College – Issue 31

THE QUADRANGLE Life in the Big Apple exciting and humbling

Matt Foulds (10703) (1987-1991) has lived in New York for the past 10 years, after seven years working in London. He has an LL.M. and M.B.A. from Cambridge University (1997 - 1999) where he won two rugby Blues against Oxford. When at Christ’s College, he captained the First XV as a prop in 1991. He played for the Canterbury Colts and completed an LL.B. (Hons) at the University of Canterbury before working as a corporate solicitor in Auckland for two years.

Is it a career you’d recommend?

hedge funds, private equity firms and pension funds looking for investments.

Wall Street went through a tumultuous time during the financial crisis and, in many ways, it is still recovering eight years later. A lot of graduates have been put off and now dream of working in the technology industry instead. I have to say that the things that attracted me to finance still hold true. The work is intellectually challenging and the organisational structure is flat so, if you contribute positively, you can create a real career for yourself quickly. It also provides a solid start to your business career with exposure to sales, strategy and finance/ accounting. Over the years I’ve seen a number of people leave finance careers to start their own businesses and the vast majority have been very successful and never looked back. They’ve been quick to talk about how much they learned and how grateful they are for their start on Wall Street. What’s the attraction of New York? It’s an amazing city and a very exciting place to live. A huge number of New Yorkers came here in quest of something and this gives the city tremendous diversity and a real vibrancy. It’s also

Why do you like it?

It’s very interesting and intellectually challenging. I get to meet business leaders and investors from all sorts of backgrounds. For example, in the past year we’ve raised capital for Manchester United, burger chain Shake Shack, and several ambitious immune oncology companies with new ideas on curing cancer. We host conferences and round tables with leading economists and politicians. I travel extensively to Europe, Asia and across mainland United States, visiting our regional offices and clients. My role as a senior manager also involves building teams and developing talent. It’s something I find particularly rewarding and my sporting background has been extremely helpful for this. What attributes are required to succeed in the finance industry? Stamina (it’s hard work), an intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to integrate and work with others. Our trading floors are an open plan environment and there’s no shirking or hiding.

What is your job in New York and how long have you worked for the firm? I work for Jefferies, the independent investment bank, which I joined two years ago. I am the Global Head of Equity Distribution and manage all the different sales teams we have across our equities division. I originally moved to New York 10 years ago while I was working for the Swiss bank, UBS.

What is involved?

We help companies raise equity and provide research and execution services to institutional investors. We do a lot of work in the healthcare, technology and consumer sectors and connect these fast growing companies with


College Issue 31 2016

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