Assessment Centre准备-Standard Life Aberdeen

  • 这次要准备的是Risk and Compliance的岗位,今年吸取去年教训,精算岗位没有那么多,那么我就广撒网,今年risk的岗位也申了几个,SLA拿到了AC,然后一无所知的我又被退休光头老爷爷带着准备了一下,这篇文章是想讲讲他怎么帮我(一个懒癌中期)对于一个公司进行准备的。大家也可以做一下当准备了~

    邮件里面说三部分Group exercise, interview 和 case study。



    先讲了一下Risk and Compliance干啥,其实就是内外risk加上加强员工follow policies and regulations 的教育和监督他们合规操作。

    然后又讲了一下Standard life和Aberdeen合并的一些事情,因为我懒癌,这些本该我自己早就做好的事情他又给我讲了一遍。

    然后给我看了一个关于GAM员工不合规操作所带来的后果的新闻当case给我做,顺带还有一些interveiw questions。



    This evening we talked about Standard Life Aberdeen. You already know a bit about the company but I would recommend you read the links below (and then answer the commercial awareness questions).

    Ahead of our session, I had sent you 3 articles on a Compliance problem at GAM that became a massive problem and eventually caused the CEO to resign and billions of dollars of outflows.

    Your task before our next session will be to answer the following two questions (5-10 lines each):

    1)what could the GAM compliance department have done to better prevent the breach of company policy ?


    • increase the frequency of regular compliance check

    • increase the compliance education for employees

    • encourage employees to expose others' misconduct

    • write down exact procedures and make sure the procedure is strictly followed

    • make sure customers know the exact procedures


    第1,2点还行;3,4点已经执行了,不需要说;5不用,因为customer没有涉及internal processes

    2)what could GAM (both the company and the compliance department) have done differently once the story broke out that a fund manager had been suspended ?


    • let him continue trading but investigate at the same time

    • restrict the rumour by all means since it breaks the customers' confidence

    • make sure other managers help the fund when a fund manager had been suspended

    • make the whole thing totally internal



    第1点很多时候都不行,需要depend on the specific law;2点没答到点子,是想什么方法制止rumour;3点还行,总体需要more professionally


    1 Motivation

    1)Why did you choose the Risk and Compliance programme?

    Challenging and learning opportunity; An actuary coach at SLA; A risk analyst friends

    2)Why do you want to work for Standard Life Aberdeen ?

    During my research (investment trainee case study below), positive, friendly and supportive atmosphere; training and learning opportunities; Strength Finder session - discover the natural ability (1:1 meeting with a strengths coach)
    One of the top 50 social mobility employers; inclusion and diversity
    Global location; one of the largest asset management firms around the world.
    career fair; an actuary in SLA

    3)Why did you choose your degree?

    enjoy studying mathematics; enjoy applying statistics and mathematics in the financial world; actuaries-life learning

    2 Competency

    1)Tell me a time when you had to deal with a situation that something went out of plan.

    S: last semester;

    T: mix of projects with tight deadline, final exam revise, dissertation first draft;

    A: write down all things - prioritise - make use of every available time;

    R+L: good grade in both projects and final exam, finish first draft on time; time management skills, exercise and meditation

    2)Tell me a situation when your work was criticised and how you responded.

    S: actuarial summer intern last summer

    T: submit an unsigned actuarial product review

    A: apologise and contact regulator, make copy as soon as possible and signed and submit; write review and actions to improve in the future

    R+L: approved. careful and rectify problems quickly

    3)Tell me a time when you questioned a process that you thought would not give the best outcome.

    S: student union

    T: two weekly meeting and one department meeting

    A: write a proposal to the president, outline the pros and cons; persuade other members of student union to agree with the proposal

    R+L: one weekly meeting, improve efficiency. how to persuade others and explanation

    4)Tell be about a time when you were unhappy or not confident with a piece of work you had to deliver under a tight timeframe;

    S: stochastic process project

    T: 48 hours to complete

    A: time management, but outside of what I learned in the course, cannot answer a small question within the project

    R+L: write a review for improvement next time, understand the content and solve the questions after the project submitted. reflection and self learning

    5)Tell me about a time when you had to promote customer service initiative among your team.

    6)Give me an example of when you’ve influenced a team member to achieve something.

    7)Tell me a time you failed to meet a deadline

    8)Tell me a time you’ve lead a team

    9)Tell me a time you had to complete a task without all the information

    S: last summer, actuarial summer intern

    T: an actuarial product review

    A: find past documents from the data base- consult and find information from underwriting team- ask help from colleagues and online tutorials

    R+L: finished and passes. self-learning capacity, time management, confidence

    3 Commercial Awareness

    1)What products and services does Standard Life Aberdeen offer?

