Orbis Spotlight Post
By Charlotte Barker
I had the opportunity to speak to Neha Aggarwal, who is an investment analyst at Orbis. Orbis is an investment firm that focuses on the long-term picture, allowing them to gain the rewards that the average, shorter term investors miss.
Neha joined Orbis in 2017, having started her career in the financial industry in 2008. After working in restructuring, equity research, completing an MBA and joining private equity, Neha changed to working in the public markets, finding the increased market feedback and increased chances to invest a refreshing change. Neha was looking for a firm with a longer term time horizon, rather than having a short term outlook, as looking out far into the future gives Orbis a better edge in the market. Bottom-up research, or figuring out how businesses and industries really work and make money, is another aspect about working for Orbis that Neha particularly enjoyed.
Before starting her career, Neha studied finance at university. Studying this gave her a clear background of the finance world and many of the concepts, but Neha has found that working in finance in practice is something studying the subject did not fully prepare her for. This feeds into a key point: studying finance or finance-related subjects is not necessary for pursuing a career in the field. For Neha, having conversations with many different people working in the industry was more key to learning about working about the field in practice. Neha encourages all students that have an interest in the field to look further into it through attending talks with firms like Orbis, such as their event with OxWIB on the 27th of October.
Furthermore, Orbis themselves have a particularly interesting mentor scheme. Orbis assigns a mentor, who is typically a senior analyst, to new joiners to the firm. Work is still done independently, but the mentor can give feedback on this and offer relevant advice. This helps people early in their careers with the firm stay on course, through highlighting areas of success and those for potential improvement. Through the mentoring scheme Orbis allows their new analysts to draw on the experiences of their mentors and better aid their learning, regardless of whether they have a background in finance.
In terms of being a woman in investing, often seen as a ‘male-dominated field’, Neha has found working at Orbis to be particularly fulfilling, as the performance of her stocks is what matters for her results rather than her gender. Neha also thinks that the industry as a whole is becoming more aware of the need to have a variety of views and backgrounds for success.
My final question for Neha was about advice she had for people in university considering careers in finance, regardless of their subject background. For her, the most important thing at this stage is to keep a learning mindset. Talking to people in the industry and attending presentations is one of the best ways to learn about the industry in practice. Finally, Neha recommends thinking about our careers in decade terms and not being afraid to try newer things, rather than only considering one year at a time.
If you would like to learn more about Orbis please have a look at their event with us on the 27th of October, which can be found on our Facebook Page.