A brief introduction:
I joined Merrill Lynch three weeks after graduating from university and have been with the company since. I started as a financial advisor, was promoted to team manager, and later to project/initiative manager. Along the way, I've been lucky enough to work with people who taught me crucial lessons in how they interacted with the people around them and managed relationships and priorities. Nearing my fourth year, Bank of America acquired Merrill. While there was a lot of turmoil around the two firms combining, it also presented many opportunities to advance my career. At this point, I moved to my next role within the Portfolio Consultant Group under the Global Wealth Management Division, a position I hold today.
Why did I take up the FDP challenge?
I pursued the FDP designation because data has been and will continue to be the most valuable asset. Information is essential to any organization, with its benefits applied in many ways to improve decision-making throughout the organization regardless of its business model. The FDP Charter has given me the foundation to view issues through the lens of data science and potentially come up with new solutions.
What is great about FDP?
As the financial industry rapidly moves toward data-driven optimization, many challenges and opportunities will arise. Being at the forefront of these changes will allow me to participate in the digital transformation and opportunities generated by data-driven solutions.
The FDP designation has provided a baseline understanding of data science and machine learning which will provide opportunities not just in my current company but also companies of all sizes and across all industries.
My advice for aspiring industry professionals:
Find a mentor. Try and take advantage of any formal mentorship program at your company; there will be times when it comes about organically. Actively look for people that you can confide in and learn from. The mentorship relationship quickly becomes personal and can last for a short while or a lifetime. As you grow, look to "give" back and become a mentor. The importance of mentorship runs deeper than extending your network, and it can be life-changing in many facets.
About Kevin Ip:
Kevin is currently a Portfolio Strategist at Bank of America - Merrill. He is a Rutgers University graduate with a B.S. in Economics and MBA with concentrations in Finance and Global Business Management. In addition to FDP, he also has the CIMA designation.
Kevin Ip, FDP, CIMA
Bank of America - Merrill Lynch
Kevin Ip - Finance with ample knowledge of data science
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