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November 2023
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November 2023

INN Conversation with Ethan Hill

In our latest INN Conversation series interview, we spoke with Ethan Hill, Associate, who joined Numis just last year, to find out about his journey to investment banking, his experience of our internship programme, and how his passion for inclusiveness has led to his involvement with INN, the Inclusive Numis Network, an employee-led group that promotes an inclusive, diverse and collaborative workplace.

Ethan Hill

Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

I was born in Devon, but mostly grew up in Birmingham. I recently graduated from the London School of Economics with a bachelor’s degree in economics. During sixth form and university, I spent a fair bit of time working as a web designer, and also developed my love of pole fitness! 

What brought you to investment banking, and to Numis in particular?

I was interested in investment banking due to the ability to learn about the dynamics of different sectors and businesses, and the exposure that you get to senior management in the work that you do. Working directly with CEOs and CFOs, while helping their companies through exciting stages in their lifecycles, is a rare opportunity, and one I was keen to participate in. 

Interestingly, though, my web design skills have come in handy at Numis, as I recently advised a client on how to improve their website!

In terms of why Numis, I was actually told that they were accepting applications for an internship by a friend, who, coincidentally, is now at Deutsche Bank. I was excited by the idea of working at Numis due to the potential to make a difference at the firm from day one. For example, being able to join the INN committee as a graduate and start devising my own ideas for events has been extremely rewarding, and not something necessarily widely available to entry-level employees at other organisations.

How have you got involved with INN?

INN is an incredibly open and friendly network, which has afforded me the opportunity to help with initiatives, and even set up my own. Earlier in the year, along with another graduate, I participated in Santa in the City, and collected money for Wear Red Day, while looking into partnerships with social mobility charities that HR and INN could work with. We're now hoping to run a workshop for university students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds later in the year – an adaptation of an idea we originally pitched in the ESG project of our internships.

Why do you think diversity is important?

I believe diversity is important because it enables communication between people with a range of unique perspectives and so encourages innovative and inclusive solutions to problems.

I think this is especially pertinent today, as during times of macroeconomic downturn and more difficult financial markets, banks need to be increasingly ingenious and resourceful with the solutions provided to their clients, something only made easier by a diverse team of people.

How do you think investment banking can attract more candidates from a range of diverse backgrounds into the industry?

I would like to see the industry hire and promote more diverse talent to a senior level, who can help drive open conversation, reduce stigma and foster a more diverse environment. Financial News reported this week that, of the more than 1,500 senior dealmakers in Europe, just 20 are Black, which is simply not reflective of our wider society. I think if entry-level candidates do not see suitable role models that reflect their diversity at a firm, then they will be less likely to want to join. 

You initially took part in the internship programme and have successfully converted this into a permanent role. What advice would you give to candidates thinking of applying for the programme?

Try to show your personality. Ultimately, investment banking is a people business, and so demonstrating that is as important as showing any technical ability.

Do you have any role models?

Professionally, Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of Bumble.

Socially, São Schlumberger, American fashion and art patron/collector.

How have you found working at Numis so far, and what are you excited about for the future?

I’ve had a great experience working at Numis so far, and have particularly loved the culture, and the freedom to be myself. Looking ahead, I’m particularly excited about the Deutsche Bank offer and the opportunities that this will bring for entry-level employees, as well as the ability to access a much larger, inclusive network and see our efforts so far with INN progress through that.