Just as our people each bring something unique to our business, they each enjoy their own experiences, develop in a different way and take something unique from it too. Here, a few of them share their thoughts on life and work at MUFG.
When I had completed all of my courses in my master’s degree and I was three months away from graduating, only my dissertation left to be handed in, my summer internship at MUFG was coming to an end. I was then presented with one of the most difficult choices I have encountered to date – I was offered a full time position at MUFG, and I had to choose between this and a bulge bracket bank position I had already been offered earlier that year.
I would lie if I would say that it was an easy decision, as it was everything but. Fresh out of university, only two internships behind me, it was not easy to make realistic comparisons between these two job offers. Things such as name recognition, visibility, league table positions, market share and compensation might come to mind to many people when trying to decide between different banks. While these are all relevant, they were however not the primary considerations in my case.
What matters to me the most is being able to do work that I enjoy. I had known since the beginning of my two-year master’s degree in Corporate Finance that I wanted to go into Debt Capital Markets. This area was unquestionably of the most interest to me, and I felt my skillset was very well suited for it – a hunch that then got confirmed during my internships.
MUFG was able to guarantee me a position at the team I had completed my internship with, within DCM. MUFG had recognised my suitability, skillset and personal preferences since my first telephone interview, and had taken these into account when making the decision to extend me a full-time offer. Meanwhile, the competing bank was unable to guarantee me a position with the DCM team specifically, regardless of me having been interviewed by multiple people working in the department and having clearly expressed my interest towards DCM. I appreciated, and still do, MUFG’s emphasis on individuals enormously, including but not limited to considerations on skillsets, preferences and personalities.
Another immensely important aspect that contributed to my choice and that I would like to highlight here is the amount of responsibility and recognition I get at MUFG. Since the first day of my internship I was a fully accepted member of the team. I got very senior manager exposure since the very beginning, attending different level meetings daily. Once I joined the graduate programme, I had my first client meeting within a month. I am always given appropriate credit for the work that I personally prepare. I believe that the relatively small team sizes and flat organisational structure within DCM positively contribute to this, and I truly believe that I would not have been able to achieve this level of responsibility this early on elsewhere. This also links to the aspect mentioned above, as individual contribution and skills are recognised, appreciated and celebrated at MUFG.
Joining a large organisation like MUFG can be intimidating, especially as a junior member new to the industry. It can be difficult to answer the question of how to network and meet colleagues apart from those in your immediate team, and how to build your network. Joining Mosaic, one of MUFG’s Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) networks, was an easy solution to this question! Mosaic’s focus is to help MUFG and its employees gain the maximum benefit from our cultural diversity across EMEA.
There are five core employee-run networks, that explore different topics, raise awareness, and drive change through the organisation – Mosaic, Balance, disABILITY Works, Family Matters and Pride Alliance. The networks are open to anyone within the organisation, regardless of position, team or seniority.
Mosaic meets once a month to catch up, discuss and plan initiatives and future events. Mosaic’s cultural events have been varied and have included external speakers on diversity, panel discussions, sake tasking, ethnicity and diversity-related movie screenings, amongst other things. One prominent event I helped organise was an evening celebration of cultural diversity. As a junior member of the organisation, I didn’t expect to be given the opportunity to have such an impact on the network! The culture day celebration featured games, arts and crafts, cuisine and entertainment from all over the world ranging from Dutch Shuffleboard to Japanese Calligraphy. This event partnered with CSR, and raised money for a local North London based charity “All Change Arts”.
Organising this event required collaboration with people from all over the organisation. As a new joiner, having the opportunity to meet and work with people at different levels and departments so early in my career at MUFG was invaluable. Joining Mosaic has given me an immediate network throughout the bank of people I wouldn’t normally see in my day-to-day role. This makes me feel great – being able to support and promote initiatives around cultural and ethnic diversity, and feeling like I am truly a part of the larger organisation with a role to play.
Find out more about what Inclusion & Diversity means to MUFG
I believe that any kind of job is done the best by someone who is passionate about the subject. Where the real difference can be seen, however, is when the job is about a subject that is a matter of passion and very close to heart to the other involved parties. I believe Sustainable Finance falls into this category.
While it is an absolutely crucial step in protecting our planet and combating climate change, given that companies who are looking to raise financing for sustainable projects have these values deeply imprinted into the core of their strategy, for any successful structuring process and execution the bankers working with them also need to truly believe in it.
I was thrilled to be offered an opportunity to work with sustainable financing at MUFG, a bank that has now issued five Green Bonds in its own name and been a bookrunner on countless more high profile deals globally, as well as continuously landing near the top in both sustainable loan and bond league tables. Being able to combine my personal interests, beliefs and enthusiasm with my work at a bank with a strong involvement and capabilities in this area has been incredibly rewarding.
Sustainable Financing is an area that will only keep growing, providing more and more opportunities and ever more innovative solutions – it started with Green Bonds and has quickly evolved to Sustainability Linked Loans, UN SDG Bonds, and Green Innovation Bonds (which finance sustainability focused R&D). I am excited to observe and participate in developing new instruments in this space.
MUFG has provided me with countless opportunities to learn and to develop my skills in this field while working with colleagues just as passionate as I am about the topic. I regularly attend conferences and roundtable discussions with Sustainable Financing teams from the other major banks, as well as investors and issuers, with the aim to exchange ideas and further develop the market. At MUFG, I work directly for the Head of Green Bonds, giving me invaluable exposure to senior management as well as clients, and great levels of responsibility and recognition across the bank.
