How to start your career in alternative asset management – ICG’s graduate programme

ICG graduates 2022-24
Passion, curiosity, and the enthusiasm to seize opportunities are often more important than technical skills.

In brief:

  • Graduates are a key part of their teams and life at ICG. They’re given real responsibility and access to senior people across the business from day one.
  • Learning and development is core to our graduate programme – both on-the-job and formal qualifications. This includes technical skills, as well as personal development.
  • We look for passionate, curious, and collaborative graduates who are self-motivated learners. We often see these qualities as more important than technical industry knowledge.

What we offer you

The start of your career is a unique time. It offers the opportunity to discover passions and explore different roles. Graduate programmes offer an entry into work and help you to quickly develop a deep understanding of a company and sector.

At ICG, graduates are a key part of our teams and life at the business. We believe in helping you to find your passion and empowering you to shape your own career.

But our graduates are more than just a pipeline for new talent. “They bring new perspectives, new initiatives, and a breath of fresh air,” says Bernice Radley, Recruitment Manager at ICG.

ICG is committed to creating a culture that is inclusive and impactful on a business and a personal level. That’s why our programme offers graduates trust, responsibility, and compelling opportunities to grow and mould their careers. These might be in private markets investment management, or the many other career paths that support a growing, global alternative asset manager like ICG.

What surprised me about ICG? What attracted me to ICG? My advice to other grads. Meet five members of our 2022-24 graduate scheme – Himani, Maisie, Kayleigh, Josh and Eve

Part of the team from day one

ICG’s graduates are part of the fabric of their teams and are trusted with real responsibilities. Graduates see how the work they do has a genuine impact and makes a notable difference.

“From day one they’re part of the team,” says Hannah Sims, Director, Senior HR Business Partner. “They’re adding value, getting involved in projects, and gaining exposure to senior people within their team and across the business.”

It’s important that we support graduates in becoming part of life at ICG, with mentors and buddies providing friendly guidance on career development, a perspective from outside their teams, and views on the wider asset management sector.

Connections across the business are also facilitated by our employee-led networks and events that help graduates get to know other teams. These include communities and spaces based around sharing the diversity of backgrounds, heritages, and sexual orientation of our people, as well as groups focused on sports, health, and wellbeing.

We see our diversity as a key competitive advantage, and graduates are fundamental to developing our world class teams. “We work very hard to make sure we hire the best graduate for each team,” says Sims, “While making sure that we are bringing in diversity of thought and diversity of background as well, to make a better, more inclusive environment.”

One of the things that surprised me about ICG is how open and supportive everyone has been and encouraging of new learning opportunities – Maisie, Corporate Affairs Graduate, ICG

How we set you up for success

The opportunity we offer, however, doesn’t necessarily mean ICG graduates require a high-level of technical knowledge from the onset.

ICG graduates’ responsibilities are always supported by training, both on-the-job and formal – giving them opportunities to quickly develop new skills, especially in their first few weeks.

“Learning and development is a very big part of ICG’s two-year graduate programme,” says Hardeep Virdi, Head of Talent Development. “The development proposition consists of facilitated workshops with specialists around key skills, like stakeholder management or managing your own brand, as well as skills-based programmes like Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, all graduates are supported in completing an industry-leading professional qualification.”

I’ve gained more experience and knowledge into the private equity space which has helped me gain more responsibility within my team - Eve, Treasury Graduate, ICG

ICG also works with a trusted financial training company  which is an expert in our field, to develop bespoke modules, as well as offering training in softer skills and personal development. Our goal is to empower our graduates to learn more than how to complete tasks, but to give them a base from which they can thrive and develop at ICG and across the wider industry. 

We support all employees with an annual £1,500 allowance towards formal qualifications and personal development courses. These can include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualifications, management courses, and later in their careers, Master of Business Administration degrees (MBAs) and leadership training.

This culture of continuous learning and growth is a core part of how ICG builds and retains world class teams.

You have a lot of access to senior people and they’re always happy to talk to you – Josh, Risk Graduate, ICG

What differentiates ICG from other graduate programmes?

One of ICG’s real differentiators from other companies and graduate programmes is our smaller size. With just under 600 people globally, we can offer benefits that few others in the space can.

“We’re approaching 600 employees, but we invest over a number of strategies,” says Radley. “Graduates receive real exposure and get visibility across the business. Even if they work for our marketing and client relations teams, for example, they build a real understanding and engage across all our strategies.”

Graduates have access to senior leadership and more opportunity to connect with other teams and learn about a variety of different strategies and asset classes. ICG also empowers them to shape their own career path, with options like the ability to join new teams as opportunities become available.

Having a mentor at ICG has given me a different perspective of the company and helped my personal development – Kayleigh, Finance Graduate, ICG

What we look for

Our graduate scheme is a two-year programme, after which we aim to move them into a permanent role. Positions are available across investment, marketing, and corporate teams, meaning our graduates bring a range of backgrounds and skillsets.

Because technical skills aren’t often as important as passion and an interest to learn, what we look for in graduates is their ability to collaborate and self-motivate.

“What we focus on is curiosity, passion for the industry and hunger to learn,” says Sims. “People that succeed here generally tend to be very inquisitive and self-motivated, but also highly collaborative.”

When starting your career, researching different roles, sectors, and the values of businesses is crucial. Graduates that are successful are often those that can authentically communicate their passion, shared values, and capacity to make the most of the opportunities ICG offers.

My advice to graduates is to do your research. It will not only help with your application and interview, but allow you to see if you personally would like to work for that company - Himani, Finance Graduate, ICG

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