Meet the investment services team member – Mitesh Dayalji

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Mitesh Dayalji

Senior Investment Analyst – Asset Transitions

What does the investment services team do?

Our consultants advise pension scheme trustees on how to invest their pension scheme assets. We use investment models and asset research to form recommendations that take account of a pension scheme’s risk and return objectives, before presenting these ideas to trustees.

What are your role and responsibilities within the team?

I work in a specialist unit within the Investment Services Team, implementing asset transitions. If trustees decide to change their investments, then it’s our job to transition those assets from one strategy to another while managing the risk.

As well as transitions, I’ve recently taken on a new role to look at workflow across the whole team. As we continue to grow as a business, we need more structure. So this is part of a central initiative where I will look at how the investment team receives work and delivers it on time.

What will your work involve today?

I’ve got a few transitions I need to move along today. With a transition, we start with an instruction from the client, gather information from investment managers, plan the activity, produce the necessary documentation, and then oversee the activity through to completion.

What else? Within my workflow responsibilities, I’ve been looking at different roles within the team, client responsibilities, and how we prioritise work when things get really busy. I enjoy designing processes to make things more efficient. It’s great to have a blank piece of paper and create something from scratch.

I’m also part of First Actuarial’s Quality and Compliance Group, and I need to review a couple of documents ahead of a meeting. In relation to that group, The Pensions Regulator has recently issued an order that affects all pension scheme trustees. I’ve drafted a document, got it agreed by my compliance colleagues, and will soon be making sure it gets issued to all clients. I’ll also be emailing everyone in the company about that.

So all in all, my working day will be a mix of asset transitions, workflow analysis and compliance work.

How does First Actuarial support your professional development?

Because my role within the investment team is very specialised, there are no obvious professional qualifications to work towards. In time, though, it might make sense to work towards a project management qualification and I’m sure First Actuarial will support me if that’s what I decide. Many in the Investment team already receive support towards completing the actuarial exams and the CFA qualification is also on offer.

First Actuarial has a lot of structure in place to support continuous professional development. We have a Technical team that delivers training on specific issues or changes, as required. They also share information with the whole firm on a regular basis, in relation to changes in rules and regulations that impact our work. Within the Investment team we meet regularly to share knowledge and give junior members of the team an opportunity to report on recent developments on any asset classes that they cover.

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It’s still a relatively small firm and it’s growing. That works well for me, as it gives me the chance to have more responsibility, which is what drives me. Here, there are always new things to be created and designed, and that suits me as an individual.

How do you see your career progressing at First Actuarial?

It’s a good firm to work for. As far as the Investment team is concerned, you’ve got to be a bit of a self-starter. This is a great team if you’re ready for it, because there are plenty of opportunities for new people joining the team. You can get stuck in and take on a lot of responsibility from day one, and it’s not easy to get that experience as quickly in other places.

My additional work on team workflow has given me more responsibility and seniority within the team, and that’s what I was looking for. I’ve retained my specialism in transitions which is good for me as well. Where would I want to see myself going next? I guess over time, as the team grows, I’d like the Asset Transition function to expand and to have the opportunity to develop less experienced people in that role.

Can you describe the working culture?

First Actuarial as a whole is relaxed but professional. It’s relaxed in the sense that you’re given the freedom to get on with your work within natural boundaries. That creates a healthy atmosphere where people never feel that someone is watching over their shoulder.

I feel that I work with professional people who want to get their work done to a high standard and then go home to their personal lives. Work-life balance is important here.

Unlike more corporate firms, where client and colleague relationships can have a more ‘manufactured’ feel, First Actuarial allows you to be yourself. I can admit to having a bad day without feeling like I’m not being a good team player. It won’t affect the quality of work that I do – it’s just a natural human reaction.

What makes you happy about working for First Actuarial?

It’s still a relatively small firm and it’s growing. That works well for me, as it gives me the chance to have more responsibility, which is what drives me. Here, there are always new things to be created and designed, and that suits me as an individual.

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