Attending MUFG’s Female Insight Day marked my introduction to the financial services industry, as I gained first-hand exposure to the corporate environment. I came across the event through my university’s newsletter, and what initially appealed to me was the prospect of getting a general flavour of finance, as my degree is in humanities. However, the insider perspective that I left with that day propelled me to want to pursue a career within the industry, and more specifically, at MUFG.
During the day, I attended several lectures and panel sessions which focused on both the business structure particular to MUFG, as well as more general aspects of finance that were relatively new to me. I found the discussions to be stimulating, whilst the atmosphere gave me a sense of confidence as I listened to women within the bank share their stories, what challenges they had faced throughout their career development, and what they most enjoyed about their work.
Perhaps what excited me the most was that my hopes about finance had been substantiated, and my expectations exceeded. I remember sitting down at a table with a relatively new analyst who was fascinated with her work and keen to answer all of my questions, whilst being the biggest advocate for her department and what the day-to-day work entails; she had come from a languages background, had learned everything she knew about finance since joining the bank, and took great pride in both her team, and what the company stands for. That, to me, proved to be just what I needed to embolden my ambitions and to take the next steps.
Almost two years later, I am now happy to begin the next stage of my career as a graduate analyst. The Female Insight Day is a great opportunity to learn more about what you are interested in, as well as potentially discover areas of business you might not know about. For me, it was the first opportunity I was given to build contacts and to get a realistic picture of what working in a bank might look like.
Given the competitive nature of finance, an event like this is not only a great way to enhance one’s commercial awareness and begin to learn to navigate through a business environment, but it also acted as a deep educational session that successfully guided and encouraged me to select the career I wanted to follow. It is a great foundation upon which to base your theoretical degree and apply your practical skills to.
At the end of my penultimate year at university, I completed an internship rotating through a number of departments and I was delighted to receive a graduate offer from the Line P&L team within Product Control.
What is Product Control? The Product Control team at MUFG is divided into two sub-departments: Line P&L and Valuations.
The Line P&L team are responsible for the daily P&L reporting for each business area. We provide key financial information by explaining profit and loss in depth with respect to attribution of risk parameter movements, deal activity and market linked commentary. The team is engaged in the launch of new products which are to be traded by the firm in order to evaluate the controls implemented for its P&L reporting. Additionally, on a monthly and quarterly basis, we evaluate the performance of business units by detailing market events and key activity that has driven P&L, in which such commentary is distributed internally.
On a monthly basis, for each of the trading desks, the Valuations team prepare independent price valuation reports and analyse the specific risk parameters which may be driving differences in pricing. These documents provide the relevant financial information to governance forums that are contained within internal reporting packages. The team also run balance sheet and trade population reconciliations to ensure completeness and accuracy of trade valuations.
My fascination to join Product Control stems from a number of reasons, particularly the plethora of opportunity you are given even as a graduate. In the short space of a few months into joining the desk, I was given tremendous responsibility of reporting P&L for multiple business units. This experience enabled me to ascertain the fundamentals of different business functions within an organisation, and vastly broadened my technical understanding, which were facets of a graduate job I was looking for.
In addition to developing my technical competencies, I was also able to hone my interpersonal skills as I regularly had the opportunity to interact with other teams across the business including traders and sales reps. This gives me the ease of developing my network and personal brand within the firm, and the gravity of networking is constantly placed at the forefront within the working world.
Furthermore, working in Line P&L within Product Control, you are given more than just the opportunity of working on different asset classes, but you are able to partake in various projects outside your day-to-day role, transition into the Valuations team if this fits your personal interests and you are able to complete the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.
Product Control takes great pride in providing its team members with opportunities that will accelerate both their professional and personal development, and it is for these many reasons why I decided to join this team.
There are many different perceptions of corporate banking amongst graduates coming into the industry. If I were asked to describe my graduate role in three words, I would say: dynamic, challenging and well-rounded.
Dynamic – As cliché as it sounds, it truly is the case that no day is ever the same. I would describe corporate banking as the overarching umbrella, under which falls all of MUFG’s financial products and relationship management, both locally and within the global network. Hence, the nature of the role is that you can identify business opportunities across the product suite, but also across jurisdictions. As a result, you can be pitching a Securitisation deal in Australia one day, and completing a Foreign Exchange deal in South Korea the next.
Challenging and rewarding – It is within the corporate banker’s scope of responsibility to identify and pursue opportunities with clients that benefit both parties. However, given the competitive nature of the industry, the corporate banker must distinguish MUFG from the other banks. This can be done by offering excellent services, tailored solutions and competitive pricing. For MUFG specifically, a significant highlight is our global presence, and being able to match any corporate’s international footprint.
Well-rounded – As a graduate moving towards the 12 month mark since starting in corporate banking, I can say with confidence that it is an exceptional opportunity to start your career.
Your ability to build relationships and develop your network is essential to the role. As a corporate banker, you ‘own’ transactions from start to finish and you will be able to build relationships internally and externally. The internal teams you will work with range from specific product teams such as Loans Syndications and Bonds to Credit, Legal and Compliance.
You are able to take on a lot of responsibility quickly and as a result, the role is a great opportunity to gain well-rounded and transferrable skills. Clear communication skills are vital in order to interact with clients and internal teams. Considering the fast-paced environment, analytical and problem-solving skills are also vital for day-to-day responsibilities.
I am very thankful for the support and exposure I have been given by my team. I have been able to work on significant transactions across products, industries and jurisdictions, alongside some inspiring colleagues. In hindsight, I am grateful for having made the decision to join MUFG to get me where I am today.
