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Virtual Intern Program: Engaging future talent across the full summer experience

Our client, one of the leading banks in America, partnered with us to keep their interns engaged throughout their whole summer internship.

We have worked with the bank for several years, training interns for a number of days before they hit the desk for their multi-week experience in the office. With no office to go to in 2020, we needed to support the entire intern experience on behalf of our client.

“Words cannot express the thanks and gratitude I have for your brilliant team of trainers and learning professionals. I want to thank team Alpha for the many impressive ways you have helped our businesses over the last 12 months. From fielding last-minute high-volume requests to thoughtful well executed training programs. It has been remarkable to witness our teams in action. Delivering flawlessly with such tenacity and creativity.”

– Global Early Careers lead

The Challenge

From what was originally a 4-day in-class technical training programme designed for 100 Global Markets and Research interns, our client asked us to shift objectives and support over 2,500 interns worldwide.

The bank was committed to ensuring that all interns, no matter what country or time-zone they were in, were provided with the same globally consistent learning experience, with three key objectives in mind to ensure the interns could:

  • Increase their knowledge in their respective fields and be desk-ready when assigned desks and various projects
  • Be provided with a social platform where interns were able to network whilst also exchanging knowledge between peers
  • Make a positive impact when they did hit their respective desk with the knowledge acquired through the training

“We thrive on our strong relationships with our clients. It’s a vital part of understanding their key objectives to ensure our learning programmes are tailored to meet their needs and timescales.”

– Jilan Shah, Relationship Manager

Like many businesses, the bank adapted their strategy as a response to the global pandemic, working with us to re-design a new training programme that can be delivered effectively within the virtual world.

 

The Solution

Alpha Development addressed all aspects of the banks’ requirements across a tailored 3-week programme specifically designed to suit our clients’ objectives and requirements.

We shaped the elements of the banks’ core curriculum in the first week which was delivered to all interns through several group projects. We also held supported learning sessions which allowed for cross-track collaboration and brought together diverse backgrounds to work on project solutions.

The second and third week were focused on technical training for numerous Intern Tracks, where each day was broken down into 90-minute learning blocks supplemented by case studies, group assignments, side of desk assignments, trading simulations and daily quizzes.

Cohorts also formed learning groups where they could actively engage in discussions on challenges and changes in the market and the impacts this could have on the business.

 

The Impact

Our tailored learning enabled the bank to deliver on its promise of a world class internship experience albeit in a virtual environment by providing the interns with a perfect springboard into the world of banking having acquired the technical and professional skills to apply into the real world.

Working together

Support your employee development with us.  We specialise in providing training solutions for firms within the financial services worldwide.

Our programmes come with interactive online training with real-life scenarios and solutions to ensure your team are able to adapt and transform into the leaders you want them to be.

Be it classroom, virtual or e-learning, we can help. Email [email protected]

A Sales Leadership change initiative equipping the Desk Heads at a top 5 global Wealth Manager with the skills to navigate the changing industry landscape.

The Challenge

In response to increased regulatory pressure and new competitive threats in Wealth Management, the client recognised the need for their Desk Heads to evolve into pure “sales leaders” with no client book, rather than “producer-managers”. The change initiative was designed to bring Desk Heads up to speed effectively in the new role and support them in acting consistently in three key areas:

The key objectives of the initiative were to ensure Desk Heads:

The Solution

Alpha consulted across allmajor stakeholder groups and designed a detailed case study that mirrored the organisation’s challenges at desk level. The case study framework supported a 9 month, multi-touch learning journey that replicated the pace and ambiguity of life on the desk.

With the right environment constructed, credibility was demonstrated and the facilitation team were able to start to address the changes to skills, behaviours and mind-set that were required to effect this business transformation.
The programme incorporated:

The Results

The extended case study was built out complete with data on Relationship Managers, clients, Assets under Management (AUM), Net New Revenue (NNR) and Asset Allocation profiles. This detail, along with our replication of the firm’s systems and processes, gave the development initiative the required legitimacy across the target population.

 

The creation of this rich environment allowed us to:

An investment in skills development and the transition of newly hired graduates into the revenue generating functions of a major global bank.The Challenge

The program team at a major US bank approached Alpha Development to partner them in structuring the ongoing development of their Global Markets graduate intake. They identified the “100 days on the desk” milestone as an opportunity to proactively address this requirement.  The critical issue for the new-hires was the impact of transition from campus to corporate; after an intense technical induction program, graduate cohorts could often get ‘lost’ on the desk. By addressing this development gap before the first 100 days of life in their new role, the graduates could:

The Solution
Alpha adopted a bottom-up and top-down approach to developing content. First, we approached the transition from the perspective of the graduate. This enabled our consultants to focus in on key tools and techniques that could be immediately applied on the desk.

