Caroline Serdarevic - Managing Director (Capital Markets)
What skills are most relevant to your role?
My role has evolved quite meaningfully over the last couple of years, as management takes an increasingly large portion of my time, vs "front line" sales. As a result, there's a whole new set of skills I am having to learn (sometimes better than others): how to balance my time most effectively between day-to-day and longer-term projects; how to manage "up" as effectively as manage "down"; how to delegate (this is a big one!); how to manage conflict or provide negative feedback.
What skills would you recommend someone nurture to get into your position?
Effective communication I think is at the heart of everything at every level. Listening and understanding the perspectives put to you, and taking that little bit longer to formulate your view prior to expressing it. Everyone is short on time, always. So in general I think people appreciate fewer, but higher quality communications - make them considered, clear, relevant and effective. Less white noise means people listen.
What opportunities do you see in your sector?
I think Capital Markets is going through a generational shift. It's finally succumbing to the inevitable changes that technology brings, and we're still working out how that fits into what will always be a people business. If you're tech-minded, there will be huge opportunities as institutions the world over try to to define and refine this. I think it will be a great leveller, and favour forward thinking candidates and smaller, nimble firms will be able to make huge strides.
What's the best advice you have received?
Be entirely objective to yourself about yourself.
Be honest about what you don't know; ask questions and find opportunities to learn. But also give yourself due credit for the skills you have, and don't undersell what you can do.
What’s the best advice you yourself would like to give?
Most people's careers (and lives) are not linear. You don't make a decision at 20 and have to be beholden to that decision at 40 - what you want from your job and your life will and should change and evolve, and you have to be prepared to move with it and regularly rethink what works for you.
What effects do you expect to see in the short, medium and long-term due to Covid-19?
In the short term i think the biggest impact will be on the real economy - we're going to see a lot of collateral damage, and it will be a tough period for many. Longer term, I do believe there will be a structural shift in the way banking operates: it has highlighted that remote working is feasible for large parts of our industry, and I'd imagine that a lot of people will want to rethink the way they work and their need to commute every day. I envisage less business travel, more flexible working, which in turn will increase the need for, and reliance upon, technology solutions.