Joining MUFG was definitely a big change in my life, and one that initially I felt very nervous about. Moving to London and effectively starting from a point where nobody knew me was daunting, but still an amazing opportunity at the same time. Even though I had some experience in Banking and Finance, I was very new to Corporate and Investment Banking, and I had to quickly learn about the industry. I’m almost a year into my graduate scheme now and I can honestly say that I have learnt so much in the short time that I have been here and relish the opportunity to take on new challenges.
MUFG prides itself on its values, but in my honest opinion, I think it’s the array of cultures that are merged into one company that really make it stand out. For example, on a morning when I go to make a cup of tea or at lunch time in the canteen, I’ll hear a mixture of different languages from a range of different continents. When I’m working throughout the day, I’ll be taking calls from stakeholders in different office locations such as New York, Brazil, or Tokyo. When you work at a firm as truly global as this, you really appreciate how big the world is, and through bespoke training at the beginning of the scheme, you are introduced to other colleagues from locations such as Dubai and Hong Kong who join you for a month of training in London.
MUFG also invest a lot in their employees, for example, I am studying towards the CFA qualification with the support of the bank and have further attended numerous courses and training to help build my understanding of financial products and analysis. The people around you at work also make a huge difference; my team really support me with my day–to-day work and sit down with me to explain things in detail, encouraging me to ask questions and contribute my own ideas.
Furthermore, being part of the scheme has allowed me to work on various deals starting from origination all the way up to execution. If I was at another bank, I don’t think that I would have had the opportunity to be exposed to the transactions and the clients I have worked on, here at MUFG they really get you stuck in from day one. You get the opportunity to meet clients and attend conferences to help you build connections and learn about the sector. For example, I recently attended a conference on how technology is impacting business in China at a leading law firm in London.
Through my time here, I have learnt more about myself, cultures, people, and the world of banking and finance. I have gained technical skills and know a great deal more about banking than I did. That might sound like an obvious thing to say, but once you start working here and become more familiar with work practices, it becomes apparent what you do and don’t know, leaving space to learn as much as you can.
The best piece of advice I can give to anyone applying is to be yourself! Challenge yourself and don’t pretend to be something that you’re not. If you’re comfortable in your own skin, then it makes working somewhere that you fit into much easier, helping you to confidently communicate with other stakeholders and most of all, excel.
Connect – Upon joining MUFG I have had numerous opportunities to set up meetings and sit with desks across the firm. One great thing about MUFG is that there are numerous divisions on one floor. In one trip to the first floor kitchen you can meet people from 10 or more divisions. It is quite unreal how easy it is to also set up a meeting with a division of interest. In most cases I organised to sit with 1 person but upon reaching their desk I was introduced to 4 if not more people in their team and by the time I knew it I had met and sat down with the whole division. I would definitely say there is a common theme of ‘Let me introduce you to …’ amongst employees at MUFG and it is this characteristic of going beyond what was asked of them that I really admire about the employees at MUFG.
Learn – The personalised training provided in MUFG’s summer internship programme definitely distinguishes them from other banks. MUFG offered a very practical and hands on training week. We were not only given e-learning modules but upon arriving we spent our first week learning about Financial Markets and Products in a classroom and then put that knowledge to work.
Grow – During my time with MUFG I have been able to truly develop and grow as an individual. During our 3rd week we were fortunate to have an external trainer come in and speak to us about personal effectiveness in regards to Time Management. This was followed up in our 5th week with a personal effectiveness session focused on Personal Brand. Some key take away points from these sessions for me were to always under promise but over deliver, to differentiate important tasks from urgent tasks, to constantly review my performance and to always seek to understand before being understood. Aside from this, during my time with MUFG I witnessed bring your child to work day, the launch of a peer mentoring programme and an A-Level students programme. In 10 weeks alone, I was able to witness these examples of how open and encouraging MUFG is in terms of helping individuals to grow and increase their exposure to the industry. This tells me a lot about the nurturing culture at MUFG.
Embrace Culture – I have found MUFG to be a very transparent and inclusive firm. Having come from a bank with over 200 interns, MUFG’s class of 19 interns has been a huge differentiator for me. I find that I am able to develop a more personal relationship with the fellow interns and embrace our differences. Interestingly, the intern group consists of individuals from Ireland, Nigeria (myself), Italy, France, Bulgaria and Scotland who studied various courses at different universities. We often meet up on Friday’s after work for a social so it has been really nice and interesting to get to know everyone and each of their different backgrounds.
Overall, this summer internship programme has shown me that MUFG is an exceptional firm that provides ‘Endless Opportunities to Connect, Learn, Grow and Embrace Culture!’
As an intern on the Rates Trading desk at MUFG, my internship experience was perhaps slightly different from my fellow peers. As an intern in this particular division, it was more difficult to take on real responsibility given the close proximity to the market and the nature of the department, which handles and deals with large sums of money. The challenge then lies in learning as much as possible within the confines of this position, but also adding value and assisting in whatever way you can.
Much of the first half of my internship on the Rates Trading desk focused on gaining enough knowledge and understanding of the business processes so that I could comprehend what was going on and why. This not only included the finer details of the financial products that were being traded, but I also needed to grasp the terminology that was being used. This learning curve was challenging but incredibly useful. I was keen to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the job and, by being thrown into the deep end and learn the common abbreviations and jargon; I believe I got a lot more out of the internship. Once I had a decent understanding, I was positioned well enough to become more involved and assist in pricing enquiries. This in itself furthered my understanding of how traders hedge their positions within the markets and enabled me to ask more informed questions, where relevant.
