Bill Smith, Group Chief Executive of Lazard Asset Management Ltd spoke to pupils in Year 10 and the school’s sixth form about how his own secondary school had prompted him to study and become an actuary at the start of his career.
Mr Smith, who has also held a number of senior roles at Barclays Bank, including Head of Savings and Investment and Deputy Chairman of the bank’s Asset Management, said he worked hard and used his education as a tool to become both very successful and highly respected.
He described his career in investment banking, from school to university and his professional qualifications before becoming an investment manager. He explained how this career path could be of interest to the students and how they could enter the profession.
Director of Sixth Form at The Beacon School, Naomi Albrecht said, “The students found the talk extremely engaging and interesting, particularly when listening to the skills they will require to work in the investment banking industry”.
Mr Smith discussed how important mathematics is as a subject in the 21st century and how the advances in technology and data analysis were both exciting developments for future members of the workforce.
He said students show ‘read, think and enthuse’ while working hard and looking forward to be ahead of the game.
Ahad Paul, a Year 12 student, commented, “The talk from Bill has confirmed that I want to have a career in investment banking, where I can use my business and mathematical skills.”
Mr Smith visited as part of the Speakers for Schools initiative launched in 2011 by political journalist Robert Peston to enable all pupils to have access to successful and influential figures in their schools.
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