I started on the investment side in corporate finance and private equity in Milan and whilst I loved the work, I had always wanted to live in London. So, I took the opportunity of a business development role I was offered to make the move. The discipline and detailed analytical approach at the beginning of my career were great tools to build upon. I have also been lucky to have worked across almost all the different asset classes and different size firms. Now as a Partner at Accendo Capital, an activist strategy firm focused on listed companies in Northern Europe, many of my past experiences are coming together: the Nordic background, private equity, entrepreneurial style of investing, and working with a team where we all have multifaceted capabilities and can contribute directly to the success of the firm.
Often, today’s young professionals tend to have a strategic approach to their career and are very savvy in building a network. From my experience, I would also remind them to not expect to have the perfect role from day one. Often you learn a lot more from challenging situations rather than from perfection.
The CAIA designation is a great tool for careers in the industry. If there is one topic that is difficult to grasp from a textbook, it is the alternatives space in general – ever evolving! CAIA Association does a great job providing the framework and the historical context, but you should not stop there. There are new investment strategies developed all the time and markets continue to keep everyone on their toes - as we saw recently with the GameStop saga. Often, we are so busy with the day-to-day it is easy to lose perspective on overall industry trends. That is why the educational events and the networking with other CAIA members is an invaluable part of CAIA. As part of the CAIA London Chapter Executive Committee, I have experienced for many years from behind the scenes how worthwhile and thought-provoking the events are. That said, like many things in life, you reap what you sow, and you need to not only show up but contribute with your talents and voice, too!
About Elise Auer
A native of Finland, Elise grew up in Rome, started her career in corporate finance and private equity investing in Milan, and then moved to London to work in business development related roles for alternative asset managers. She has over 15 years of experience in the industry.
She speaks English, Italian, and Finnish and has a degree in Economics. In addition to being a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, she is also an active Member of the Executive Committee of the CAIA Association in London and serves a Co-Head of the Milan Chapter of 100 Women in Finance.