I then spent the latter half of my internship on the desk sitting with and talking to as many peers as possible. This gave me exposure to a variety of perspectives, different techniques and preferences on the market. It was incredibly useful to not only network with people within the Rates Trading desk division, but also to meet and liaise with other employees in different departments. Everyone was incredibly friendly, helpful and insightful and it meant that I developed my understanding of how the different areas worked together and combined their expertise across the business.
My main project was to research and present on the drivers behind recent trends in cross-currency basis spreads. This took up a reasonable proportion of my time on the desk and was split up by occasional smaller projects.
This has been an incredible experience and I would highly recommend taking part in MUFG’s internship programme, as it promotes responsibility, initiative and career development from an early stage. It is particularly great for anyone who is interested in the world of finance, and thrives in an ever-changing, diverse and fast-paced environment.
Three pieces of advice I would give to anyone following my path on the Rates Trading desk would be:
Coming into the MUFG Analyst Programme without having been part of the internship intake, I have to admit I was not entirely sure what to expect. Even though I had some experience in investment banking, everything I read about MUFG pointed towards a different mind-set about how business is done. Now, as I go through the Analyst programme a couple of things have become clear.
Firstly, the MUFG values permeate every aspect of doing business. They are much more than words splashed on a picture of the Tokyo skyline; they are palpable and really form the driving force behind servicing clients. Putting them at the centre of what we do – simple as it may sound – has profound day-to-day consequences and helps cultivate a culture that is vital to the products we provide. How have I come across them? Well, as part of the graduate programme within Structured Finance you get the opportunity to discuss transactions you are working on with senior management, alongside the rest of the deal team.
It is not just about values though. Rotating through three different departments, Securitisation, Commodity and Structured Trade Finance, and finally, Strategic Finance, I have been surprised with how welcoming each department has been to graduates. I did not anticipate how prepared my colleagues would be to take me on board, teach me about their product, with all its intricacies and challenges, and really embrace me as part of their team. From bespoke training schemes to go through each asset class with a product expert within Securitisation, to mini-rotations within the various sub-departments in Commodity and Structured Trade Finance, I have always felt that MUFG values me as an asset and is looking to help me expand my skillset. I also found MUFG’s attitude to transparency refreshing – as part of the graduate scheme, I have been invited to participate in various “lunch and learn” sessions with the organisation’s senior leaders; we discussed a wide array of engaging topics, all of which were open to everyone’s input.
If you’re wondering what you personally will take away from the programme, it will be a greater understanding of an organisation that is both unique in the way it does business, and committed to investing in you and helping you reach your potential.
Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist, defines corporate culture as the ideologies, beliefs and behaviours that determine how a company’s employees interact internally and externally. In today’s world, this is a differentiating factor for a company and moreover, the key to success. From a millennial perspective, this is what attracts, develops and retains a graduate. Therefore in my opinion, corporate culture is a company’s most valuable asset.
MUFG’s differentiating factors from a business perspective may be its extraordinarily large balance sheet or its widely appreciated expertise in project finance. However, in my eyes, it is its corporate culture. MUFG has created a corporate culture in which its employees can grow and excel. As a result, the bank is able to obtain its globally competitive and outstanding performance.
Day in and day out, MUFG employees emphasise its corporate culture as one of the benefits of working here. After gaining first-hand experience, I have been astounded by MUFG’s corporate culture which can easily be defined as diverse, friendly, yet ambitious and successful. Specifically, it is the diversity, the work-life balance and the family-like environment that I can confidently confirm are factors that makes me want to return to the office every morning.
Firstly, MUFG’s diversity can be characterised by a mosaic; a plethora of cultures and nationalities that merge to create MUFG’s identity. Every day I am pleasantly surprised by the number of languages I hear and the different people I meet. It is truly a place where one can broaden their views and become more accepting of others and the world as a whole. Additionally, it is very apparent that MUFG is making the effort to move towards gender equality. Awareness raising, backed by a gender strategy, is a key focus to alter the internal views and attitudes towards this issue, and the firm is working towards increasing female representation at a senior level by at least 10% by 2022. In every meeting I have attended, I have made a conscious effort to pay attention to the number of women in the meeting. I am happy and proud to say that I have yet to attend a meeting where I am the only female.
Secondly, MUFG’s corporate culture also exhibits an exceptional work-life balance. There is a common consensus that this is rare in the industry. After having spoken with a myriad of employees from various levels, I have realised this is appreciated and valued by every employee. It is an aspect of MUFG’s corporate culture that renders the demanding nature of the industry as sustainable. Furthermore, it enhances efficiency, productivity and creativity, which in return has a positive effect on MUFG’s financial performance.
Finally, MUFG’s corporate culture features a family environment, which stood out to me from day one. Every employee is a member of a team that strives towards a common goal to achieve success. Being part of a team at MUFG gives a sense of belonging and creates an environment where each employee feels comfortable to be themselves and share their opinion. This allows formal working relationships to translate into friendships. MUFG’s corporate culture exhibits the right balance between professionalism and familiarity and consequently, optimises its workforce’s productivity to obtain the best possible results.
All in all, MUFG has an exceptional corporate culture. It stood out to me from the very first moment I stepped through the door on the day of the assessment centre. Corporate culture is an aspect of a company I truly value and I am proud to say I have been a part of it throughout my summer internship and my analyst programme.
