Gemma Samworth

Gemma Samworth

Gemma Samworth MBA student

Programme: Full-time MBA (2021)
Nationality: British
Pre-MBA: Trainee Underwriter, AXA XL, London, UK
Post-MBA: Assistant Vice President and Private Banker, Credit Suisse, Zurich, Switzerland
Current industry: Wealth Management
Transition: Function, Industry and Location

Please tell us about your exciting new professional journey in Switzerland and how you’ve transitioned into the wealth management industry?

Following graduation I embarked on a new and exciting professional journey in Switzerland, transitioning into the wealth management industry while focusing on the UK market and serving ultra high net worth individuals.

Joining the wealth management industry has given me valuable insights into the specific needs and preferences of ultra high net worth individuals and I have developed a deep understanding of clients financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences, enabling me to tailor my services to meet their expectations effectively.

Switzerland's reputation as a global financial hub and its expertise in wealth management have also provided me with an ideal environment to enhance my learning. The country's commitment to professionalism, integrity, and client confidentiality has been instrumental in establishing strong relationships with my clients and building a successful career in this industry.

I have also taken advantage of various opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills, including specialized certifications and courses in wealth management. These efforts have further strengthened my ability to provide strategic financial advice, conduct comprehensive risk assessments, and deliver personalized solutions that align with my clients' objectives.

Despite what has been a steep learning curve, the journey has had its challenges, particularly due to the recent acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS. This news has required adaptability and flexibility as the integration processes unfolded. Despite the complexities involved, I have embraced the changes and remained committed to delivering exceptional service to my clients throughout the transition.

What does your current role entail?

My current role primarily involves building and managing a portfolio of ultra-high-net-worth clientele and their family offices based in the UK. To achieve positive performance in a highly volatile market, I conduct comprehensive reviews of client portfolios, assess strategies based on objectives and risk profiles, identify opportunities, and provide investment recommendations.

One of my key responsibilities is to utilize my relationship building and communication skills to challenge and collaborate with clients regarding their wealth goals.

Regular contact with clients is essential in order to provide them with updates on market trends, investment performance, and recommendations for portfolio adjustments. Additionally, I collaborate with internal partners such as Credit, Risk Management, and Legal teams to ensure regulatory compliance and adherence to internal policies and procedures.

I also actively work on building a strong pipeline of potential clients through networking, referrals, and intermediaries, in order to expand the client base and contribute to the overall growth of the business.

How have the skills you developed during your MBA supported you to get to this point in your career?

The skills I acquired during my MBA have been integral to my success in my current career as a Private Banker at Credit Suisse. These skills have provided a strong foundation for my role, allowing me to excel in serving my clients' unique needs and driving their financial success.

The analytical and critical thinking skills developed during my MBA studies have been particularly valuable. They enable me to assess complex financial situations, analyse market trends, and identify investment opportunities that align with my clients' goals and risk tolerance. This expertise allows me to provide tailored and strategic advice, maximizing returns and mitigating risks for my clients' portfolios.

The leadership and communication skills honed during my MBA have also played a crucial role in my career progression. As a Private Banker, building strong relationships with clients is paramount. My ability to effectively communicate complex financial concepts and strategies instils confidence in my clients and fosters long-term partnerships.

Having a solid understanding of finance and accounting principles, acquired through my MBA, is also essential in my role as a Private Banker. It enables me to assess the financial health of clients' businesses, evaluate investment opportunities, and navigate complex financial transactions. This knowledge serves as the backbone of the comprehensive wealth management solutions I provide to my clients.

Furthermore, the marketing and strategic insights gained during the programme have proven invaluable. Understanding consumer behaviour and market dynamics allows me to identify untapped opportunities and tailor my services to meet the evolving needs of my clients.

I leverage this knowledge to develop personalised investment strategies and offer innovative financial solutions that address their specific requirements.

Finally, the entrepreneurial mindset fostered during my MBA has been instrumental in my career at Credit Suisse. It enables me to adapt to changing market conditions, embrace new technologies, and identify innovative ways to serve my clients better.

This mindset empowers me to be proactive in identifying emerging trends and providing forward-thinking solutions to meet the ever-changing demands of ultrahigh net worth individuals and their family offices.

Looking back, why did you choose Bayes for your MBA?

