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Salman Jaffer

 

Technology Lead, Refinitiv 

Salman Jaffer - alumni

 

 

Describe your career journey from being a student at King’s to being in your current role.

I chose to study at King’s because it not only allowed me to gain an appreciation of management topics such as organisational behaviour and accounting, but also develop my computer science skills in areas such as software engineering and programming. Following an internship at UBS in London, I decided against banking and chose consulting as my career path upon leaving university. 

My first role was with a consultancy called Detica, where I met and had the pleasure of working with a highly professional and capable team of consultants who taught me the skills I still carry with me today. I’d had an interest in financial services consulting from a young age so joined Riskcare, a small consultancy and my favourite of all the companies I’d worked for until then. The directors were immensely supportive and over the course of the next seven years I was given many opportunities to work across multiple clients. I then worked for a few other firms including a start-up in Vietnam and now work for Refinitiv.

What’s the one thing you enjoy most about your current role?

Firstly, building, motivating and managing diverse teams; and secondly, working on new technologies in the field of natural language processing (artificial intelligence) that can be applied to the financial markets domain. I enjoy the former, softer side as I believe that the journey is more important than the destination. It’s great to deliver products and features that add value for customers, but even more so when you work with a fun and inspiring team along the way.

Natural language processing, big data and artificial intelligence are all relatively new fields, so I spend a fair amount of time with academics to understand how to use the latest techniques they’re researching at their institutes of higher learning in a business setting. I also work closely with our internal and external customers in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Australia to develop solutions to their problems using these technologies.

What have been your biggest achievements in business and your career so far?

I’ve had some difficult clients so working hard to develop products and features that meet customer requirements has been satisfying both personally and professionally. A review between 2007 and 2008 of the technology, process and data landscape of a major US investment bank’s credit trading desk was a challenging but fun project where we delivered significant cost and capital savings for our client.

I’ve led teams around the world to deliver trading, risk, reporting, finance, machine learning and deep learning projects which for me personally are great career achievements. As is surviving working at a start-up, and last but not least, completing my exams and obtaining the CFA Charter while working full time.

How did your time at King’s help you with your career journey?

King’s was a very supportive environment - from the lecturers, to the administrators and the students. King’s provided a great academic and social atmosphere in the centre of London. I enjoyed my time immensely and met students from many countries. King’s gave me the confidence to operate within the professional world and I will always look back to my time there with fondness.

What’s the best piece of advice you have for current King’s Business School students on achieving success in their careers?

Take advantage of the vast amounts of electronic and printed material available to you during your time at King’s. Join or set up extra-curricular groups to debate and document topics that were discussed in classes. Participate in industry forums where you have an interest, either as a speaker or even just as a participant. Listen to your customers, peers, seniors and reports. Show them that you listen and don’t be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Make a disciplined and sustained effort to do this on a continuous basis. Finally, add to your formal and informal learning multiple times a year and every year, reflect on your accomplishments and where you would like to be.

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