Edgar Fernández Vidal, a Spanish IE Master in Management candidate who will graduate in July 2017, knew since he was 15 exactly what professional career he wanted to pursue. Although it took a lot of work and dedication, he has finally landed his dream job, and it all started with a book. In his own words: “I read The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham when I was 15, and ever since I knew I would be a Value Investor in the future. To do that I had to work in different industries, as an entrepreneur and as an employee, for two main reasons: a) understand companies’ management from the inside, and b) to make money to pay for all the education that is needed to become an excellent investor. I have spent thousands of euros in books, reviews and trips to conferences about finance and value investing. Thanks to this, I gained all the necessary knowledge needed to start working in the industry of my dreams. And got the job in one of the best value investing companies worldwide.”
Edgar will start as Equity Researcher in Paris, in Amiral Gestion on September 2017, after graduating from the IE Master in Management. As an Equity Researcher, his functions will be to analyze companies to find investment opportunities. He will be focusing his attention on Spanish companies. Edgar is the first and only Spaniard (also the only foreigner) currently hired in the management team of Amiral Gestion in Paris. He has shared some insight about his recruitment process.
Q: Can you please tell us briefly what your previous job was about?
A: I founded and managed four start-ups at the same time -each company in a different industry, all of them in Castellón (Spain). After my university studies, before starting the Master in Management, I worked for 4 months as an intern at an academic research center (LEE UJI) as a Data Analyst. During the Master at IE, I have been working as a researcher for Market Trends (online reviews) of the Francisco Marroquin University of Guatemala, where I currently analyze the financial markets and the economy of countries all around the world.
Q: Can you please tell us briefly about your new job?
A: As an Equity Researcher, my functions will be to analyze companies to find investment opportunities. Amiral Gestion is an independent asset management company wholly owned by its directors and staff. The company manages more than EUR 3.0 billion on behalf of institutional investors, private banks, family offices and individuals, through several institutional mandates and six mutual funds. The company follows the Value Investing principles of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet. They are -kind of- contrarian investors looking for value where no one is paying attention.
Q: How did you find out about this job opportunity? Where did you apply for the job?
A: This is the funny part of the history. There was no job opportunity, there were no open positions, I created it. Amiral Gestion came to Madrid in October 2016 for their Annual Investors Conference and I went there even though I wasn’t even invited. During Q&A, I asked if they had financial positions in Infotel, a very small French company that I knew. At the end of the conference, during the cocktail, a junior manager from Amiral approached me asking why I knew this company and what I thought about it. We talked over an hour about several companies and about Spanish and Italian banks, and at the end he introduced me to the senior manager, who offered me the opportunity to work in Amiral Gestion. After this, I went to yet another Investors conference to get to meet more managers, this time I spoke about financial perspectives in Asia as well as books on value-investing I had read with other Amiral employees. Finally, in March, I started the formal process. During my last interview, in Paris, almost half of the team already knew who I was, and it is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons why I got the job: I was able to position myself as an expert among experts even before getting hired.
"One of the main reasons why I got the job: I was able to position myself as an expert among experts even before getting hired."
Q: How did Talent and Careers and your IE experience help you during the recruiting process? Did you use specific career resources or did you come across useful information via an advisor or alumni?
A: As I already said, I created my job opportunity but the Careers department helped me a lot since the beginning. They taught how to make a good impression with my CV (it was always a disaster with no order at all) and how to draft proper Cover Letters, how and when to send emails to recruiters and finally how to prepare for the interviews. Even when you think everything is under your control, you must ask for advice, and at Talent and Careers, they have the best professionals in each industry.
Q: How was the recruiting process?
A: The formal recruiting process was very short in my case: one phone interview and one personal interview the week after the first interview. The first interview was more technical and the second focused on personal fit. In two weeks, I started and finished the formal process, but the difference in my case is that I had been working for months to have the interviews.
"Self-confidence is, in my opinion, the most important thing. If you want to work with the best you should show that you are the best... Don’t be afraid and go after your dreams."
Q: Would you want to share any tips or advice with student interested in applying to Amiral Gestion? To your job position in particular?
A: You need three main things in order to have success in this industry:
- Knowledge, you must be very prepared, so study hard every day.
- Networking, you have to attend every networking event, conference or meetings. If you can’t do that, use LinkedIn or other social media.
- Self-confidence, this is, in my opinion, the most important thing. If you want to work with the best you should show that you are the best, without telling it, and even without being it. Don’t be afraid and go after your dreams.
Founded in 2003, Amiral Gestion is an independent asset management company wholly owned by its directors and staff. The company manages more than EUR 3.0 billion on behalf of institutional investors, private banks, family offices and individuals, through several institutional mandates and six mutual funds (Fonds Commun de Placement: FCP): Sextant PEA, Sextant Europe, Sextant PME, Sextant Autour du monde, Sextant Bond Picking and Sextant Grand Large.
Amiral Gestion has become a key player in the world of French and European listed small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with, in particular, the NOVA2 funds dedicated to French SME-ISEs, managed on behalf of the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and some ten insurance companies.
Amiral Gestion’s investment teams benefit from their considerable knowledge of European small and mid caps and their close proximity to management teams.
The company has extensive international expertise, having conducted investments abroad for more than 10 years—an indication that, like the company itself, investors are no longer confined by borders and thus require international expertise.
Our management approach is based on a fundamental analysis of companies and long-term investments in those that we understand and whose value we are able to increase. The market offers many opportunities for patient investors who ignore short-term trends and concentrate on the fundamental value of companies.
Involved, talented managers are often pivotal to a company’s success. As such, our managers are primarily committed entrepreneurs.