Core Growth Markets
Ever wondered what it would be like to work in Core Growth Markets (CGM)? We talked to Gianmaria and Louise about the work that keeps them busy, how this area has shaped their careers to date and what advice they have for those looking to do the same.
Gianmaria Botte, Italy
Gianmaria joined us from the FS Corporate Finance team at another Big 4 organization. His career has covered a vast range of transactions engagements, ranging from strategic business reviews and valuation assignments, to mergers and acquisitions. Now serving a range of banks within CGM, Gianmaria is helping his clients to implement and maintain lower cost structures and explore new products and channels.
“It’s helped me to grow skills I might not have had the opportunity to if I were working on larger clients”
How have you found working in CGM?
I’ve had a very positive experience. It’s very different from working with big clients, as you have to build direct relationships with many people on your clients’ side – ranging from the person responsible for the project, right up to top management. This gives you the opportunity to build very strong relationships and to drive change in the client. The clients’ leadership team know you well and trust you, so you have to work hard to make sure you don’t disappoint them. Our CGM clients also trust us to help manage a wide range of issues, from accounting through to Tax and Legal. This makes the experience very diverse.
Which skills are most important to your success in this area?
One of the most important things is being able to help manage the client – which isn’t just one person, but the whole team, including leadership. This means you need to be able level directors. It’s also crucial to really understand the client and their specific challenges – right down to what their customers need.
How has the experience impacted your career?
Working in CGM I’ve had much more responsibility, much more exposure to the top management and much more flexibility in terms of how I approach working with a client. It’s helped me to grow skills I might not have had the opportunity to if I were working on larger clients.
What advice would you give to others considering working in CGM?
It’s not enough to be specialised in what you do – you have to be the overall advisor for the client and understand the full breadth of their needs. Managing a CGM client is like managing a very big family, so it’s important to be truly part of the dynamics of how their business runs and how they work as a team. Try working with a CGM client to see what they can learn from it. For me, I hope and believe that this particular segment could be my future in EY.
Louise Boughen, UK
“A boomerang” – that’s how Louise Boughen would describe her career at EY. Having joined the organisation as a graduate on our Advisory program in London, Louise later transferred to our New York office before leaving EY to spend time with her family. When her youngest child started school, Louise saw an opportunity to return to the workplace as part of the EY Reconnect program, a 12-week program which offers a supported route back into work after an extended career break. Now a manager in Risk, we spoke to Louise about her experience working in CGM, and how she balances family and professional life.
"Working on a CGM client has given me the opportunity to build relationships with a number of senior clients.”
What are you up to in your current role?
I’m working in the ITRA team to support some of our CGM clients. There’s no average day for me and most days, I work on a number of client-facing activities as well as internal initiatives. I am currently focussed on GDPR so am supporting clients in their compliance programmes as well as working to develop the team’s GDPR offerings.
What have been the benefits of working in CGM?
Working on a CGM client has given me the opportunity to build relationships with a number of key client contacts and to work closely with them in making key decisions about their programme. In my particular engagement, I had the opportunity to work across a variety of work streams allowing me to develop a broader knowledge and have a wider impact, rather than working on one specific area (which can often be the case at larger clients). This in turn can bring some challenges as clients expect you to have the answers to a wide range of questions, but I’ve been able to get support from colleagues where a knowledge top-up was needed.
You came back into the team after an extended career break. How did you find the transition back into work?
I was full of doubts when returning to work, anxious about the impact on all of the family and if we would be able to make it work - but I was surprised how quickly I transitioned back. I did however realise quite quickly that working full-time was not viable. During my time on the Reconnect program I was able to speak to people with different flexible work arrangements and identify one that would work for me. I can’t say it has been all smooth sailing, but I feel that returning to work at EY was the right choice.
How have you benefited from new ways of working?
I work four days across five days (with two half days from home), which has given me the flexibility to work around family events I feel I cannot miss – like performances, assemblies and school activities. Knowing that I can adjust my hours and swap my work from home days allows me to be more focused as I can put a plan in place to ensure I can be where I need to be.
What has helped make flexible working work for you?
The team here have been hugely supportive, which has made it much easier. While my client was initially anxious about my arrangement, he quickly got used to it and even said he didn’t notice it after a short while. This support, combined with the mutual trust I have with my team, has been the key to making it work.