Antoine Berger, class of 2015 in Lyon, chose a major in finance. After completing his internship at Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank in securitization, he was able to integrate the double degree “International Masters in Finance Brazil/Europe” at the Fundação Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A brilliant career in market finance is starting for him! He testifies about his journey.
WHAT WERE YOUR FUNCTIONS AT CRÉDIT AGRICOLE CORPORATE & INVESTMENT BANK?
During my final year internship, in 2015, I had the great opportunity to join the securitization teams of Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank (CA-CIB), an investment bank of the Crédit Agricole S.A. group in Paris La Défense. Securitization is the transformation of illiquid assets held by a client into liquid securities sold on the financial markets. The profession has very varied aspects: relationship with the client, legal side of the operation, auditing but also and especially that of the financial markets. Securitization plays a full part in financing the real economy. This method provides companies with cheaper financing.
WHAT DID YOUR MISSIONS CONSIST OF?
The multi-faceted aspect of the business leads to a wide variety of missions: setting up transactions, restructuring, creating risk hedges, creating and automating reports and transaction monitoring, producing documents for renewal and creating new transactions. Since 2008, the “regulation” part is also very important.
As an intern, I needed to be able to multi-task. As the “securitization origination” was the second line of the Front Office, my position allowed me to be visible to the qualitative research departments and structurers in London, Milan and Paris. I needed to understand every detail of a transaction in order to update the accounting and middle office departments.
WHAT WAS YOUR BACKGROUND BEFORE GETTING THIS JOB?
After having obtained my baccalaureate at the Chartreux Institution, I directly entered the INSEEC BBA (ECE LYON, at the time). The director’s speech about the “pragmatism” of the curriculum imposed by the school particularly touched me. Since high school, I was already planning to pursue a career in market finance. In addition, the schedule allowed me to continue playing basketball at a high level.
I did my second year internship at Banque Populaire Loire & Lyonnais in Asset Management (equity/bond portfolio management, Private Banking) and then went on a one-year exchange to Texas, at the University of Texas at Browsville. Back in Lyon for the last semester, I was lucky enough to get an interview at CA-CIB and you know the rest.
WHICH SKILLS OR EXPERIENCES ACQUIRED AT THE BBA INSEEC ARE MOST USEFUL FOR A CAREER IN MARKET FINANCE?
Pragmatic, the BBA INSEEC offers an innovative curriculum, very international and focused on professional skills. 12 months of work experience divided into 3 or 4 internships makes a real difference in the job market. Extensive international experience is also highly valued. In addition, the flexibility of the curriculum allows us to build our own project and tell a “story” that stands out in job or internship interviews.
The school’s values have always been the same: to be competitive, not by imitating other institutions, but by creating something different. This allows us to be adaptable, reactive and interesting to listen to and to know, through our experience.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS WHO WANT TO HAVE A CAREER IN MARKET FINANCE?
Without hiding it, at CA-CIB, 100% of the trainees came from prestigious schools (Centrale Paris, HEC, EM Lyon, ESSEC, ESCP, etc.). I was a bit of an outsider, with something to prove. But I had something different: a valuable experience.
The BBA at INSEEC allows us to build our own international CV, an opportunity to do something great. My advice for students aspiring to work in market finance: don’t be “cold-hearted” and apply to the offers available on the banks’ websites (the number of interns in investment banking is very high). Be consistent and build your resume accordingly. Once in the internship, work hard and carry the values of our school!
HOW DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STEP IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER?
Afterwards, I had the chance to join the double degree “International Masters in Finance Brazil/Europe”, ranked #19 in the world by the Financial Times. The program consists of 6 months at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (Sao Paulo, Brazil), a reference in Latin America for Finance and 6 months at the Nova School of Business & Economics (Lisbon, Portugal). After these two very intensive semesters, I plan to do another internship in an investment bank and finally enter the job market for good!Updated 24 February 2022