I joined MUFG in 2017 through the Analyst Program as a Credit sales covering mainly private banks based in Hong Kong. The company provides graduates with a comprehensive training program starting with one month in London followed by rotation opportunities. The training in London enhanced my understanding about MUFG and fundamental knowledge about finance. More importantly, it brought international graduates from different regions / departments together, which was a rare and enriching experience that I believe could benefit my career.
Over the past two years, the company has adapted quickly to changes and challenges in the evolving industry. I have been given more responsibilities as I get ready to take up more challenges. While I started as a Credit sales, I was given training to learn about products across the businesses, enabling me to transition into a multi-product sales role. I was even given the opportunity to join the Taiwan sales team and be trusted by the team to cover some major Taiwan financial institution clients independently.
MUFG places emphasis on cultural diversity and team spirit. I enjoy the flat organization here and the close collaboration across teams which enhances working efficiency. My teammates are intelligent and very helpful. I also work closely with senior salespeople who encourage an open and free dialog among team members. Overall my time in MUFG has been very fruitful and I have achieved professionalism, knowledge, business relationship and friendship at the firm.
You might be someone who’s shy like me and can find it a bit daunting talking to new people whom you’ve never met before. So how do you overcome it? Practise! One of my favourite aspects about MUFG is its very flat organisation structure. People like myself who occupy a very junior position (intern) can easily approach and speak with those who are much higher up the corporate ladder.
Let me give you an example of just how flat the organisation structure is at MUFG. On the first day of the internship, the CEO gave a speech welcoming the interns to the firm and stayed after to have a chat with us!
These opportunities are so rare at competing banks, but are frequent at MUFG and what makes it so unique.
To utilise this organisation structure, HR tasked each intern to meet with 10 senior managers from other divisions. At first, this scared me a little. The idea of having to meet with 10 senior managers from various divisions across the organisation was overwhelming. But I assure you, once you start arranging these meetings, it’s hard to stop! It’s a great way for you to know as much of the bank as possible in terms of what exactly the other divisions do, can learn how they are all interconnected and to have the opportunity to speak with professionals from divisions you have an interest in to see first-hand what it’s like working in that field. Not only will this give you a wide insight of the numerous functions that make the bank operate, but will also help you to learn which area you would like to spend your career in.
It’s not only Senior Managers who you can meet; you can arrange to shadow anyone from any corporate title working at any division!
On top of the Executive Challenge and job shadowing, HR has done an amazing job in organising many opportunities for the interns to speak with individuals across the organisation such as networking drinks and Lunch & Learn sessions. Networking sessions enable you to meet with individuals across the firm in a more relaxed environment, where the conversation doesn’t necessarily have to be about work. I’ve had many conversations with people about the Premier League, talking about how amazing Manchester United is! Lunch & Learn sessions are more formal sessions where a Managing Director and an Analyst from the same division take time out of their schedule to speak with the interns about their role and division, in which at the end we can ask any questions.
Partaking in networking events, lunch & learn sessions, completing the Executive Challenge and proactively setting up Shadowing session, will help you to get your name out there and ensure that you know as many people as possible.
Being a new analyst at MUFG, I was exceedingly excited to be part of the family. The holistic graduate program kick-started with six weeks of training in the London office, where I was given a golden opportunity to attend lectures to gain concrete financial and accounting knowledge to help me excel in my future work.
With a great passion for this industry, I really appreciated the training in London that enabled me to sharpen my sword given my non-finance major background. Thanks to MUFG, the six weeks were fruitful and useful in allowing me to build up my knowledge. Even better, we were taught in a class with employees from the New York and London offices which granted us a platform to interact with each other and learn at the same pace, despite being from different backgrounds.
In addition to the lectures, networking events and a speaker-series were conducive to our growth as speakers were able to share their own experience and give advice to help us on our career paths.
Life is like driving. It’s time to step on the gas pedal after a new turbo engine has been implemented. Now in Hong Kong after six weeks of fruitful training, I am ready to go with full power.
As a new analyst at MUFG, I have found that an aspect which makes MUFG unique is its Sports and Social committee. The committee meet once a month to decide on different activities and events to hold for employees. The activities vary from poker and quiz nights to bowling and karaoke. Last week, I attended introductory lessons at an indoor bouldering centre.
Bouldering is similar to rock climbing; however it is climbing without ropes above a soft landing. Routes are identified by the different colour of the rocks, so a climber can link between a starting and finishing point only using a certain colour of holds which are on the walls. The centre has bouldering routes that cater for people all climbing abilities and I was thoroughly excited for my first lesson to begin!
When we arrived we started with a warm up, this gave everyone a chance to introduce themselves to the group and for everyone to get to know each other. We started in a beginner zone, the instructor would teach us different moves and then we would take it in turns to follow. Everyone was incredibly supportive, and as a beginner I found it helpful to receive tips and advice from those who had had lessons before.
When the lesson ended we were beginning to feel a little sore in our arms, so it was perfect timing that we had received our pizza delivery! After enjoying our welcomed break and feeling refreshed we hit the climbing walls again. This time my sub group aimed for more challenging paths, with the help from those who were more experienced I managed to feel more confident and also aimed for harder routes. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I have found a fun yet challenging new hobby!
During my first 6 months at MUFG, I completed two rotations, each lasting four weeks. My first rotation was with Legal and my second one was with the Credit Trading and Sales team.
My final placement in the Analyst Program is with Debt Capital Markets (DCM), but, in order to get a better understanding of the different divisions and how they interact with each other, I had the chance to do these two rotations. Both rotations were a steep learning curve and I learnt a lot – all of which has helped me with my day-to-day work in DCM.
