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Wednesday, 21st April 2021
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A Day in the Life: Julia Hoggett, global head of capital markets, DEPFA Bank
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Running the long-term funding team for a bank such as DEPFA is an extremely varied job for Julia Hoggett, global head of capital markets. With a funding requirement of around €30 billion per year, DEPFA utilises a wide range of different capital markets, requiring day-to-day monitoring of the fixed income markets, an understanding of new structured products and an extremely active marketing effort. With a team of six people in Dublin and others about to join the team in Frankfurt, the aim is to raise these funds as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
3.45am - Not my standard wake up time, but it is not unusual to be woken up by my six month old son at this hour.

6.05am - Get up, exercise, shower and creep out of the house as quietly as possible - remembering to feed two cats along the way.

7.05am - The drive to the office takes around half an hour - along the coast road. Seeing the sea first thing in the morning is always welcome after so many years in London.

Julia Hoggett

7.35-45am - Depending on the traffic on the docks (and the ferry schedule) arrive at my desk. The first order of the day is to review any emails that slipped through the net the previous evening and market summary bloombergs sent out first thing in the morning. Given the funding requirement of the bank, it is necessary to monitor the possibilities available to us in a range of different markets, from EUR and USD to Japanese yen and Canadian dollars. As we have access to a wide range of information the difficult thing is finding the time to wade through it all to find the salient points. This morning, developments in the Canadian market are foremost in our mind. Recently the Canadian Government reduced the restrictions on non-domestic investments by domestic investors. This has opened up a potential 30-year transaction for us. Following a roadshow in Canada by a couple of members of the team, one of them, Darach will now manage the execution of the transaction.

8.30am - Have a group meeting at the desk. We review the overall funding position each morning €‘ with Alan giving the overview. He is the spreadsheet guru who monitors our issuance levels so he has the floor for these discussions. We then assess what is in the pipeline and consider the appropriate course of action - is the pricing provided consistent, do we have the right assets available for our Asset Covered Securities, how does the transaction fit into our overall plan?

9.15am - Try to find the time to proof-read an article I am writing for the annual Euromoney Debt Capital Markets Handbook. The writing process can often be very fragmented - time snatched between other projects to write paragraphs - so it is good to find the time to sit down quietly and reassess the work to make sure it still makes sense!

10.00am €‘ The first of potentially many conference calls with our dealer banks. As DEPFA executes a number of large (up to €3bn) benchmark transactions in any given year, we are therefore in constant dialogue to assess the market opportunities available to us. We have already executed one EUR and one USD transaction so far this year, so we are now talking to banks about how to fund our remaining requirement. During these calls we tend to receive feedback on the current performance of our existing issues and the nature of secondary and primary market demand for new transactions.

11.00am - Every month there is a meeting within the ACS BANK to assess the pipeline of assets available to us and our issuance plans. DEPFA€s benchmark product is our issuance of Asset Covered Securities - bonds covered by a diversified pool of high quality public sector assets. As a consequence, it is important to coordinate the issuance of securities and the availability of assets to place in our pool. This is also the forum where we keep up to date with developments that affect the ACS market.

12.30pm - Lunch with a Frankfurt based investment bank, introducing a new addition to their team. Whilst most of our dialogue with our coverage banks is by phone or Bloomberg, it is useful to have face to face meetings. The awarding of a mandate on a large benchmark transaction is based primarily on capabilities, but also on trust. The reputation of DEPFA in the market is €at risk€ every time we undertake a benchmark transaction and knowing the personalities you are entrusting the transaction to is very important.

1.30pm - Return to the desk to be greeted with a raft of emails and Bloombergs. Discuss the proposed schedule for a roadshow to the east-coast of the US with Karen, the member of my team most involved in the marketing strategy. The success of our benchmarks is in part a function of marketing to investors globally.

2.00pm - Global head of treasury stops by the desk for a quick briefing on upcoming deals.

2.30pm - Have discussions with our internal risk management team about a potential new MTN structure. We have been seeing regular enquiries for a new structured product that we have not yet been able to execute, therefore today we need to sit down with our systems people to assess whether the structure is something that we can price effectively and therefore add to our portfolio. Often, this requires detailed discussions on the formulae behind a particular structure and an assessment of the trade-off between system development costs and the likely volume of funding that we can expect. Kieran, the structuring wizard on the desk, will spearhead the process going forwards.

3.00pm - An investment bank from the UK comes to Dublin to review our relationship and discuss their position in our 10 member benchmark dealer group. Today the discussion is on the sort of currencies and markets we should look at outside our standard EUR and USD benchmark programme.

4.00pm - Attend an internal training session with members of the team on how to identify potential money laundering and terrorist financing. This is an issue that has become even more pertinent in recent years and training is an important risk mitigant.

5.00pm - Sit down with my assistant, Georgina, to discuss the schedule for the coming weeks, assess which flights are optimal for a number of business trips and plan a couple of events the desk is organising.

6.00pm - meeting with DEPFA legal team, regarding the EU Prospectus Directive to assess how it will impact our standard execution procedures. As ever, it takes time to clarify the true implications of new regulations. Mariana from our legal team, who has supreme patience and a great sense of humour, agrees to liaise with Niamh on my team regarding the next steps. Both agree that they may not have received the best assignment!

6.30pm - Get back to the desk to find some typical banter taking place between the team. After that diversion, I try to return as many unanswered calls as possible and review the flow of trades that have been done through during the day.

6.45pm - Drive home!

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