Cocktails With.. Annya Walker


Cocktails With.. Annya Walker

Annya Walker, Vice-President Strategy, Research & Structured Products NCB Capital Markets Limited

Sunday, March 22, 2020

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What exactly does your job entail?

My role includes strategy formulation for NCB Capital Markets and its subsidiaries, the development and launch of new products and services, including the company's transition to include digital service offerings, as well as research and investment strategies for clients. My team and I also provide economic research to support decision-making for the NCB Financial Group.


How does one prepare for this role?

From a technical perspective a post-graduate degree in Economics or Finance is a great starting point. Pursuing the CFA designation is also an asset in this line of business. Being customer-focused to be able understand what matters most to them is critical; it will ensure that you put the clients' interest first — whether in terms of the products and channels you create or the investment recommendations you make. You will also need to stay on top of market developments and digital trends. In terms of soft skills, leadership and learning agility are key.


What advice would you give today to your 16-year-old self?

Worry less. Be grateful. Be present.


What advice would you share with a student looking to a career in banking?

It is a lot of hard work. However, it can also be very rewarding.


In your line of work is it more important to be liked or respected?

Respected. It helps when you are making recommendations to clients on how and what to invest in.


Were you not in banking where would you be found?

Landscape architecture.


What has been your most humbling experience?

Moving to Japan and realising that I was completely illiterate! I have enough stories of faux pas from those years to make you laugh until you cry. It was a truly humbling experience and a period of significant personal growth.


Where's your happy place?

Near water, surrounded by nature… river, sea, it doesn't matter. The sound of water relaxes me.


Nature or nurture?


What's your greatest fear?

Finding out that I have stopped growing and learning.


What lesson has been the hardest to learn?

Realising that the skills that led to my success as an individual contributor were virtually useless in leadership.


What talent do you yearn for?

Carpentry! I would love to be able to make furniture. I have all sorts of ideas in my head but I can't even nail two pieces of board together.


What food sums up happiness?

I am a foodie and my colleagues often joke about my discerning palate. But honestly, food that sums up happiness would be any meal shared with my family. We have a way of gathering for meals and retelling stories of growing up and my father… family, food, laughter… add music and we start dancing… we know how to make memories.


What have you never understood?

Hmmm… Matrix algebra! I am not sure how I passed that course in university!


Siri, play…

Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillon, Dennis Brown… anything from my father's era. My father had a sound system when I was growing up. I hated all the “old people music” he would play; we all did. But somehow my siblings and I know all those old hits, word for word. Now, I like listening to them; they bring back memories of him.


Siri, turn on the shower or draw a bath?

In my ideal world, it would be draw a bath. Usually it is a shower, though.


Heels or flats?

Flats. The cutest shoes seem to have the highest heels but my ankles don't seem to like them.


Jeans or an LBD?



Opera or a ballet recital?



North coast or south coast?

South coast. My parents are from the south coast and I have fond memories of summers splashing in the river in St Thomas and spending time with my grandmother in St Elizabeth.


Finally, what's your personal credo?

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

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