Private banker-turned-recruiter Gregory Agius has given Citywire Switzerland a sneak peak at the questions he asks candidates during interviews for portfolio manager roles.
Agius, who is now a key account manager at Hays, previously worked at institutions such as JP Morgan and Citi. He was also head of corporate finance at TCA Asset Management.
‘When I interview people, I ask them which and how many assets they have managed in the past, what markets they work on, what their performance has been and why they want to change job,’ he said.
‘I also always ask them what they think about blockchain because I want to see how up-to-date they are with the latest developments in the industry.’
Agius believes that the most successful candidates are the ones who are informed, enthusiastic and up-to date. According to him, portfolio managers in Geneva are among the best in the world because of the high level of competition within the market.
He said: ‘There are still a lot of portfolio managers in the market but fewer positions because technology is increasingly doing the work of humans.
‘In the next few years, the portfolio management job will become automated. The positive side of this change is that human errors will be reduced and eventually eliminated, but I also believe that only humans can fully understand how a company works.’
Due to the saturation of the job market, ‘private banks are mostly looking for people with at least 15 years of experience at outperforming banks,’ Agius said.
He currently works at the Geneva branch of Hays alongside 22 other people. He is in charge of the Romandy and Ticino regions.