The second phase approached content from the perspective of the line managers of the newhire. Alpha explored the communication and management challenges of developing millennials in the workplace and looked at the best practice strategies of managers that have succeeded in bridging this generation gap.

The final aspect to development was to help the program team get the graduates off the desk; striking a balance between the cultural demands of the organization and the evident needs of the participants.
The final program was delivered as a half day module for small groups 60 days post-induction.

The Results
The resulting program tackled the subtler nuances of productivity, feedback, influence and networking in the organization. The session also allowed graduates to explore the workplace from the perspective of their manager and understand the challenges they faced daily.

Post-course evaluation reflected how positive the graduates were about the opportunity to reflect and the investment made in their development.

 

The second significant output was the recognition of the need for targeted and timely training for the Managers of the incoming graduate cohort.

The organization began to benefit from a manager population that understood the balance between ‘optimizing’ and ‘maximizing’ graduate performance during the early stages of their career.

A Global Universal Bank initiative to develop, mobilise and retain talent across a wide selection of Shared Services functions for a newly hired population.
The Challenge
A major European bank approached Alpha Development to restructure an existing 1 year global development programme for new hires with less than 2 years of finance related experience. The programme needed to address the issue of ensuring consistent development for off-cycle recruitment intakes while running simultaneously in various global locations.The critical challenges for Programme Management were to:

The Solution
Delivery:

Alpha developed a flexible “packaged” programme that adopted a broad range of learning delivery methods, including: classroom training, interactive webinars, short video primers and online simulations with eLearning modules.

 

The 3-day classroom training gave participants the appropriate introductory insight into the bank, the industry and their new careers through teaching, group exercises and opportunities to network with business stakeholders.

Technical content was integrated with professional skills to build a platform for ongoing development. Online webinars and eLearning provided flexibility and regularity for sustained learning.

 

Resourcing and Budget Management:

Alpha and the client analysed employee spend data, from recruitment through to the end of year one in the role. As a result, Alpha was able to offer a bespoke per-head fee structure which gave all departments clarity on development budgets and enabled accurate annual budgetary forecasting across the business.

 

Programme Management:

Alpha provided an outsourced Programme Management team and received enhanced security clearance to access the client’s data and systems. This enabled Alpha to take full responsibility for the administrative burden of the programme, freeing up the client’s Learning Team to undertake more strategic “value-add” projects for the business.

Key programme tasks include:

Central to the success of the solution was a clear understanding of service level expectations, supported by consistent communication between the Alpha team and client stakeholders.
The Results

The programme has received consistently positive feedback from participants, managers and Learning and Development teams globally.

 

Reduced business risk and improved performance:

Senior Management has identified the GYO Development Programme as an example of learning best practice and have targeted replication across other geographies and business areas in 2016.