With the Legal department I was mainly reading different EMTN programs to develop a better understanding of bond issuance programs, what they look like and the key aspects that need to be disclosed. As this forms an important part in every bond issuance, I had the chance to learn about the relevant components, applicable for my later role in DCM.
In my second rotation with the Credit team I was shadowing traders and sales people with different regional and product focuses. This gave me huge exposure into how MUFG directly interacts with clients, and what to consider when they price their trades. I was working on different projects, helped provide pitch materials for clients and roadshows and developed a good understanding of market sentiment. Understanding investor appetite and how economic events may impact the markets was a valuable lesson during this time.
Now that I am back in DCM, I can say that the two rotations were exceptional. Apart from the work experience, the rotations helped to increase my network at MUFG and to get to know the people that I only knew via email before. It was very well organised and perfectly integrated in the Analyst Program. The whole Analyst Program so far has definitely met and gone beyond my expectations.
I would strongly recommend the Analyst Program to you, if you are willing to be proactive, are keen to challenge yourself every day and want to learn as much as possible.
During my 10-week internship at MUFG, I completed two rotations. My primary rotation was with Prudential Risk Management (PRM) and my secondary placement was with the Rates Trading Group (RTG).
The learning curve for both rotations was exponential – I came into the internship with only a vague knowledge of investment banking. Coincidently the first question I was asked when I sat on my secondary rotation was “what is an investment bank and what exactly do we do?” The question seems pretty obvious, but explaining it was a different story. The lesson I learnt from that experience was before getting into the details, understand the basics.
To get the most out of the internship, I had a specific plan that I devised beforehand. The gate pass works for 10 weeks, that is 50 working days, hence I should at least learn 50 different aspects about the financial sector and, more specifically, how MUFG contribute, within this time.
In terms of day-to-day activities, my work differed between the two divisions. With PRM I was mainly reading Basel papers and implementing the new changes into the current methods used, with the aim of calculating capital requirements for counterparty credit risk. It was imperative I understood the different departments within risk. These include, credit risk, market risk and operational risk. My secondary rotation with RTG was more of a learning placement and gave me huge exposure into how MUFG directly interact with clients and how they price their trades. During this rotation I was given the responsibility of P&L for the traders. Rather than just writing down what figures I was told, I would ask why there was such a swing in the P&L and what exactly caused the deviance. Hence I would be able to follow the markets and see how adverse movements affected each trader.
The 10-week internship was exceptional. Apart from the actual rotations, we had speakers from across the business give us an insight into their departments, therefore broadening our exposure. There were many social events for the interns to network and get to know each other as well as graduates who have joined the firm. The internship has definitely met and gone beyond my expectations. We even had a brunch with the CEO, which was the icing on the cake for me.
At the end of the internship I was lucky enough to be offered a position on the Analyst programme and I now work as an Analyst within our Rates Sales & Trading Team. I would strongly recommend this internship to you, if you are willing to be proactive, willing to treat every day as an opportunity and are willing to be a sponge for information.
Corporate Social Responsibility is highly emphasised at MUFG. I was leader of the Information & Data Management team at this year’s ‘Run in the Dark’ in Battersea Park. MUFG as a whole entered 20 teams with our entry fees contributing to the great work of the Mark Pollock Trust and each team aiming to raise a minimum of £500 per team for another worthy cause – Save the Children’s Syria Appeal. Our fundraising efforts were international with contributions from all over the world.
While the 5km distance may seem minuscule to the marathon-running readers among you, it certainly feels much longer on a wet and windy autumn evening. And so, the hardy MUFG souls signed up for the event left the office to brave the elements in aid of these two great causes.
Wet leaves scattered the paths on which we’d be running and it was a great occasion to bring many MUFG departments together. We set off under an inflatable arching wearing ‘chipped’ number plates on our fronts to record our times. To add a competitive edge to the event, the top 3 times from each team would be placed on an MUFG leader board. As I ran around the beautiful surrounds of Battersea Park, my thoughts wandered to the commitment and dedication I would need to run a full marathon – over 8 times the length of our short circuit.
The thousands of runners made up a sea of colours with the red ‘MUFG Gives Back’ t-shirts highly prominent and identifiable – even among the frontrunners. The highest placed MUFG runner was 4th place overall posting a very quick time of 18 minutes 55 seconds.
After the run, we felt our tired bodies deserved some refreshment. An MUFG cohort retired to a local bar for some light refreshments where we discussed the next step in our running careers! The fundraising in advance and the evening itself were fine examples of the great effort of all those at MUFG to help worthy causes and to give back to the international community.
During our third week of training on the graduate scheme we had a lunch scheduled without any indication about what the event would involve. All the graduates were discussing what the event would comprise and we were placing bets amongst ourselves as to what it would be. I picked up on a subtle hint that was given and managed to guess correctly, we were to begin the trading simulation!
The trading simulation would take place for a month, where we would be able to buy and sell futures linked to real market prices. We were split into three teams, so not only would we be responsible for our individual profit and loss, we were also responsible for the performance of our team and the organisation overall.
The next day, the simulation began. In total we could trade 25 different future contracts. I started to read the information about the futures that sounded familiar; gold, silver, WTI and currencies to name a few. Over the next week I bought and sold futures, and with every trade I felt that I was gaining a better understanding of why I was performing each trade. We would share tips and strategies with each other in the class. For instance Andrew, an analyst who works for the credit sales group in New York, taught me how to calculate stop loss levels based on the maximum amount of money that I was willing to lose on the trade.