    • Aberdeen Standard Investments: alternatives, active equities, ESG investment......
    • examples: Aberdeen Asia bond institutional; china opportunities investment; global equity

    • Standard life - pensions, savings, investments and retirement
      choose some examples + details!至少拖1分钟

    Competition & Risk: Exchange Traded Fund - easy to use

    2)Name some of Standard Life Aberdeen's funds

    Standard Life Annuity Targeting Pension Fund

    SL SLI American Equity Unconstrained Life Fund (Life Level - LS1)

    SL SLI Dynamic Distribution Life Fund (Life Level - LS1)

    3)What do you know about Standard Life Aberdeen ?

    • 第一次
    • one of the leading asset management firms around the world
    • one of the 2018 top 50 social mobility employees



    1- what they do (which sector)

    2- products, how they sell them

    3- clients

    4- size + employees + global locations (how far they reach)

    • one of the top global asset management firm in the Europe in terms of size
    • merged firm of Aberdeen Standard investment and Standard life
    • around 700 billion pounds
    • global firm with diversified products such as alternatives, active equities, ESG investment......

    4)What differentiates Standard Life Aberdeen from its competitors.


    • different structure: standard life and Aberdeen asset management
    • culture of the company: different CEO styles: Martin Gilbert, bold, calm under pressure
    • survive from mis-selling scandals in the late 19th, more opportunities to grow together
    • ability to bounce back after mis-selling scandals

    5)Name three of Standard Life Aberdeen's competitors.

    • 列了英国前三
    • Legal & general
    • Prudential
    • HSBC asset management

    6)Are you interested in studying for professional qualifications?

    • Yes, FRM and Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary from IFoA. (first associate)

    7)What size assets does Standard Life Aberdeen manage ?

    around 700 billion pounds

    8)Name several strategies that Standard Life Aberdeen funds use.

    • Standard Life Investments’ Global Absolute Return Strategies (GARS)
    • Idea generation-Selection-Implementation


    • Passive
    • Active
    • Alternative

    Operations on three key principles:

    • Team-based insight-sharing and decision-making can deliver better and more reliable investment outcomes.
    • There’s no substitute for first-hand fundamental research.
    • A strong focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations can enhance long-term returns and reduce risk.

    In our next session, we will look at your answers, work on the group exercise and case study.

    Trainee Programme Case Studies - Standard Life Investments

    Awards and indices

    Global locations

    Standard Life Stock News (SLA) -

    Top Asset Management Firms


    We continued with our preparation for Standard Life Aberdeen ("SLA").

    We started by checking your answers to the questions I had asked you about the compliance story at GAM.

    These were good, you seemed worried that you had not found enough answers but the ones you had were fine.

    However, we practiced the skill of finding answers to a specific problem in a very short amount of time, as you seemed to be giving quite short answers in some case:

    We looked at:

    • being a project manager and choosing a new team.
    • choosing between certain tasks (based on limited information).
    • finishing a project with the highest quality in 3 months when it normally takes 6.

    我没有答道increase the size of the team & use more team members with past experience,仅仅想到个人的问题,还需提升

    • what new technologies to use in the compliance area.

    The idea here was to make sure write as many bullet points in a short period of time. This should help you come up with quick thoughts, in a way that is required for the case studies or group exercises at the SLA assessment centre.

    You had some difficulty at first but it was easier in the last few exercises and I believe it should help in coming up with more ideas at the assessment centre.

    In preparation for our next session, I am sending you three articles:

    • one McKinsey article to read and that we will discuss as in the Group Exercise format. Do not read the whole thing but the "1. An expanded role of compliance and active ownership of the risk-and-control framework" part only.

    • an interview of Martin Gilbert (former head of Aberdeen Asset Management, now co-CEO of the newly-formed Standard Life Aberdeen). Read it and write down bullet points on things that define his personality and how this could be unique to SLA (and differentiate it from its competitors).

    Interview: Martin Gilbert, Standard Life Aberdeen – Daily Business Magazine

    • an article on a Fund Manager that broke rules and found himself out of a job. We will discuss the compliance implications of this case, although as a case study/ group exercise.



    We also practiced additional cases/ group exercises and I realised you come up with a lot more ideas when you use pen and paper rather than express them directly verbally. Think about that for the assessment centre. If you have the opportunity to make lists of thought on paper, definitely take it. It should make a difference.

    We finished by practicing all the commercial awareness questions and I gave some additional information on the fund strategies: passive, active, alternative as well as the names of some of the funds SLA manages.

    Regarding feeling nervous ahead of the assessment centre, try instead to focus on the things you do well just ahead instead: writing nice thoughts and ideas on paper, explaining your achievements in interview questions.

    群面和case study的时候,对我来说,一定要把东西写下来而不是脑子想这就说出来了。对我来说直接说出来就会流于表面。

    他还教我了一个方法,群面的时候不能想点子,就从business, market, customer方面来想。




    group exercise尽量找到c位然后尽早发言hold住全场,点子一个一个写在纸上更容易不流于表面

    case study + presentation尽量不要过分复杂,用框架把自己的看法说出来即可

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