Mark graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1995. Following his studies, Mark embarked on a career in finance and has recently started in his current role at M&G Investments.
I really liked Maths and Physics at school and decided to focus on engineering as a combination of those skills. I originally look at Mechanical Engineering, however really liked the idea of building knowledge around a tangible product, for example the aeroplane.
I also really liked the campus at Loughborough, the sport focus, and hoped that as a result the students would be well rounded - which turned out to be true.
Lastly, I liked the fact the department had strong ties with industry which gave a good commercial focus.
Given the focus on sport, I think Loughborough really helped me with time management and a focus on achieving outcomes. Squeezing in training, studying and having fun was really challenging, and I think set me up for a career that is as diverse in the office as my interests outside.
I also think that the commercial focus in the department with many projects sponsored by industry meant that I learnt commerciality early.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
Ask others for help. Aeronautical Engineering is a really broad subject area, and it is unlikely that you'll excel everywhere. I thought I was going to fail statistics until I asked a friend on the physics course for help.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
Yes, I was doing a lot of slalom canoeing and travelling to the Water Sports Centre in Nottingham early in the morning with the Canoe club to train before lectures, which helped to install a morning culture in me.
I started out in consultancy at Logica. I joined Credit Suisse as a support analyst/developer to learn C++ primarily.
I got on well with the traders, and thought I understood what they did, and moved to Australia where I started trading. However, I began to find it repetitive and didn’t enjoy it too much, so I moved to Technology as a quant.
From there I moved back to London and focussed on modelling emerging markets and derivatives. After a few years I was asked to move to New York to set up a Commodities business. I was employee number 3 in the team, and really enjoyed being in a start-up within the bank.
In 2009 I joined Deutsche where I helped to stabilise and grow the Commodities platform. After a couple of years I joined Asset management to first sell a portion of it, then merge the unit with Wealth.
I then moved to the bank's non-core business unit, selling businesses that were consuming balance sheet with little return or growth opportunity, and having successfully closed that unit, I took my last role at Deutsche running change across Infrastructure.
I left in 2018 and took a consulting role in insurance at Direct Line, and just this month I moved into my current role at M&G running Investment Technology.
The maths has helped for sure, more so though is the thought process. We got more marks for the working than the answer, and I think that has given be the ability to break problems down and figure them out. This also means that I can self-correct as I go along.
Can you tell us more about your current role – what does it involve on a day-to-day basis and what do you love most about it?
I started the role very recently, so I am still learning. There are three main areas that I focus on:
1. Ensuring the technology that M&G needs to operate on a day to day basis works, is stable and controlled.
2. Innovating through technology to enable the business to grow and achieve its strategic objectives.
3. Building high performing teams, and in particular ensuring my teams are learning and developing, as well as having a sense of purpose.
The thing I love most about this role is the people I work with and where M&G is on its journey, as a business there are massive opportunities for us.
The proudest moments for me are when we deliver value, and more importantly when my teams feel that they have achieved a significant career goal of their own.