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Accounting and legal skills key for listings career Back  
Having undertaken a business and legal studies degree, and subsequently qualifying as an accountant, Joanne McEnteggart believes she was equipped with a fantastic foundation for the skills required in listing, which has seen her become director of investment funds and debt securities at NCB.
What is your educational background? I graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies. I am also a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Joanne McEnteggart

What has been your career path to date? I joined Irish Life after graduating and worked as a trainee accountant in their group internal audit division. Here I was involved in running audits of Irish Life Investment Managers, which gave me an early insight into the intricacies of the financial services world. I left there after three years to gain some experience in fund accounting with a fund administration company. It was while in this role as financial reporting manager that I heard of a new function being set-up within Ernst & Young, which looked after the listing of funds and securitisations on the Irish Stock Exchange. The role sounded very interesting and challenging and would introduce me to every type of product that was available to the market. I was then approached by NCB in 2002 about a managerial position in their listing division and I am now a director of NCB, working in the investment funds and debt securities division.

Are your peers from similar backgrounds? People from all types of backgrounds work in the listing business. While at NCB, for the most part, we are from either accounting or legal backgrounds and traditionally recruit staff with these traits. The disciplines from both of these professions are fantastic foundations for the skills required in listing.

Have you worked abroad? If so where and what did you do? Would you do so again? While at Irish Life, I had a wonderful opportunity of auditing one of its US Subsidiaries that it had just acquired in Chicago. My current role involves a lot of travel to USA, Asia and Europe meeting with clients and forging new relationships. We are seeing an increased growth of business on the securitisation side from more far-reaching parts of the world so I am sure my trips will also extend to these destinations over time. ( Like many graduates, I spent a summer working in the US on a J1 visa in Long Island, although working would a term to be used loosely in that instance.)
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How would you compare career prospects internationally to those in Ireland? I think the securitisation sector is one which is growing significantly at the moment. I think the prospects are fantastic for anyone looking at a role in any area of this sector be it on the trustee side, on the collateral management side, on the legal side or on the listing side. Just recently, Guggenheim Partners set up in Ireland together with Wachovia and Capita. I think the growth has been significantly aided by the establishment of the Irish Securitisation Forum.

Have you undertaken any additional professional training since assuming your current role? As an accountant, I must and do fulfil my CPD requirements each year. I attend a lot of conferences in relation to each type of securitisation product, which keeps me abreast of new developments whilst also allowing me the opportunity to develop our business.

What skills/aptitude would you identify as being key/beneficial to a career in your sector? As mentioned earlier accounting/ legal training provides an excellent basis for a career in listing as there is a lot of reviewing of documentation, management of projects and responding to clients within tight time constraints. On a macro level, having strong interpersonal skills is key as we must maintain client relationships to ensure repeat business in a competitive market space. You must be able to work on your own initiative as well as being a team player and excellent time management skills are key.

What aspects of the job do you like most? I love the fact that we have such a huge diverse client base and we deal with many different people throughout the world. It’s fantastic that I also get to meet our clients face to face to constantly ensure that they are happy with the quality of service they are receiving from NCB and to listen to their suggestions as to how we can make it even better.

What aspects of the job do you like least? My job is quite demanding but I love the challenge.

How do you define success in your sector? Success is when you know you have exceeded your client’s expectations. Success is when you are able to list something in one week that would have normally taken three (with the help of the ISE). Success is listing a structure which at first glance seemed impossible to list. Obviously we also like to make some money for NCB while achieving such success.

Is there anyone in particular you admire in your industry? We would not be able to successfully run our business without the assistance of the excellent teams at the Irish Stock Exchange who review documentation to tight deadlines and deal with our daily queries. Working in a listing area means that you get exposure to a lot of new transactions and new ways of making money, I am amazed sometimes as to how some deals are structured on the basis of gaps in the market that have never been considered before. I really admire the intellect of the structuring people that are behind the transactions that we work on.

What advice would you give to others who might like a career in your sector? I would advise them to speak to someone working in this area to get a true feel for what the day-to-day role actually is. Some people enter the role blindly and realise that there is a lot more documentation review than they expected or find that dealing with a lot of projects is not for them. The job is extremely rewarding once you are dedicated to it. The role has also opened opportunities for some people to move into wealth management and equities divisions.

In what areas are there the most opportunities in Ireland? When I started in this area initially, the majority of the deals that I worked on were based in the Cayman Islands whilst our contacts were based in New York. We are seeing a lot more deals being structured in Ireland now together with other European centres. I think this is as a direct result of the effort Irish service providers, the ISE and the Irish Securitisation Forum are putting in to promote Ireland as a centre for securitisation.

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