Ian Morgan is a former Managing Director at Société Générale who, after over 20 years as an investment banker, decided to become an entrepreneur in order to follow his passion. He is now an executive coach who provides a tailored coaching service designed specifically for finance industry professionals, in the fields of leadership, career management and interviewing. He is passionate about helping individuals reach new levels of achievement and performance.
Talk to anyone who worked in finance a generation ago and you will likely hear: “You poor kids these days are in trouble”. You hear people talk about the “Good Old Days” of finance, when it was not unusual to see young Investment Banking associates driving fast cars around the streets of London or New York – sort of like what you see happening to programmers in Silicon Valley these days.
Well, my friends – those days are long gone.
The financial services industry has gone through some very fundamental changes that started with the crash of the US housing market in 2008. After the dust had settled, the regulators were rubbing their hands together in anticipation to do what they enjoy doing best – regulate!
So, we reluctantly shut down the blasting music that was playing at this metaphorical party and opened the door to two rather rough-looking gentlemen: Mr. Dodd Frank, and Mr. EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation). What we didn’t know – although we certainly suspected it – is that our new guests were not really that sociable. The party was over!
The point is: regulation has made being a financial professional much more cumbersome from a regulatory perspective – and hence less attractive to young folks like you!
If you are reading this, you are likely a die-hard financial professional – or aspire to become one – who is constantly thinking about the best way to succeed in this industry. When I was first starting out, I wish I had someone to help guide my way through this information mess we live in today.
As I said before, times are different, but there are a few things we can do to increase our chances of getting off to a good start.
That is why we are so excited to bring to you an extremely valuable conversation we had with Ian Morgan, who is an executive and business coach. The reason why Ian is so special is because, prior to becoming an entrepreneur and a executive coach, he spent over 20 years climbing up the corporate latter as an Investment Banker and ended up reaching its summit as a Managing Director at Societe Generale.
Although we talk about many different topics during our interview, we made sure to follow a chronological structure that went from: 1) how to prepare for an interview (preparing your CV and cover letter), 2) how to do well during interviews, and 3) how to become the best version of yourself at work, so that you can follow Ian’s steps and hopefully one day become a Managing Director at a large Investment Bank.
Want to find out more about Ian? Here is where to find him:
- A recent talk he gave about interviewing on the CFA Institute’s website: https://careers.cfauk.org/article-details/44/interview-science-webcast-/
- Ian’s main coaching website: ianmorgancoaching.co.uk
- Ian’s website describing his SME strategic business consulting service: bigbusinessvision.co.uk
- Ian publishes many of his great articles on LinkedIn. Make sure to check them out: https://www.linkedin.com/in/imorgan1
- [5:00] Ian’s background and all the projects he is involved with at the moment
- [6:30] What made Ian quit his job as a Managing Director at a large Investment Bank to start running his own business.
- [8:45] Ian describes his experience in resigning from his position as an MD and what the first day of running his own business felt like.
- [11:15] What do successful candidates do that unsuccessful candidates generally do not?
- [15:00] Cover letter writing strategies
- [16:50] Ian shares his thought on networking best practices
- [18:30] Practical skills for the job hunt if you did not major in business and finance.
- [21:40] Is it too late to start a career in investment banking if you are in your late 20’s / early 30’s?
- [23:50] Understanding the fact that interviewers also have cognitive biases and use that to our advantage during an interview
- [25:50] The danger of trying to sound smarter that you really are during an interview
- [27:50] Is it ok to answer an interview question with “I don’t know”?
- [29:50] How much is too much when it comes to preparing for an interview?
- [31:50] How do I accelerate my career at an investment bank, once I have a foot in the door?
- [34:20] The performance formula
- [36:50] Daily routines and habits that can help you become more productive at work
- [41:30] Ways to avoid distractions at work
- [44:10] The importance of reading; Ian’s book recommendations
- [47:50] The importance of a “glass half-full” attitude
- [49:10] Where you can find out more about Ian Morgan’s work
If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes.
Luke & Leo