What types of projects were you working on when you joined Quanteam? Has the scope of your work changed?
My first project was for production support, then I moved on to level 2 and 3 support, where I wore the "hat" of a Business Analyst, writing specifications and managing development teams. As my experience and skills evolved, I moved over to the quantitative analysis side, and today I work on pricing model validation and VaR calculation projects.
Aside from the job itself, I've worked in very different environments: on the sell-side in a Market Maker's trading room on fixed income products, on the buy-side with an Asset Manager managing cross-asset funds, etc. The market visions of these institutions are different, as are their objectives, investor profiles and the type of financial products. So I had to make an effort to learn about finance, and more specifically about products. I've essentially increased my skills through personal work on my various jobs and the people I've worked with. This year, at my request, I'm going to take a course in financial engineering.
As a result, I've worked in a wide variety of financial institutions and functions, not to mention technical environments! I worked on different technologies and code languages, which gave me a wide range of experience that I still use today. What's more, the fact that I had to deal with different people, whether managers or traders, enabled me to build up a method of communication adapted to each situation.
How did you become a Consultant Manager?
I became Consultant Manager in January 2017. This new role was a logical next step in my career. I was interested and pleased to have the opportunity to develop Quanteam, increase the firm's visibility and highlight the quality of our services, while working on a project for a customer. All the more so as I was offered a financial reward for this.
What does a Consultant Manager do?
The role of Consultant Manager is quite varied, depending on the skills and competencies of each individual.
One of the aspects I like is the development of the firm's business. As we work on customer projects and listen to their needs, we can sometimes anticipate them even before a call for tenders is published.
I also coach junior consultants, for example by helping them organize their work, training them functionally in certain areas or technically in information systems. I also prepare consultants for their interviews, by telephone or at head office, to help them integrate the teams they want.
To conclude, I'd like to say that my role as Consultant Manager also requires a serious approach and attitude to the customer's project. A quality service gives Quanteam credibility, and enables me to support my advice "outside my project".
What does the role of Consultant Manager offer you professionally and personally?
Beyond the fields of finance or IT, the role of Consultant Manager is a human challenge. Helping junior consultants on their first assignment has enabled me to improve my interpersonal skills and understand them better. It also adds a new string to my bow and enriches me personally.
What's more, trying to contribute to Quanteam's business development in my own small way helps me to develop patience and tenacity. And when I manage to integrate a consultant I've coached into a team, it's very gratifying!
In your opinion, what are the essential qualities needed to become a Consultant Manager?
In my opinion, before becoming a Consultant Manager, you need to have experience and a certain distance as a consultant, so as to be comfortable with the subjects, financial products and information systems. You also need to have a certain knowledge of the financial marketplace and the different tools used: a minimum number of years' experience is essential to be able to make proposals.
What's more, I think that having had quite a variety of positions has been an asset for me in my role as Consultant Manager. The different positions I've held as a Developer, Technical/Functional Support, Business Analyst or Quantitative Analyst mean that I'm better able to appreciate a customer's needs and propose suitable profiles.
Finally, having stayed with the same customer for several years gave me a better understanding of their issues, their positioning, the technologies they work with and their needs. Nevertheless, having worked for different customers is not necessarily a hindrance to the role of Consultant Manager, since it enables me to have seen several different ways of operating, several different ways of working and, consequently, to have more solutions to propose.
To conclude, could you tell us about a project you carried out as a Consultant Manager that you're proud of?
I managed to identify a need in a team other than my own, and to understand their problems, even though it wasn't my area of expertise. I identified a consultant with a profile corresponding to this need and prepared him for the interview. He successfully joined the team.
When I joined BNP AM, there were 2 or 3 Quanteam consultants. By the time I left, I had helped to on-board 4 other consultants. I'm delighted to have contributed, as a Consultant Manager and in my own small way, to the development of Quanteam with my client at the time.