Over the month there were many major news items; wheat hit 7 year lows, uncertainty over the Fed’s interest rate trajectory caused global stocks to suffer their sharpest decline since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, the ECB’s unchanged stimulus strategy sharply pushed bond yields up and the BOE, BoJ and the Fed all announced that they would keep interest rates unchanged. As each day commenced I spent additional time reading different news sources in order to gain a deeper understanding of the markets that I was trading in. I found it important to always have a view, and that preparation in advance is crucial to ensure that you are fully prepared for all possible outcomes from major announcements.
Overall, I finished with a profit of £1,313,657 and completed 98 trades. However, what I really gained from the experience was a deeper understanding and knowledge about the markets. All the graduates learnt how valuable it was to share trading ideas, with the more experienced teaching the beginners key tips and facts. The trading simulation was a great taster of what it is like to trade in the real markets; I would strongly recommend this experience to anyone!
It has been nine months now since I joined MUFG as a new Analyst in Debt Capital Markets. The program started in August with a four week product and financial training course, where we not only had the chance to develop a comprehensive understanding of financial and professional topics, but also got to know the other Analysts from New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. This was the first opportunity the expand our network across the firm and to get to know other Analysts from different locations.
Meeting the other graduates and spending four weeks with them on the training program helped us to establish strong connections with each other. As I started working on projects with the other graduates from New York and Hong Kong immediately after the training program, these connections proved to be extremely useful from day one.
After the financial training, the networking opportunities continued and I had the chance to meet employees from all levels of the organisation. The highlight was a breakfast with the International Management Committee where we had the chance to ask questions and get to know the International Business Heads. Talking to the CEO or the International Business Head of Capital Markets, and having the opportunity to ask not only business but also personal questions is not very common and was a unique experience.
Having a great network is important – your hear this at university as well as at every career event for entry-level positions. And MUFG offers many different opportunities to expand your network within the company and your knowledge in different areas.
As part of my program, I am currently rotating through different business departments. The aim is to get to know a number of employees from across the business, to broaden your knowledge and get a better understanding of the firm’s strategic direction, as well as the interconnection between different departments.
Overall, I have found this to be a very valuable experience as MUFG is helping you from day one to develop a strong network across the firm and across different levels of the organisation. You are not only expanding your financial knowledge and getting exposure to different business areas but also you have the chance to learn from different people that are happy to share their experience with you. The only limit is your personal commitment. I am sure that this network and this experience with my colleagues and senior executives will be be a value asset in the future.
Each summer at MUFG Securities, the firm opens its doors to a number of interns and business trainees. In addition to the typical training and business shadowing, everybody has the opportunity to spend a day doing voluntary work for local good causes.
As an intern last summer, we teamed up with the City of London Business Trainees to volunteer at a local Islington primary school. We were working with Sofia from Plant Environment, a local charity that provides outdoor-focused environmental education to Islington primary schools, helping to get Montem Primary School’s outdoor spaces ready for the start of term. The sun was shining when we arrived, so we grabbed our paintbrushes and got to work sprucing up old benches and planters while the weather held. It was amazing how a simple lick of paint brought the play areas to life.
We retreated in for lunch just as the rain hit and spent the time chatting with Sofia about her work, and catching up with each other’s news from our latest rotations. The great thing about working at a company like MUFG is that it’s small enough intake that the interns all know each other well at this point, and we can depend on each other to share mutual advice and support. After lunch we got back to work, assembling planters, cleaning up the garden areas, and finishing off the last of the painting. It was great to get lost in the physical work for a while, helping us to recharge from the more intellectual work of our usual working day. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we were all pretty satisfied with what we had achieved over the course of the day, and Sofia was delighted with the progress we’d made. We left on a high, keen to take part in similar activities in the future.
This is just one example of the many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events that MUFG is involved in throughout the year. Just over the course of my summer internship, we participated in the Baton for Life (a charity run in support of Haven’s Hospices), “dressed down” in August in support of a local Islington youth centre, supported the previous year’s graduates in a 24 hour CSR challenge, and got involved painting and gardening for Plant Environment. All employees are entitled to two days a year separate from their annual leave for them to devote to volunteering, and there is always something charity related going on in the office for us to get involved in. As somebody who has always enjoyed taking part in voluntary work, I love to see the shared enthusiasm for CSR activities that is so evident at MUFG and look forward to getting stuck in, myself.
Blog entry by Milly Green (Analyst, Risk)
You might think that coming into banking is work, work and more work, but this isn’t always the case.
MUFG has a Sports & Social Committee who organise several events throughout the year such as this one – White Water Rafting at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. On a Thursday evening in July, 32 employees from a range of departments took the train from Liverpool Street to Waltham Cross, underestimating the challenge ahead.
First, there was a test of your swimming abilities. The novices among us assumed this was to tick a box when it came to health and safety, but we soon realised its importance. After an easy practice run through the course, the wave machines were ramped-up. On subsequent laps of the course, people were being thrown out of boats at each turn, while two of four boats capsized throwing everyone, including the instructor, into the water. The centre’s staff rushed to throw ropes in and get everyone out as quickly as possible!
As each lap passed, the wave machines became more and more vicious. One member of my raft snapped her paddle in half and had to spend the rest of the evening holding onto the side of the boat. At each wave, the instructor would roar “LEAN LEFT!”, and we would all lean to the left to stop us capsizing. For other rafts, this didn’t work out so well.
