Nathan believes the beauty of studying Finance is “There is no aspect of commerce it doesn’t touch. You need to grasp it all - the big picture economics, what drives and motivates investors, the political environment, the fundamentals of what makes some companies succeed and others fail, as well as the day-to-day practicalities of business management.”
Also armed with a degree in Psychology, he further developed his ability to get inside the mind of a businessperson through competing in the Business Case Competitions offered throughout his degree – strategic scenarios that are judged by eminent business leaders nationally and internationally.
“The cases are hugely varied and challenging, and can be on almost anything – launching into a new market, responding to a competitive threat, mergers and acquisitions, and brand repositioning are just a few examples. It gave me the chance to analyse companies as diverse as Starbucks, Icebreaker and Kim Crawford Wines, develop the ability to comfortably communicate with senior management, and work in teams with many different personalities from a variety of fields – all essential skills in business and life.”
Nathan was in the Otago team that participated in the ScotiaBank International Case Competition in Canada, in what he describes as “the highlight of my studies – an incredible chance to meet and compete with some of the best and brightest business students from top universities from around the world”. Otago also took out the New Zealand nationwide title in 2009.
Now, Nathan is putting theory and practice into action, working with the investment banking team at Forsyth Barr, a company that has advised on a range of capital market transactions locally, and has global ties to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “I met Sir Eion Edgar, the chairman of Forsyth Barr, in Queenstown in 2010 and he is very supportive of graduates from Dunedin. I will be joining the industry at a very interesting time – it promises to be extremely challenging, and rewarding!”