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Equity Research Associate (MBA)

Kelvin Chan, MGI Securities

There is a common misconception that if you want to secure a career in finance you either become a financial analyst or an investment banker. However, in reality careers in finance are far more diverse and varied.

Kelvin Chan currently holds a position with MGI Securities as an equity research associate. His educational achievements include a BASc degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Laurier in 2004. He is also currently enrolled in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. Kelvin decided to pursue this career path after realizing his interest in the stock market whereby he began conducting additional research and monitoring financial forecasts on Business News Network (BNN).

You may ask yourself, “what exactly is equity research?” Public companies release information on a timely basis to inform its shareholders about their current financial affairs. Examples of such information include quarterly financial reports, new contractual responsibilities, and new product releases. This information is now in the public domain for investors to analyze and use as a basis for their investment decisions. However, keep in mind that someone has to lend a hand in analyzing such information. That is where Kelvin comes in. His job entails working alongside a research analyst to extract information about companies where he then uses this information to design and create various financial models and forecasts. On a daily basis, Kelvin’s responsibilities include analyzing financial statements, financial modelling and writing company or sector-specific research reports.

Kelvin enjoys the fast-paced tone of his career as every day brings new challenges and opportunities, which rarely leaves room for boredom. The most challenging aspect of this career is to provide accurate financial forecasts about companies given the often piecemeal nature of information.

During his tenure at Laurier, Kelvin certainly took advantage of the extremely useful resources available at the Career Development Centre. He attended résumé critique sessions and participated in a business etiquette workshop, both of which he found to be very useful. In fact, he found his first placement as a research associate through the Career Centre website.

If you are interested in learning more about this career path, Kelvin has the following recommendations for you. In terms of educational requirements, it would be beneficial to have an MBA or a CA designation. Equity research is an especially suitable career path for those who have a strong interest in the stock market and you must be the type of person who pays attention to detail and is willing to work long hours. A good knowledge of financial modelling and Excel would also help. Equity research is quite challenging and the work environment is stressful because you are often required to put in long hours to meet time-sensitive deadlines. However, on the flip side it is financially rewarding and acts as an excellent stepping stone to other careers such as investment banking and private equity.

For further information on careers in finance, Kelvin strongly recommends looking at The Insiders Guide to the Best Jobs on Bay Street by Joe Kan, which is available in the Career Resource Centre.