Week 12
Abhishek Kedia

The week started with a tour of the Pentagon which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It is one of the world’s largest office buildings and has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building in New York. The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself. Over 200,000 telephone calls are made daily through phones connected by 100,000 miles of telephone cable. The Defense Post Office handles about 1,200,000 pieces of mail monthly. Various libraries support our personnel in research and completion of their work. The Army Library alone provides 300,000 publications and 1,700 periodicals in various languages.

Last week I also had an interview at The Hershey Company for a summer internship. I did a detailed study of the annual report of the company and learnt some interesting facts. Although the company is known for its products all over the world 95% of its sales are in North America. As it imports various raw materials from abroad it indulges in serious commodities futures trading and foreign exchange futures contact.

At work I was involved in daily activities, helping in opening new accounts and taking care of all the paper work. I was also involved in doing a research on precious metal stock though the Merrill Lynch research system. With the gold prices and other metal prices rising, several clients are interested in investing in companies which deal in precious metals.

Week 11
Abhishek Kedia

As the weather gets beautiful and I enter the final few weeks of the program, I am trying to make the most of the remaining time. This being the tax week last week was very busy and so will this week be. At this point my role becomes even more vital and my attentiveness and commitment can reduce the pressure at work.

It seems that the numbers of phone calls have more than quadrupled and all clients are in a hurry. In the Global Private Client Division it is very important to maintain a strong client focus and as we are dealing with clients on a very personal level we need to cater to their basic needs at all times to the best of our ability. So at times when we are working on a major issue for a client we still need to answer the basic questions of other clients right away.

Often we have to perform services to our clients that do not constitute a part of the business because it is our duty to keep the client happy and ensure that the client does not think about switching brokerage houses. So we sometimes have to make calls to other divisions and other companies on behalf of the client to get information for them.

Last week I had to dig out a lot of information for several clients from their files which will assist them in filing their tax returns accurately. It is sometimes scary to see how the clients have no clue to how much taxes they need to pay and have to records. If my supervisors are unable to provide them with the information, which is not one of the regular duties, it can create havoc.

Week 10
Abhishek Kedia

I spent most of my time this week working on a project. I am working for two financial advisors and it is very difficult for them to keep track of the portfolios of every client individually. I thus asked my supervisor for names of some high net worth clients to study their portfolio and track the return of the various investments. I used the Merrill Lynch research reports as the benchmark to compare the returns. I would compare the one year, three year and five year return to the benchmarks provided in the reports. If some investment mangers have not been performing well and lowering the return of the portfolio, I bring it to the attention of my supervisor. He then decides if the investment might need to be replaced.

I have spent considerable time learning more about the Merrill Lynch Global Private Client business from another financial advisor during the lunch break. He joined the business this January and he shared his experiences with me. He deals with a lot of international clients and working on international markets. He also gave me some good suggestions as to how I should approach my job search.

I have also been collecting thoughts on doing a research paper. I want to do a small study on the largest commercial bank in India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI). The stock is also traded on the New York Stock Exchange. I want to study the financial statements of the company, study the ratios and prepare a research report on it.

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