Thomas Smith Macquarie Group

Thomas Smith

A year in the life of a graduate - Thomas’s story
“You become involved in an industry and get to understand so much about it – whether it’s airports, public infrastructure or even the fast food sector. It’s so much more than a job in finance.”

After graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce, I joined Macquarie’s graduate program as an investment banking analyst in Macquarie Capital’s New Zealand office.

It’s a small but very dynamic team that performs a country coverage role. Its activities – and mine – vary widely, covering infrastructure, equity capital markets (ECM), debt capital markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and general financial advisory work. As part of my role, I carry out financial modelling analysis, prepare presentations and liaise with clients to ensure they get the best outcome that meets their needs.

My experience at Macquarie, both as an intern and as a graduate, has been hugely positive. Our country coverage role means I’m exposed to a wide variety of deals and sectors. As well as various M&A and ECM transactions, I helped on the early stages of an infrastructure project, which was particularly exciting. It involved the potential development, operation and maintenance of a large-scale infrastructure project in New Zealand. I was involved in consortium meetings and helped in the drafting of Request for Proposal documentation, putting in a bid at the expression of interest stage. I gained valuable exposure to the inner workings of the New Zealand infrastructure sector.

I really enjoyed the collaborative nature of this project, being in a room of people from varied backgrounds. You don’t go into financial services thinking that you’re going to be meeting with architects, lawyers and builders to discuss large-scale infrastructure projects which will have a meaningful impact in New Zealand communities. When I applied for the graduate program I thought I’d be exposed to banking, but the scope of work was far broader and I have been afforded greater responsibility for deliverables than I ever imagined.

The other thing that’s great is that almost overnight you become involved in an industry and get to understand so much about it – whether it’s, airports, public infrastructure or even the fast food sector. It’s so much more than a job in finance. You get a unique perspective.

The New Zealand Macquarie Capital team comprises just 12 people. The work environment here is really dynamic and fast-paced. Being a small team, it’s really fluid, flexible and supportive, and you get the opportunity to work, in some form, in most of the deals that we are involved in.

During my first year, I had the opportunity to join the Macquarie Capital Analysts and Associates Advisory Board. We develop and implement networking, professional development, technology and flexible working initiatives across Australia and New Zealand, on behalf of analysts and associates. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in the inner workings of Macquarie and to be given the chance to make a positive impact on our working environment. Having a formalised committee for this really shows how much time and investment goes into developing our junior team members.