I chose Bayes Business School for my MBA primarily because of its location in the financial heart of London. As someone with a strong interest in finance and a clear goal to pursue a career in the industry, it was crucial for me to be in a city that offers abundant opportunities and connections in the field. Bayes Business School's proximity to numerous financial institutions, multinational companies, and a vibrant business ecosystem made it an ideal choice. The curriculum is specifically designed to provide in-depth knowledge and practical skills required for finance-related roles.

I also chose Bayes for its differentiating factors, one of which is its one-year duration. This appealed to me as it allowed me to minimize the time spent away from being in industry.

I also appreciated the opportunity to accelerate my learning and quickly by applying the acquired knowledge and skills to real-world finance scenarios.

Another compelling aspect of the MBA is the dissertation project, known as the Business Mastery Project (BMP). This unique opportunity provides students with the chance to delve deeper into a topic of relevance within an industry.

Conducting research and analysis on a subject of my choice allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of a specific area of wealth management and potentially contribute new insights to the field.

Furthermore, Bayes also stands out for its extensive alumni network, which includes influential figures in the finance sector. This network provides excellent networking opportunities, mentorship possibilities, and access to exclusive events. Additionally, the school's Career and Professional Development Services team has a proven track record of supporting students in securing internships and full-time positions in top international firms.

What electives did you take?

Taking electives was important to me because it allowed me to focus on specific topics that aligned with my interests and career goals. For example, New Venture Creation enabled me to delve into the world of entrepreneurship and develop a comprehensive business plan for Eggie, a plant-based alternative to whole eggs. This elective not only enhanced my understanding of the startup ecosystem but also equipped me with valuable skills in business strategy and innovation.

Similarly, Mergers and Acquisitions provided me with in-depth knowledge and practical insights into the intricacies of corporate transactions. Given the recent acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS, this elective proved particularly relevant and helped me gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics and challenges involved in such significant business changes.

I also took the London Symposium  and Leading in Challenging Situations. The London Symposium provided me with a unique opportunity to explore business practices in a global context. It exposed me to diverse perspectives and allowed me to analyse case studies and engage in discussions with industry professionals in the vibrant city of London.

The Leading in Challenging Situations" elective was also particularly impactful as it involved a simulation of climbing Mont Blanc, a challenging and demanding endeavour.

Through this experience, I learned valuable lessons about leadership, resilience, and decision-making in high-pressure situations. It helped me discover that I identify most as a transformational leader, someone who inspires and motivates others to achieve their best.

Were you able to make use of the Careers and Professional Development Service after you graduated?

Although I had already secured a full time-role on the Credit Suisse MBA programme by the time of graduation, I still made use of the resources provided by the Careers and Professional Development Service. While completing my studies, I utilised their job listings and career guidance materials to stay informed about other potential opportunities to ensure I was choosing the right role for me. I attended career fairs and workshops organized by the service to further develop my professional skills and expand my network. Additionally, I scheduled appointments with career advisors who offered valuable insights and advice.

Do you have any standout memories from your time at Bayes that you’d like to share?

Certainly! I have several standout memories from my time at Bayes that I would love to share. Firstly, coming second place in the venture capital investment competition was an exhilarating experience. It provided me with valuable insights and learnings that are relevant in my role today.

For example, in terms of due diligence, the venture capital competition taught me how to thoroughly analyse business models, market potential, competitive landscape, financial projections, and other critical factors to assess the viability and growth potential of a startup. It also refined my ability to identify and assess risks associated with different business models and gaining feedback from experienced judges and mentors enabled me to reflect on my decision-making processes.

Another memorable moment was the opportunity to work with Red Bull on a strategy consulting project. Collaborating with such a renowned company and having the chance to pitch our ideas to both course leaders and the business was incredibly exciting and rewarding.

Additionally, my team had the privilege of winning two strategy presentations during the programme. These victories highlighted the dedication and commitment I put into developing a strong team culture, refining my strategy skills and effectively communicating my ideas within a team setting.

Beyond these specific achievements, what truly made my time at Bayes special was the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who were equally driven and passionate about personal growth and development.

The friendships I formed during my studies have become lifelong connections, providing support and inspiration even beyond our time at Bayes.

These memories have shaped my journey and continue to resonate with me as I progress in my career.