Applications are open for our 2022 Insight Programmes.
Stepping off the plane from Russia to attend university in London, Kirill Agevnin did not expect how his career would take off as part of Macquarie Asset Management’s Transport team.
Kirill Agevnin studied mathematics and economics at the London School of Economics focusing primarily on mathematics. “I have always had a passion for numbers. They have always come naturally to me,” he says.
Kirill saw an adventure in studying abroad. “Studying in Moscow would have been a familiar story. London was another story - new and exciting. I had little idea what I was getting into at first.”
Attending the Macquarie Insights Program during his first year of university was an eye-opening experience. Having applied and attended several Insights Programs, the Macquarie program stood out.
“At the time, I think the biggest difference for me was that the people really knew what they were talking about,” says Kirill. “There was a fire in their eyes and a general sense of excitement both during the sessions and after during coffee chats.”
Kirill was intrigued as he wanted to find a career that he loved that would provide a sense of purpose.
“My other interest was to be at the center of how the world works, how businesses work and how a business becomes successful,” says Kirill. It was this desire that brought him to a career in Macquarie Asset Management.
Macquarie is the largest infrastructure manager in the world1, investing in businesses that underpin economies and communities – aiming to add real and lasting value for its clients and the people its assets serve.
As Kirill furthered his conversations with Macquarie Asset Management, he was intrigued by how the business manages more than 150 portfolio companies2 relied on by more than 100 million people every day.
Kirill began to see different ways he could contribute and interned with the group the following summer – an experience he describes as both challenging and rewarding.
“I currently focus on the transport sector. We manage investments in the real assets we use every day, for example, airports, shipping ports and roads. Businesses that we all use and interact with.”
Here Kirill is able to use financial modelling and the logical mathematics he loved at university while also gaining deeper insight into the business strategy and operations of Macquarie Asset Management’s portfolio companies.
“It's not just about which portfolio companies I work with,” says Kirill. “A lot of my work utilises a nice combination of my numerical skills while also requiring a very technical understanding of the asset and its business. I’m also enhancing my interpersonal skills as I build and strengthen relationships with the various businesses.”
Kirill started focusing on the transport sector just before COVID-19 started.
“Helping the airport business within our portfolio navigate these unprecedented times has been an unforgettable experience.”
With no playbook to lead the way, the team set priorities. The first priority was to focus on the safety of each asset’s employees and their travelers.
“The professional growth I experienced in those couple of months feels unprecedented. There were so many factors to consider and tasks to be done and all of it undefined previously,” says Kirill. “This led to exposure I’d expect to have a couple of years later in my career. Here I am at the forefront of change, learning so much.”
An aspect of Kirill’s role which he finds particularly fulfilling is Macquarie’s commitment to building a sustainable investment platform that supports communities.
“When I have the opportunity to visit one of our managed airports and see the people boarding their flights or greeting loved ones, I see the tangible results of my contribution.”
Airlines also have a role to play in reducing global emissions and airports are also part of this chain. “As airport managers, we can play a substantial role in looking at ways to minimise impact on the environment - through utilising renewable energy sources to incentivising the use of sustainable aviation fuel. We are helping our businesses embrace the highest standards.”
“The first couple of months my manager would walk me through the model and answer my questions one by one,” says Kirill. “People here understand if they provide a solid foundation and clear explanations of the asset or business, I can then independently contribute to the team.”
The people on Kirill’s team not only have deep expertise they are also passionate about their work. “The team would be very happy to spend hours explaining something because they love what they do. This enthusiasm is infectious.”
Now, Kirill is passing on this willingness to share knowledge with the next graduate class.
“My advice to graduates is to follow what Macquarie is doing within our different businesses,” says Kirill. “Each business is unique so it’s important to understand, in quite a good amount of detail, what the different businesses do from the website and investor reports.”
The second piece of advice Kirill shares is to reach out to as many people as possible and ask questions, not just in the interview process, but throughout your first years at Macquarie.
“Everyone is friendly, I’ve not had one Macquarie person turn me down for a coffee chat or informal discussion to learn more about what they do."
Applications are open for our 2022 Insight Programmes.
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