A Global Universal Bank initiative to develop, mobilise and retain talent across a wide selection of Shared Services functions for a newly hired population.  The Challenge A major European bank approached Alpha Development to restructure an existing 1 year global development programme for new hires with less than 2 years of finance related experience. The programme needed to address the issue of ensuring consistent development for off-cycle recruitment intakes while running simultaneously in various global locations.The critical challenges for Programme Management were to: Ensure all eligible hires are offered development within their first three months in role. Minimize participant time away from the desk throughout the programme. Provide end-to-end programme management without increasing internal headcount. Deliver the programme cost-efficiently. Improve retention after the first year of junior talent on boarding. The Solution Delivery: Alpha developed a flexible “packaged” programme that adopted a broad range of learning delivery methods, including: classroom training, interactive webinars, short video primers and online simulations with eLearning modules. The 3-day classroom training gave participants the appropriate introductory insight into the bank, the industry and their new careers through teaching, group exercises and opportunities to network with business stakeholders. Technical content was integrated with professional skills to build a platform for ongoing development. Online webinars and eLearning provided flexibility and regularity for sustained learning.   Resourcing and Budget Management: Alpha and the client analysed employee spend data, from recruitment through to the end of year one in the role. As a result, Alpha was able to offer a bespoke per-head fee structure which gave all departments clarity on development budgets and enabled accurate annual budgetary forecasting across the business.   Programme Management: Alpha provided an outsourced Programme Management team and received enhanced security clearance to access the client’s data and systems. This enabled Alpha to take full responsibility for the administrative burden of the programme, freeing up the client’s Learning Team to undertake more strategic “value-add” projects for the business. Key programme tasks include: Participant communication, on-boarding, scheduling, query handling and chasing. Line Manager “Webinar Briefings” prior to each cohort. Quarterly material update to reflect market and internal changes. Sourcing monthly headcount data. Ongoing programme performance and engagement reporting. Central to the success of the solution was a clear understanding of service level expectations, supported by consistent communication between the Alpha team and client stakeholders. The Results The programme has received consistently positive feedback from participants, managers and Learning and Development teams globally. Reduced business risk and improved performance: The learning experience is seen to be more sustained and rooted in the business than traditional up-front, “all-at-once” induction programmes. Line Managers have found participants to be more effective in their role and equipped with more transferable skills at each year one evaluation stage (3, 6 and 12 months). Desks are able to forecast budgets effectively and deliver consistent development opportunities to all new-hires. Business units have reported a reduction in post-hire development costs and improved staff retention. Learning and Development teams have been able to transition business perception from reactive “order-takers” to proactive “relationship managers”. Senior Management has identified the GYO Development Programme as an example of learning best practice and have targeted replication across other geographies and business areas in 2016.

A world-class leadership programme, evidenced by substantial RoI analysis.

 

Client: International financial services firm, headquartered in the UK

Division: Markets & International Banking (“M&IB”)

Desks: Finance, operations, risk and technology (“L&C”), Markets (sales and trading) and investment banking

Business Sponsor: Global head of talent

Summary Objective: Leadership and promote training at VP level (promote to Director)

Delivery: 18-month classroom blended (product, skill and leadership training)

Locations: US, UK, (London and Edinburgh), Hong Kong, Singapore, India

 

Objectives

Design and Delivery

 

Design Methodology:

 

Delivery: Pre-module assessment and preparatory exercises including

 

Delivery: Facilitated classroom workshops

Module 1: The Client Leader (Front office)

·  Awareness and successful client leadership

·  Thinking and presenting for impact

·  Application of thinking tools to Business Challenges

·  Practical and strategic networking

·  Business opportunities in EMEA (speaker session)

·  Managing risk and responding to regulation (speaker session)

·  High performing teamwork

·  Developing a successful presentation

·  The client perspective (speaker session)

·  Business Challenge panel presentations

·  Development of client trust and feedback skills

·  Running a business (speaker sessions)

Module 1: The Thought Leader (L&C)

·  Defining and understanding thought leadership

·  Awareness of personal style and preferences using Social Styles

·  Thinking structures and tools

·  Application of thinking tools to Business Challenges

·  Understanding impact of stress on social styles

·  Practical and strategic networking

·  Managing risk and responding to regulation (speaker session)

·  High performing teamwork

·  Developing a successful presentation

·  Running a business (speaker session)

Module 2: The Collaborative Leader (all)

·  Analysis and understanding of collaboration within the firm

·  Building networks and collaborative cultures framework

·  Personal resilience and optimism

·  Collaborative decision-making tools

·  Distributed leadership framework for  distributed  and  accountable leadership

Module 3: The Commercial leader (all)

·  Understanding how banks and this firm specifically make money

·  Understanding clients, products, services, markets and competitors

·  Understanding and analysis of the global financial, banking, regulatory and competitive environment and the impact on the firm

·  ‘Run the Bank’ simulation

·  Exploring the role of business knowledge in effective leadership

Delivery: Post-module activities and touchpoints including:

 

Results

 

“This programme is by far the best I’ve seen in 10 years in investment banking. The structure is well placed, the concepts are well delivered and placed in a good context and running it over multiple years reminds you the value of keeping the network you build active… it’s a leadership programme, not a management/people skills course.”

EQD Sales Curriculum

 

The Challenge

The Senior EQD Sales Management of a tier 1 universal European bank approached Alpha to help enhance their EQD sales teams selling technique, targeting their new joiners, experienced sales and sales managers. Being within such a competitive and target driven landscape, management identified the increasing need to set a benchmark for best practice, expand client coverage, and increase the cross-selling of products to help improve profitability.
As well as aiming to maintain a high level of best practice, Management acknowledged teams were decreasingly picking up phones and engaging with their clients in a much less personal manor which devaluing the whole customer experience. Their team increasingly relied on making contact via IB chat and lacked innovative ways to approach their sales calls and entice their clients with new business and cross-selling of products.
The key aim of this programme was to:

  • Set the standard of best practice across teams
  • Build enough confidence in their salespeople to enable them to pick up the phone and engage with their client directly
  • Explore new ways to approaching sales calls to gain interest from their clients
  • Increase the whole client relationship experience in order to deepen relationships and become more profitable
  • Provide the necessary skills to help facilitate the transition from producer to sales manager/leader.

