, and good organisational ability since you’ll be working on multiple projects at one time. You’ll also need an interest in financial markets, because the job is technical and a genuine interest in finance and the markets helps. In addition to that you must be willing to take on client responsibility.

Try to read around as much as possible to get an understanding of how the capital markets work and why companies need to raise capital. With social networking, it’s also a lot easier to find professionals in your target area in case you have any questions.

As with any investment banking job, the hours you work can fluctuate depending on what you’re working on – this can make me late for social engagements!”

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