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spikegifted's stuff of dreams - Archive

A Job!, Dream Car

You may ask: "How can you have an archive for your dreams?" The answer is quite simple - I have achieved these dreams! Or the dreams have become outdated or irrelevant. Or even better, I get improved versions of my dreams. Of course, I try to make sure that my dreams are long-term ones... The shorter-term ones tend to be more like a necessity rather than real dreams. Another question you may ask is that "What's the point of archiving my 'dreams'?" It's all for a good reason. As time passes, any individual will have different aspirations. For me, my stuff of dreams are long-term goals. While I have only listed the more material motivations on my 'stuff of dreams' page and haven't mentioned things like careers ambitions and other personal but non-material aspirations, in achieving my material dreams, they're also indications that I've achieved those that I haven't mentioned.


A Job!

In 2003, I was laid off from the investment banking division of the Dutch bank that worked for over five years. After sitting down and have a good long think about what I wanted to do, given the opportunities available at the time and my own skill set, I came up with five possible causes of action. The first three are all related to investment banking, two of which I had direct experience and the third was something that fully utilize my skill set. The other two options were outside banking and were something that I feel I've strong interest in and wished to explore further and if I was given the opportunity to do, I didn't mind having a shot at.
Return to Credit/Counterparty Risk Management I started my investment banking career as part of a small credit team in Yamaichi International (Europe) Ltd, which covered analysis and monitoring of risk exposure and I had the added responsibility of developing and maintaining the firmís credit risk monitoring system. After Yamaichi went into voluntary liquidation in November 1997, I joint ING in February 1998 as a Counterparty Risk Policy Executive, utilizing all areas of my skills and knowledge Iíve gained in Yamaichi. Then, I focused on the counterparty risk analysis - for two years, I looked after INGís portfolio of counterparties in Switzerland, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic - carried out credit analysis on banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), determined exposure limits and carried out counterparty credit due diligence. While I have now been away from credit risk for over two years, I have been involved in an area that is primarily dealing with the marketing of credit - two sides of the same coin. I believe after this period in DCM origination, I am even more aware of the commercial/business logic than I was previously. Additionally, I think I now bring a level of maturity that I lacked prior to working in DCM origination. From a personal perspective, I can see that a return to risk management, while not providing me with the kind of earning potential in the front office, will lead to a better quality of life.
Remain in Debt Capital Markets Origination For the past couple of years, Iíve been in the EEMEA Emerging Markets Debt Market Origination team at ING. Iíve been involved in a number of highly successful transactions Ė City of Moscow, Mobile TeleSystems, Romania and, most recently Sistema. As part of a small team, I got to participate throughout the origination process Ė preparation of pitch presentations, replies to RFPs, execution of transactions, preparation of rating books, preparation of roadshow presentations, closing of transactions, etc. This is my most recent working experience and I still feel that, given the right opportunity, I would continue to enjoy the work. The biggest motivating factor in DCM is, of course, the earning potential which is sadly lacking in the current market environment. However, again, given the right opportunity, I think I would still enjoy the work and hope to achieve the deserved reward.
Front Office (Trading) Credit Analysis This is a new area that Iím investigating. As far as I can tell, from the couple of people Iíve spoken to, the work can basically divide into two fairly distinct but related areas: the Ďquickí credit analysis of potential trading targets (looking at where the credit is and try to Ďguesstimateí where the trading range should be, given the targetís credit history and credit direction) and the Ďlong-termí research of particular trading targets (this mean following a name from 6 months to 2 years, tracking its credit performance against the companyís activities and results to form a credit opinion on the targetís credit direction and allow the traders to build up a trading position.) While I donít have direct working experience in this area, I have been working in areas that are relevant to this line of work. My reservation of this work is that the working environment may not suit my personal working style.
Marketing Aside from some marketing classes I attended during my undergraduate degree and MBA, I donít have any exposure to this field. However, in the course of a conversation with one of relatives, who works a marketing firm in Hong Kong as a relationship account manager, it would appear that marketing appeals to me as something engages my interest. What she does is to engage the client at a strategic level, looking at medium- to long-term solutions for the client to project its name and its brands into the market place, drawing in product specialists to carry out projects for the client and working out strategic as well as tactical moves for the client to respond to the changing market. Iím aware that my lack of experience in this field would mean that Iíll start from a relatively junior position, but this area appeals to sufficiently for me to investigate further. In effect, I need someone to Ďgive me a breakí to let me into the field.
Starting My Own Business This is still very much on a conceptual level and there are lots of hurdles to overcome, including the decision on whether the immediate product that Iím considering is still relevant for the market place. At best, this is a very long shot.


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Dream Car

I'm sure if I ask ten different people about their dream cars, I'll get 10 very different answers. Such things are very difficult to get consensus. For me (up until very recently anyway), the best looking cars - one with most grace and style - with the performances you'd expect are Ferraris. The firm's track record in motor racing is unparallel and there is a glamour that is impossible to ignore or misplace. Through out the history of automobile, a great number of highly successful vehicles have been copied and reproduced in one shape or another, however, there is simply no successful attempts to copy a Ferrari. Why? There is a very simple reason - you simply can't look at the design of one part of a Ferrari and replace it with something different or to take one part of a Ferrari and slot it into something else. The whole car is designed with such detail and attention that to replace any part, you'll have to reshape the rest of the car to make it work. Each model is designed and built to emit grace and beauty. If I was to simply pick a high performance car, I can pick one from a list of nearly a couple of dozen of car makers. However, if style, grace and beauty are considered, there is only one - a Ferrari.

When it comes to decide on which model from within Ferrari's current range, my decision is along a similar line of reasoning behind choosing a Ferrari as my favorite car - grace, style and beauty. Yes, I agree that the Enzo Ferrari is fast and it looks fast, but for me it looks like a good looking muscle car. The same applies to the Challenge Stradale. No, my dream car has to be the Ferrari 360. The overall styling, the subtle curves, the wholeness of the design, the beauty of the final product - all give you the impression that each of the details is there for a reason and each one of these has been looked at and crafted to make the machine as graceful as it is. There are two models within the Ferrari 360 range, the Spider (convertible) and Modena (hard-top). Each of these models exhibits all the qualities that would make it my dream car. However, my current favorite is the 360 Spider.

However, time has moved on and I've moved on. Although I still can't afford the Ferrari 360 Spider, it is not my dream car anymore. Don't get me wrong, it is still right up there on my list of favorite cars and if someone were to give me one or I win one as a prize, I won't refuse. However, if I had the money and I've to spend that on a car, this will not be it.

360 Spider
360 Modena


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