 

The Solution

This sales curriculum was delivered via 3 levels of progression. By working alongside senior management, Alpha identified crucial learning points which needed to be addressed during this training programme. Through the use of a classic sales development framework, Alpha developed and tailored training sessions for each level, focusing on EQD sales, which addresses certain business challenges faced at these certain transition points. This intervention provided participants the practical sales skills to overcome these particular challenges.

  • New joiners to 1 year: Setting the benchmark- what differentiates us from our competitors? How can I be the best salesperson at my firm?
  • Experienced sales: A highly competitive and target driven landscape – how do I expand client coverage, share best practice and cross-sell products?
  • How do I approach my clients in innovative ways – entice them with new business and cross-sell their products. How can I be increase the whole customer experience to be more profitable?
  • Sales Managers: How do I transition from being a successful producer to being an effective Manager/leader?

 

The Results

This programme was initially developed targeting only experienced sales persons of 2-3 years to enhance current sales technique and to also share best practice. Due to its huge success and support from the business, it was recognised that all EQD sales should have some form of sales development training. Alpha worked alongside BNPP to expand this curriculum further so there was a level 1 for New Joiners and Level 3 for Sales Manager/leaders. As well as expanding this to all the different levels of sales, this curriculum has been globally recognised and adapted to other business lines as well as also being rolled out across different geographies.

A Blended Learning Initiative for FX Sales Teams

A Global Investment Bank’s Corporate FX Sales team, with a very strong market share, was tasked with deepening and developing their client relationships.

 

Objectives

Feedback from clients was that this firm was very “cash only”, so dealt with them on an arms-length execution-only basis, and on price. The challenge for the sales team was to reinvent these relationships from light-touch execution to deep advisory.The key metrics the client wanted to focus on centered around turning low value, opportunistic flows into higher value, stickier, mostly derivatives based work. This was only possible by hitting the following desired outcomes:

  • Having deeper, tougher, more searching conversations with their clients
  • Better understanding their hedging or investment objectives
  • Bringing the whole firm to the solution – not just the standard off-the-peg products.

 

Design and Delivery 

The training programme focused on the following skills toolkit necessary to reinvigorate client relationships from the base up:

  • Getting the foot in the door
  • Structured persistence
  • Asking the right questions – getting to the real issue
  • Negotiation / influencing
  • Upselling
  • Closing

There was absolute clarity from management. This is not about ‘growing participants as individuals’: the training was expected to deliver a step change in sustainable P&L. But to build those long term relationships the desk was also expected to increase performance in terms of:

  • Converting calls to meetings
  • Converting meetings into platinum clients
  • Converting platinum clients into sticky revenue
  • Increasing number of orders and order size

 

Results

Leaving the training room happy,  enthusiastic and better informed is great, but does not necessarily translate into P&L. In parallel with the training programme, we also provided some RoI analysis around a range of soft metrics, but most importantly on the long term P&L effects.

All numbers below relate solely to the desk we trained. The training occurred in June. We have compared H2 vs H1, and FY with the prior year results.

RevenuesYear on YearH2/H1
Total – all products+19% (+£5.2m)+6%
Options+59%+30%
Derivatives+62%+35%

If the training programme was only responsible for 20% of the increase in revenue, then the programme contributed ~£1m to the firm. Given the training cost £50k, this is startling RoI.

Other top down metrics examined before and after the programme:

Skills MetricsYear on Year 2H/1H
Options deals closed+22%+8%
Derivatives deals closed+56%+13%
Options – Avg deal size+30%+20%
Derivatives – Avg deal size+4%+20%

 

Relationships Metrics          Year on Year 2H/1H
Number of Meetings+12%-9%
$ Revenue per Meeting+45%+47%
Deals per Meeting+26%+22%


These strong results on the soft metrics are not successes in themselves – but they explain the sharp increase in P&L, and the two sets of metrics combined quantify the stronger, stickier client relationships. The training worked.

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