After two hours on the water, we were physically drained and needed some respite. This respite came in the form of a barbecue and drinks on the centre’s balcony. The barbecue was a good way to meet people from the business in an informal setting and get to know them. Analysts, VP’s and Directors all mingled just as we had in the rafts, and laughed at those who’d fallen into the water. A good evening was certainly had by all.
The evening exemplified the culture at MUFG. There are no barriers between departments and everyone is both open and willing to meet and speak to other people from across the firm. For Analysts like me, this was an invaluable way of hearing more about MUFG and gain an insight into other departments.
It’s been eleven months since I first stepped foot on the 1st floor of 25 Ropemaker Street as a new product control graduate analyst… and now I am writing this blog from the 10th floor of the Hong Kong office. In less than a year, I have been given the opportunity to be involved in an important project for the international business and be exposed to a different culture than mine.
Starting this grad journey from a different place to most of my fellow grads, I got significant desk exposure first, accompanied by rotations and the “welcome” grad training month at the end. Each and every one component of the grad training helped me to secure this 6-month secondment and the opportunity to make a significant impact for the regional coverage in Hong Kong.
It is my first time in Asia but I think I have adapted well. A new team, new challenges and new opportunities lie ahead. While in London, I spent a significant amount of my time interacting with people in Hong Kong by phone and email. At last, what was only a name or email account has given its place to a face, a person. Personal communication is the key for all businesses in order to achieve better results and this is something I have been working on over the last month. MUFG values are key here; people have the same aspirations as in London and share the same goals – so I feel right at home!
I am only at the beginning of this journey and pretty sure that exciting things lie ahead. I look forward to sharing these with the MUFG community in my next blog, accompanied by hopefully my travel experiences in this magnificent continent (coming here and not travelling is impossible!!!).
The one thing I noticed very early on was how much the firm is willing to invest in its employees.
Right from day one I had a comprehensive training plan designed specifically for me to ensure I developed the knowledge and skills required to do my job. My managers and HR had taken the time to understand what my needs were and designed a programme which was bespoke to me.
I work in the Capital Markets Group in the Hong Kong office, but my manager felt it was important for me to understand the international business. Therefore, I was lucky enough to spend a month with the Capital Markets Group in London followed by another month with the Singapore team.
Spending this time with the international teams has been invaluable as we work very closely together. Being able to meet my colleagues in the other offices and understand what they do has being very helpful. I have expanded my networks across the international business so if I have questions I can simply pick up the phone and ask one of my colleagues.
I really appreciated being given this opportunity as I know it takes a lot of time and resources to arrange bespoke training plans – which is not something all companies offer.
What it demonstrates is the firm’s strategy and vision to invest in and nurture its people – one of the most important engines for growth.
Out of the office and onto the saddle: 30 sets of tired legs and 90 kilometres later, what did we have to show for it? Our team raised £12,500 pounds for charity which the firm matched by donating another £12,500!
A group of 30 employees, including the CEO, set out to tackle a part of the 2014 Tour de France course in the Yorkshire Dales. We took on the nastiest climb in the course (the formidable Buttertubs Pass- at nearly 200m high), and the whole team managed to complete the climb. The challenge wasn’t just to finish but for each participant to raise at least £300 for Help for Heroes; a charity that provides support for members of the UK armed forces that have been injured in the line of duty. With some incredible generosity from MUFG employees, friends and families, we managed to surpass our £9,000 target. It was a brilliant opportunity to meet and have fun with people from across the company and raise money for a great cause!
Working in Debt Capital Markets at MUFG has been an exciting journey. With so much going on, the ability to multitask is essential (juggling seems to me to be a suitable metaphor!). If you like the fulfilling experience of managing different projects, tasks (urgent or long-term, ranging from deal-pitching material preparation, credit analysis to swap market analysis, model building, as well as pricing and execution), you should set your foot in here.
My typical day in the Hong Kong office looks like this:
It all starts with a morning call with the Asia team in Singapore. The call summarises overnight market movement, key events, previously priced bond deal performance and looks ahead at things to watch for the week. I then continue with live deal projects, which could be anything from preparing investor marketing material, to speaking with issuers and clients on specific issues related to deal preparation.
In addition to the live deals, preparing pitch materials takes up quite a lot of my time. This involves a fair bit of PowerPoint and Excel work (including capital structure analysis for the client company, primary market trend summary, key recommendations, etc.). Toward the end of the day, I jump on a call with the European team to get an update on deal pricing summaries and market updates from the other side of the world and to update them on the Asian market. Capital markets is highly reliant on global team collaboration.
The rest of day is dependent on the current workflow, be this long-term projects or helping to put together pitch books.
In summary, I enjoy the broad exposure of working in the DCM team at MUFG and the skills I find myself developing each day. The intensity of work could be a double-edged sword, therefore being able to prioritise and manage your time is essential.
It was Christmas Eve babe… Actually no, quite the opposite, it was thirty-three degrees in the peak of summer when I stepped off the plane and hopped in a taxi to the New York office for my first business trip – I certainly did not expect this level of exposure and responsibility just eighteen months into the role.
I work as a quantitative analyst in the London office; my job involves assisting traders with the pricing and risk management of interest rate derivative products. With a mathematics degree in hand I rolled straight out of university and onto the desk. My initial lack of financial knowledge was not an issue in a company that seeks potential and willingness to learn in its graduates.
Two years ago I didn’t know what an interest rate swap was. Now I’ve had the chance to visit the Big Apple, develop my knowledge and work as a part of an international team. Opportunities like these don’t grow on trees, but if you have the right attitude, work hard and perform well then this company will ensure that you go far.