NHC Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) was honored to have Nick Chan, CFA to present “How to break into Capital Markets” on March 4. NHC DSS also invited Karina Ho, CFA as the moderator for the event.
Nick Chan is the Global Head of Repo and Asset Management at BMO Capital Markets. Immigrating to Canada at a young age in 1987, Nick shared his story growing up as a minority and being treated unfairly. In his 17-year career at BMO, he has been keen on promoting DNI (Diversity and Inclusion). “It is much better now than in 2002, it is much easier to be yourself and do things to show you have more value than pretend to like the mainstream culture like hockey”, said Nick. Employers today recognize that diversity is needed in the workplace and a lot of programs make it easier for people from different background to break into the industry.
As a hiring manager himself, Nick is looking for talents who have “entrepreneurship”, in other words, the ability to “see a big picture”. A big picture is not about checking on boxes everyday, but being curious about other people’s work; a big picture is about understanding the business as a whole, and knowing what challenges the business has; a big picture is about having a plan for one’s own career, knowing how one can progress and where the exit opportunities are; a big picture is about not offering to buy coffees for senior managers everyday, but coming up with a proposal that will make a change and pitching it to them.
In Questions and Answer Section, Nick contributed to his career success to the cautious decisions he made, and the valuable advices from his mentors. He recommends finding good mentors through formal mentorship programs and informal connections. When asked about the disadvantages of being in the minority, Nick said “the more vocal you are about what you believe, the earlier you can change it”.
Great thanks to all the panelists Nick Chan for providing those great insights to the audience and special thanks to Karina Ho for being an excellent moderator!
We hope young professionals and new graduates who attended this session benefited from this great learning and networking platform built by NHC Distinguished Speaker Series.
Author: Patrick Liu Master of Finance graduate, a volunteer at NHC, a financial professional who just started his career