DIVERSIFY YOUR SKILLS
Providing the best solutions for a bank’s corporate clients requires a deep understanding of the customers’ needs and market conditions. Ben Hughes, Corporate Derivative Sales Executive Director at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, tells us how adding treasury skills and knowledge through studying for AMCT gave him the tools to support his clients.
What does your current role entail and how is treasury relevant?
I work on the trading floor of NBAD’s Abu Dhabi-based Head Office within the Global Markets Corporate Sales team. In my current role, I structure, market and execute risk management (derivative) solutions across interest rates, FX, commodities and credit asset classes for the bank’s large corporate client base. Further to this, I also help to execute flow (FX and Money Market) trades and provide investment solutions for our clients lucky enough to be ‘long-cash’! I aim to provide a solutions-based service, helping our clients to effectively identify, analyse, prioritise and mitigate their financial risks in line with their risk management policies and within the context of current market conditions. The more I understand about the breadth of corporate treasury banking needs and requirements (and the diversity of their work load) the better I will become at tailoring appropriate risk management solutions to suit their requirements.
What business, technical and personal skills do you think are important in your role?
Alongside a strong technical understanding of financial markets and risk management instruments, communications skills are absolutely key. In my role, you have to be able to flex your approach to suit your audience. The diversity of treasury responsibilities means I find myself working with technical experts one day and relative beginners the next. I try to work with all of my clients to tailor appropriate hedging strategies. It’s really not a ‘one-size-fits–all’ approach; adaptability is key, especially in banking.
What treasury qualifications do you hold and how are they beneficial to you?
A professional qualification always adds weight to your CV, but it’s always vital that you invest your time in qualifications which command long-standing recognition within the industry. Having AMCT certainly provides for this. Although my business line does not provide direct funding to clients, the AMCT course gave me a much better understanding of the debt products which underly a lot of the financial markets business we do.
Ultimately, the more I understand about the breadth of corporate treasury banking needs and requirements (and the diversity of their work load) the better I will become at tailoring appropriate risk management solutions to suit their requirements. The AMCT is a well renowned professional qualification and should help with career progression as well as open different doors for me in the future.
What were the benefits of being able to study online?
With a long daily commute, a busy working day and a one year old baby at home, flexible study was vital for me. The online material provided the content and the classroom study notes and question banks were very helpful in putting the learning into practise for exam preparation. The online forum also helped me to identify learning gaps and questions raised by others which I may not have realised myself yet.