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Can you see the future of your industry?  Jodi Young could too – read how she helped NatWest Markets

Can you see the future of your industry?  Jodi Young could too – read how she helped NatWest Markets

Mark.Freed / 28 Mar 2018

E2W is speaking to women who have been working in financial services over the decades to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of women securing the vote.  Jodi Young has shared her career with us as well as how she would advocate approaching your career.

Jodi Young, Head of UK/EMEA Fixed Income Cross-Product Sales, NatWest Markets

When you find what you want to do, and it’s something you love, then go for it.  That would be my advice, and luckily that has happened to me.

I work in an area of finance that I love – a fixed income cross-product sales team that reflects our clients’ needs andadds to the commercial positioning of our franchise as regulations (such as EMIR and MiFID II) increasingly push fixed-income business electronic.

It hasn’t been an easy route though.

Early in my career I saw the direction of the market in terms of how the landscape for flow products (rates, currencies, bonds) was changing and becoming more electronic. It was also apparent that data was more important than ever before to enhancing our understanding of our clients’ needs and improving the quality of service provided to them.

Initially, I had bumbled along just ‘doing what I do’ –  building out an electronic infrastructure for trading and sales, as well as a management information system that has now become integrated in the day-to-day lives of our sales people.

I hadn’t always had the confidence, however, to push the electronic or data agenda – men always sounded more confident than me in meetings and, as a detail-orientated person, I wanted to make sure I knew everything before I gave them my opinion – I didn’t have the courage of my convictions otherwise. 

But, by having a clear view of the data for levels of service that our clients would be experiencing, I put together a business case and a realistic plan to better service a larger number of clients. I also had the good fortune to work alongside a senior manager at NatWest Markets who supported the business case I had put forward: and so began the Fixed Income Cross-Product Sales Team. 

We have consequently grown my business area year-on-year, using the management information system that I built to allow us to follow our clients’ touchpoints and tune into their needs.  My team focuses on clients who predominantly trade electronically, and through building strong relationships with them and listening to their requirements, they are increasing their business with NatWest Markets. 

During my career I have taken maternity leave, but I was always eager to return to work – I am passionate about my career.  My working hours haven’t changed because I want to support my team – if they’re in early, I want to be in early.  I do understand the importance of life outside work, and I’m a flexible manager, as much as possible.  

As with the industry’s approach to work flexibility, the atmosphere in the City has changed dramatically since I started working in finance years before the financial crisis, when there was less regulation in the industry.  There is a great deal of focus on conduct these days and, as result, I feel the environment has changed for the better for women; we’re taken more seriously. 

At NatWest Markets, they are supportive and encourage greater diversity, and there is a female Head of Inclusion. 

More could always be done across the industry and, in my opinion, understanding women and harnessing their potential could definitely be improved.  I play my part, too, mentoring four women in less senior roles at NatWest Markets, which I really enjoy doing. 
 
I started out as a chartered accountant and came to London from South Africa to work in the financial services industry as a contractor – things have certainly changed since then.  I would advocate:

  • Having an open mind – you never know where the next business opportunity may arise
  • I was recently told by a senior manager to “stop waiting for permission”. Of course, you need permission to get the go-ahead on important projects, but I personally feel that women sometimes have a tendency to be hesitant and wait for the green light rather than just going for it. This is probably the best piece of advice I have been given in a long time
  • Make sure you have a sponsor – this is different to a mentor, and means someone who will support you in your vision, who will promote you and your ideas
  • Always work with integrity and, finally, it’s a cliché but…
  • Never give up on what you want to do or where you would like your career to go.


Jodi is a member of the E2W community and has attended several of our Front Office Team events.  If you are interested in joining our community and meeting like-minded professional women, please call us for more information or click here. 

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