Programme: Strategic Investment Management
Nationality: Saudi Arabian
Job Pre-programme: Senior Portfolio Manager, Treasury Investments, The Saudi Investment Bank
Job Post-programme: Deputy Tresurer, Saudi Investment Bank
Since achieving a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and Finance from Northeastern University in Boston, Faisal has worked in various roles at the Saudi Investment Bank. He has attended a number of programmes at London Business School, and completed the Strategic Investment Management (SIM) programme in July 2012.
I’d been working in investment banking and asset management for seven years when I came to the Strategic Investment Management programme. At the time, I was a portfolio manager for my current employer, a commercial bank that has around $4 billion of proprietary investment in fixed-income equities, hedge funds and other asset classes. I was looking for a programme that would advance my understanding of investment processes in the new global economy. I was also hoping to acquire technical skills and practical, in depth learning that I could apply in my own workplace.
The programme exceeded all my expectations. I’ve attended a number of programmes at London Business School and have been consistently impressed by the quality of the teaching. The professors are world leaders in their fields and bring so much practical experience to the classroom. Another factor that makes the School stand out is the student body. Coming together to learn with and from such a variety of different people from different industries all over the world is a major highlight of my experience.
Since completing the programme I have changed the way that I invest. Liquidity is now my first parameter when evaluating an investment and I stick to clear, understandable products, avoiding anything unnecessarily complex or exotic. Those two simple changes have been key in how the bank selects investments. We’d been bouncing around the possibility of making these kinds of changes before I attended the programme, but I now have the confidence to bring those ideas to life. The benefits were major. The bank’s income increased from US$243 million in 2012 to US$343 million in 2013 and my area drove 75 percent of this growth. Some of this was due to market improvement during that period, but much of it was clearly because we made the right decisions and selected the right products.
SIM allowed me to take stock, and to ensure I was up to date with best practice and global trends. It also encouraged me to be creative around ideas to develop, exchange and explore. Soon after completing the programme I was promoted from portfolio manager to senior portfolio manager and then to deputy treasurer. I genuinely believe that the jump was a direct consequence of the programme, which gave me the ability and boldness to put into practice all that I’d learned.