As an Arts graduate, Fyona began her City career working in support roles, but worked her way up through the ranks by gaining front office experience and passing a series of financial qualifications, and now works as a Derivatives & Counterparty Risk Analyst for a large asset management firm.
Fyona joined WIBF in 2016 and is co-chair of the London Networks events, which help members create, build, and nurture mutually beneficial business and social connections to support their careers over the long term.
Can you tell us a little about your day job?
I’m a counterparty credit risk analyst for an Asset Management firm. I monitor our derivatives counterparties looking for signs that they might default on their obligations (futures, options, swaps, etc.). Unlike regular credit risk, the amounts owed in these transactions change based upon market movements, and the risk often switches from one party to the other. There is frequently no third party to provide protection from default either, so it can be very risky. I monitor a range of indicators such as CDS spreads, share prices, indices and newflow on a daily basis, as well as completing a full annual in-depth review of each counterparty.
How did you first get involved with WIBF?
I joined as a regular member just over 2 years ago. I had been on a career break just prior to this, working for the National Trust, and I’d come back to London hoping to find some way of helping to support womens progress within the industry. When the role of setting up a Networks programme for WIBF came up I jumped at the chance, seeing it as an excellent way of bringing women together for mutual support and encouragement.
What kind of events do you hold and what is coming up?
We have an exciting schedule of events coming up in the next year. Our regular City Supper Club continues, along with a wide range of evening social occasions, which have already included wine tasting and chocolate making, and golf. In addition, we hold a monthly drinks session that is free to attend, and attracts members and non members alike. Our favourite events are the annual Christmas dinner (which was held at Villandry last year), and the Summer party, which are always hugely popular.
Why do you think women’s networks are still so important?
They are still very much needed as we are yet to achieve full gender equality in the workplace despite decades of effort. Part of the solution is for women to develop mutually beneficial business connections that will support and assist them over the long term. Our membership represents a deep and valuable pool of knowledge and contacts and so I organise that events that allow members to meet, exchange ideas, and engage more deeply with each other, helping them become more confident, connected individuals.
You’ve been involved in setting up the Guild of Investment Managers, can you tell us more about it?
The Guild is an exciting new professional network open to all asset management professionals. It combines the benefits of a 21st century industry association with the chance to participate in London’s oldest and grandest ceremonies. As well as networking events, dinners, and workshops, the Guild aims to hold charity fundraising events, and reach out younger generations and encourage them to consider a career in asset management.
We also support members in becoming Freemen of the City of London, as this offers direct access to top decision makers and key influencers in the City. The Freedom ceremony is one of the oldest surviving customs in existence (dating back to the 13th century) and is wonderful way to connect your own personal history with London’s past. Any WIBF members keen to find out more are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out guildofinvestmentmanagers.co.uk
What do you get up to in your spare time?
I love to sing, and am a member of the Borough Welsh Choir. We are a mix of Welsh and Non-Welsh Londoners that rehearse regularly in London Bridge, and compete in choir competitions every year. We also get to sing at some fantastic events, and in the past year have performed at the Houses of Parliament, No. 10 Downing Street, and Buckingham Palace, where I got to meet Prince Charles! Having not sung since school I was extremely nervous when I attended my first rehearsal, and almost backed out at the last minute. But it goes to show what wonderful things can happen if you’re brave enough to take a chance on something new!