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Barclays Capital targets Irish corporate treasury market for major expansion, with staff numbers up 50 per cent in 2005 Back  
As head of treasury at Barclays Capital in Dublin, Ciaran Kane is kept very busy gearing up for significant expansion in 2005, with staff numbers at the bank expected to grow by almost 50 per cent. The day starts with a conference call at 6.30am and takes in company research, a client lunch - kept south of the Liffey for time's sake - US economic indicators, staff meetings, administration, while still managing to achieve his 6.00pm 'early' Friday escape target!
6.30am: Arrive at our offices in St Stephen’s Green a little earlier than usual to participate in a conference call with our Barclays Capital colleagues in South Korea. We have a number of potential transactions in the pipeline and this regular call helps keep both sides updated on progress.

A Day in the Life - Ciaran Kane, Barclays Capital - Dublin

7.00am:Grab a coffee and a scone for breakfast and take 15 minutes to catch up on the newspapers and the latest research from our team in London. Barclays Capital produces very high quality research across a broad range of financial market products and just keeping up with it can be a full time job in itself! Most of this research is now available to our client base via our website or by email and feedback has been very positive.

7.30am: Brief morning meeting with the dealing team in Dublin. There are five of us on the desk covering a broad client base ranging from large multinationals and financial institutions to small domestic companies. Each dealer will have a portfolio of clients that they are working with on an ongoing basis providing advice and solutions in areas such as foreign exchange and interest rate hedging. Recently our mandate has expanded to encompass commodity hedging and specialist areas such as structured investment products. This keeps us on our toes in terms of acquiring new expertise and knowledge in these areas. Our morning meeting gives all team members an opportunity to catch up on overnight economic and political news and highlight upcoming events that may have an impact on currency and interest rate markets over the coming business day. In addition we will keep each other updated on transactions that we are working on to ensure that nothing comes to a halt if someone is not in the office.

8.00am: Participate in a weekly management conference call with my Treasury Sales colleagues in the U.K. The Treasury Sales business within Barclays Capital covers all Barclay’s clients in the U.K. and Ireland with dealing rooms in Dublin, Manchester and Birmingham, in addition to our main offices in Canary Wharf in London. In addition to standard agenda items such as general levels of business activity, the call focuses on areas where we can add value to our clients’ business. Barclays Capital is at the cutting edge of many new developments in the capital markets and our efforts have been recognised with some recent prestigious awards. In December 2004 Barclays Capital was awarded Bank of the Year by IFR magazine and in January 2005 it received the Derivatives House of the Year from Risk magazine.

9.00am: Our weekly sales meeting with the rest of the Barclays Ireland team gives me a chance to catch up on what has been happening in the broader banking world. The bank, headed up by Tom McAleese, has been undergoing significant growth in the last six months as Ireland has been identified as a key growth market by the Barclays Group. Additional resources are being committed to Ireland with sectoral expertise in some new areas and employee numbers set to grow by almost 50 per cent in the coming year. This meeting runs through the bank’s deal pipeline and the good news from a treasury perspective is that the outlook for the first half of the year is very promising. We work closely with our banking colleagues to devise optimal hedging solutions for clients borrowing money from us, so more lending activity is good for treasury business.

10.00am:Time to get back to the dealing room and catch up on what has been going on so far this morning. The bulk of our corporate business is influenced by two currency pairs – euro vs the US dollar and euro vs sterling – so we monitor these very closely and keep our regular dealing customers updated several times a day. The recent weakness in the US dollar has been good news for buyers of the currency, but bad news for clients who have receivables in USD.
One of the areas that we have been focusing on is in devising solutions to help USD sellers convert at more attractive levels via currency option structures. I use this time to call some clients that I have been talking to on various risk management solutions across a range of products – FX, interest rate and commodities. Invariably some issues will have cropped up that they will look for advice on and I try to have answers back to them as quickly as possible. We have access to a very broad range of expertise in our London office and we leverage off that when required. In addition to our advisory business, we will have customers with regular requirements to transact FX or interest rate business. This business tends to be price driven and extremely competitive so we try to keep our traders on their toes when pricing for these customers.

12.00pm: I join Alan O’Neill, a senior member of our dealing team, for a quick lunch with an institutional client based in the IFSC. Thankfully, the client is keen to sample the delights of the wide variety of cuisine available around the Green so we avoid the forty minute roundtrip north of the river.

1.20pm: Back in the office ahead of a key economic release from the United States at 1.30pm – the monthly employment report. This report has caused a lot of market volatility in recent months as the actual data was quite different from market forecasts. However, on this occasion the outcome is broadly in line with consensus forecasts. Currency and interest rate markets react fairly benignly, and the drift into the weekend begins.

1.45pm: Quick call to Adrian Doran, who runs our Belfast office, to finalise a planned visit there next week. Our business in Northern Ireland is becoming an increasingly important part of our overall business and we are devoting considerable resources to developing it further.

2.00pm: On the road with our business development manager, Alistair Welch, to visit a prospective client. While breaking into new relationships is always challenging, the Barclay’s brand name and reputation does make it easier. Like many of our new customers, this company has an existing treasury provider. However, they are pleasantly surprised at how straightforward it is to take on an additional provider and we will be in a position to quote on transactions within 24 hours.

4.00pm: Arrive back in the office to discover that one of the clients that I have been talking to on an interest rate risk management solution has been on to transact business in my absence. The client has been able to lock in long term funds at very attractive levels and is extremely pleased with the solution that Barclays structured for them.

4.30pm: Last official appointment of the week is a quick team meeting to wrap up the week and map out next week in terms of client meetings, economic data, other market events and the status of various transactions that we are working on.

5.00pm: Tidy up some administrative tasks before leaving the office. We try to file call reports of all client meetings within 48 hours of the meeting so I try to catch up on some meetings held earlier in the week. I always try to get out of the office before 6.00pm on a Friday and achieve this with a few minutes to spare.

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