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Manish Muthyam: A quantitative approach to a career in risk

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“The Risk Management Group is an independent risk function, but to do our job we need to have we really good insight into the business groups we support. So, working in the Risk Management Group gives you great exposure to Macquarie’s businesses,” says Manish Muthyam, an Actuarial Studies and Commerce graduate who joined Macquarie’s Graduate Program as an Associate in Market Risk in 2021.


In the summer of 2019, Manish Muthyam took an internship in Macquarie’s Market Risk Team. He continued working part time with the team during 2020 while he finished his combined Bachelor of Actuarial Studies and Bachelor of Commerce. Then, in February 2021, he joined Market Risk full time on Macquarie’s Graduate Program. 

Market Risk sits within Macquarie’s Risk Management Group, where they assess, review, and report how Macquarie’s traded positions are exposed to market movements.

Risk is always at the forefront of Macquarie’s business decisions, but within the Risk Management Group we are also looking at the bigger picture, like future risks, and how risk is evolving."

“The Risk Management Group is an independent risk function, but to do our job we need to have a really good insight into the business groups we support. So, working in the Risk Management Group gives you great exposure to Macquarie’s businesses.” 


An alignment of values

Manish says he chose to study a combined Actuarial Studies and Commerce degree because he loved both investing and maths. But he says he never intended to go down a pure actuarial path.

“I was an amateur trader, and I enjoyed the due diligence side of investments, analysing them from a numbers perspective,” Manish explains. “I was attracted to financial services because I could see the problem-solving side - I get engrossed in solutions and don’t give up.”

He applied to Macquarie after watching the organisation’s focus on sustainability and noticing how it was enacting change through its investments. 

“Macquarie stood out,” Manish says. “I could see creative, lateral thinking people who were self-starters, and the values, reputation and ability to have an impact all resonated with me.” 


Valuable experiences

Manish says his three-month internship in Market Risk provided him with valuable experience.

“During my internship I was looking at interest rate risk on existing and new trades with the Non-Traded Market Risk team,” Manish says. “The team looks at different portfolios across Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Asset Management and the Commodities and Global Markets group.”

Manish enjoyed the work and was offered the opportunity to continue part time in the ‘Value At Risk’ team.

“Value At Risk doesn’t specialise in one desk - we look at the bigger picture. So, while one desk may lose money in one risk scenario, another may make it up. We look at a range of factors from market volatility to Macquarie itself. We have a risk appetite statement and a capital buffer behind our market risk positions.”

While he finished his degree in early 2020, Manish continued working for Macquarie two-and-a-half days a week. He says this was a unique experience as the start of the pandemic forced everyone to work from home. 

“I’d have catch ups every week and calls with my manager, and the team was great at answering questions,” Manish says. “I prefer the separation of going to work in the office but working from home is very well supported and now we split our time in a hybrid work model.”


A perfect combination

Manish says he found the Value At Risk team was a great fit for his background, and he decided to accept a place on the Graduate Program, remaining in the same team.

I really like combining my quantitative skills with my interest in trading to find out what is driving Macquarie’s risk, how we should be modelling that risk, and the ‘why’ behind it."

“We take a holistic approach to model all of Macquarie’s different positions, calibrate for market changes and volatility, and come up with a simple risk metric showing how much a market movement could impact the organisation”.

Manish also works with traders to ensure Macquarie can position itself to perform well.

During Sydney’s four-month lockdown in 2021, Manish was responsible for running the Value At Risk model daily. He worked early shifts to overlap with Houston and track the US markets. 

Manish says that he has also worked on back testing the model historically. 

“We look into the difference between real life and the model, and how we can align them. Each day brings different problems, and the continued learning keeps me interested.” 


Mobility and balance

Manish counts on the other graduates and the development Macquarie provides as some of the real drawcards of the Graduate Program.  

“The grad cohort has been very supportive and the Grad Development Program has also been a highlight,” he says. “We were assigned buddies and had events and monthly workshops on diverse topics ranging from creating a work/life balance or financial wellbeing to practical topics such as business writing and presentation skills.” 

He believes career mentoring, beyond your day job, is a big part of Macquarie’s culture. 

“Macquarie places your career trajectory at the forefront and you are encouraged to be upfront about your goals,” Manish says. 

“I’m excited about the learning opportunities in Risk Management Group, being exposed to different aspects of Macquarie, and the potential for career and global mobility.”

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