My name is Eoin Rooney from the beautiful, rural North County Dublin (Man O War). I have a BSc in Business and Management from TU Dublin and an MSc in Finance from DCU. During my time at TU Dublin, I secured a great internship with GAM Fund Management in their dealing team. This was a fantastic opportunity and really solidified my interest in focusing on a career in Asset Management.
When I finished my degree, I decided that I wanted to be more front office and I moved to an analyst position with SEI Investments in Dublin. I really liked elements of this role but it always felt for me that the big decisions were being made in London and so I decided to take on the highly-regarded MSc Finance in DCU full time with a plan to move to London on completion.
One of the reasons I chose DCU was its alumni network. Some of the biggest Irish names in the industry (and business) have come from DCU. Just before finishing my master’s, I reached out to a former DCU student who was the Global Head of Distribution at Morgan Stanley at the time who put me in touch with various recruiters in London and became a mentor of mine whenever I needed some outside council (still is). London is full of opportunities for hungry graduates who are willing to put the work in and learn. After a few weeks of searching, taking various cheap Ryanair flights up and back, and sleeping on my friend’s couch, I managed to secure an Investor relations role with one of my dream firms – Vanguard. The world’s second-largest Asset Manager that has a reputation for taking a stand for the end investor and changing the industry for the good.
After a year of working in the investor relations role I decided to apply for the Vanguard Europe, Emerging Leader Development Programme where two people in Europe would be given the opportunity to work in various roles across the European Business and spend some time in the Vanguard US headquarters in Malvern, PA. To my surprise, I was selected. I rotated in Investment Product, Marketing, and Strategy for 18 months.
As this programme came to an end, I then put my hat in the ring and applied for the Chief of Staff, Europe role that reported to the MD of Europe. After a long process and again to my surprise I managed to secure that role. This was exciting as I was given a place on the European Leadership Team’s table and I got to learn how a business is run and the various leadership styles that exist. I was in this role for just over a year before moving into a Chief of Staff role for the European retail business reporting to the Head of Retail. This area is a personal interest of mine as I am passionate about ensuring everyday people have the chance of maximizing their savings for big life events like house purchases, education, and retirement. This is an area that Ireland needs to improve on to ensure everyday people have the investment acumen and access to low-cost, high-quality investment accounts where they can save in a tax-efficient way for their big life events. This is ever more important as bank saving rates are diminished with inflation and the cost of living increases. We need to ensure saving is encouraged and worthwhile for Irish people. My current position is a Product Strategy Specialist in the UK Retail division at Vanguard. I get the opportunity to help shape our offers to retail clients in the UK and drive our way of working as a product team. I work with an amazing group of people that have industry-leading knowledge and all have a passion to ensure retail investors get a fair shake.
The asset management industry is one that will never stop evolving and so, if like me you one day want to get to the top, you need to:
1. Be passionate about what you do
2. Be willing to ask questions, learn and be curious
3. Have the drive and willingness to succeed I am from a family farming background and so I knew it would be hard to get the role I am in now as I had zero contacts.
However, I tried and it paid off. My general guidance to any recent graduate reading this or anyone thinking about a new career is to just try and go for it! Although I feel very lucky in the way things have panned out so far. I always go back to my Mam’s two famous household sayings… “you make your own luck” And “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”
Drive and passion are key to strive in the Asset Management (any) industry. A degree in Finance can help. However, it is not necessary – Science, Engineering, Arts, Law, and Technology are all just as relevant nowadays and so if anyone is interested in moving to London, perusing a career in Asset Management, or just wants some general guidance – please do reach out to me, I will always help where I can, just like I was 5 years ago when I moved to London
Author: Eoin Rooney, Product Strategy Specialist at Vanguard | UK & Europe
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
Functional Always active
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.