When Mel Liao was deciding where to begin her career, global mobility was an important factor. She started a risk analysis role in Macquarie’s Sydney headquarters and now, working from London, she enjoys the exposure to a new market.
By Mel Liao
I wanted a job that would build on my Masters of Economic Analysis and also let me see the world. Today, as part of the Macquarie graduate program, I work in London as a market risk analyst.
I begin each day looking at the trading desk’s exposures to stress scenarios versus the allowed limits. For example, what would happen if the ASX 200 were to fall 20 per cent tomorrow, or if oil prices were to fall 40 per cent in a day?
Since starting as a grad, I’ve had exposure to multiple asset classes and products through the Equity, Commodity and Fixed Income desks.
I work closely with the trading desk to understand positioning against the market. I also work with the traders to identify the risks associated with upcoming client deals.
If the desk is looking to trade in a new product, I’ll help them understand risk measures, and also work on the design of a limit framework that will capture and constrain market risk exposures.
Although I work primarily with the traders in Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets Group, we liaise daily with other teams in the Risk Management Group and other business divisions in Macquarie. That’s helped give me an overview of how a financial services institution works.
I’ve had an exciting graduate year. Even as a junior, I was given the opportunity to be part of a team looking at large hedging transactions, working through the market risks and hedging strategy. I’ve had great experience working on a deal that required me to look at the risks with a commercial mindset. I felt I added real value to this process and being able to work so closely with the traders helped me understand how they think.
Global mobility was an important factor for me when I was deciding where to begin full-time work. Macquarie emphasised that it offered people the chance to move around the world from a junior level. That really appealed to me, so during my mid-year review I flagged that I was interested in moving overseas. I was thrilled to move to London while I was still on the graduate program.
I love that I’m challenged outside of my comfort zone from both a personal and career perspective.
London is a financial hub, and Macquarie has a large trading presence here. I look at very different asset classes, and it’s great to get this kind of exposure from an early stage in my career. Not to mention being able to take weekend trips around Europe.