Alumni Stories: The Center of the Action
As a managing director in financial institutions debt capital markets at Credit Suisse, Tom Ritchie '94 told an audience at Yale SOM on October 27, he sits at the "nexus of a lot of the activity between banks, governments, and the markets that you see in the news these days." Ritchie noted that although Credit Suisse was able to avoid many of the troubles that hit other financial institutions and did not take a government bailout during the subprime crisis, "the FIG business has had a very interesting run these last few years."
Ritchie came to campus at the invitation of the Career Development Office to talk to students interested in a career in finance. He discussed his own career path, which began at J.P. Morgan in fixed income sales, and his current position in financing and capital origination at Credit Suisse. "I advise domestic financial institutions on navigating the market and optimizing their liability structure. It's particularly challenging these days, given changing regulations and volatile conditions," he said. As a capital markets coverage officer, Ritchie brings views on the market and the distribution capabilities of Credit Suisse to the bank's corporate finance clients. "It's an interesting spot to be in."
In his role as an advisor to other financial institutions, Ritchie has found himself in the position of having to understand and explain the implications of many of the new rules contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Basel III banking regulations. Although the changing landscape keeps Ritchie and his group busy, he said, "I prefer doing financing transactions rather than heading to D.C. to hear what regulators have to say. It's probably more productive also."
In the 17 years since he graduated from Yale SOM, Ritchie has recruited many times on campus. He noted that SOM is one of Credit Suisse's core schools and that there are numerous alumni in senior roles at the firm. "Once in the door, SOM students perform exceedingly well," he said. A key reason for this, he said, is the skill set students earn here. "As I've moved deeper into my career, I rely even more on my SOM experience," he said. "The school gave me the ability to work effectively in teams and, more so than other schools, it teaches students to be effective with professionals across the spectrum. I work with corporate treasurers, bond traders, and regulators—all of whom come at the issues with very different interests and viewpoints. It's natural for an SOM graduate to operate in this environment and to help clients manage this change."