What he does:
Vikram Suresh is an Associate at The Blackstone Group – a global, New York-based investment and advisory firm. He is part of Blackstone's Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions (`M&A') Advisory practice, assisting in the execution of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, recapitalizations, and a variety of related transactions for companies within the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industry. Vikram was previously an Analyst at Morgan Stanley within the firm's Media and Communications investment banking practice.
Math on the job:
M&A advisory involves rigorous research and analysis on transaction alternatives for various public and private companies. While advanced mathematics is not often used on the job, having strong analytical skills and a quantitative background proves extremely useful. “Often, the approach toward analyzing a situation – whether building a financial model, developing a transaction structure, or synthesizing a large amount of research – is very similar to the way one approaches mathematics problems in school. One looks at every factor from every angle, tries to make sense of the situation, and comes up with a unique solution.”
For the above reasons, employers within the financial services industry appreciate students with degrees in mathematics, statistics, and similar quantitative disciplines. Other key prerequisites for a position within the industry include an attention to detail, a strong work ethic, and excellent oral and written communication skills. While developing a strong analytical base, successful students within the Mathematics Department at Berkeley are also required to develop the aforementioned factors. As a result these students are often well prepared for positions withing the financial services industry upon graduation.
Vikram obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics and a Minor in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. He is a strong believer in what his high school teacher once told him, that “mathematics is the cornerstone to the universe,” and attempts to incorporate a quantitative approach within several aspects of his work.
Advice for students:
Aside from a strong analytical and quantitative ability, Suresh asserts that the key to success in investment banking is to be able to develop strong relationships with one's peers and to have an ability to analyze situations on both a macro as well as a micro scale.