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Experiences from Varrlyn Investment Banking Success Programme

10 December 2020

Bart and Shelin both completed Level 2 of the programme, which is geared at professionals who are already familiar with the core principles of investment banking and are looking to deepen their domain and industry expertise. Participants learn about notable investment banking asset classes with a full run down of the related business processes.

Also on the curriculum is the range of banking technology and trading systems. Covering this wide range of topics, the four-week Level 2 segment involves real-time learning via online interactions with both professional trainers and business experts, as well as practical experience through simulators.

With well over a decade of experience in the banking sector, Bart and Shelin were nicely positioned to benefit from Level 2 training.

Rating the experience

Bart has previously worked as a Quantitative Risk Manager at Fortis Bank, staying on after the bank merged with ABN Amro in 2010. He eventually became a Structured Products Specialist at ABN Amro before joining ING as a Credit Risk Manager. “I have always been interested in financial markets and particularly in derivatives,” he told

With years at leading banking players under his belt, Bart’s aim when joining the investment banking training programme was to build expertise on regulation, at a time when regulatory pressure is among the top risks in banking. “I could apply the knowledge on regulation immediately,” he said, speaking of how he managed to translate the training insights into action.

He also lauded the organisers’ efforts to make the most of the online learning setup – a necessity under Covid-19 conditions. “I have followed online trainings before, so I was used to the concept. Besides the trainers did a good job in creating interaction in the virtual classroom. Their personal touch ensured a good involvement from everybody.”

Shelin also acknowledged these efforts. “Online work as well as learning is the new norm and this particular training was well organised with the ability to interact with co-participants and the tutor in real time. The training is intense but the way it was conducted over the weeks was well managed providing us with enough time in between classes to revisit previous class videos as well as refresh any particular area.”

More from a tech background, Shelin’s professional experience spans a number of tech-based consulting roles in the investment banking sphere. He has been a Senior Associate at Cognizant Technology Solutions, where his projects included implementation of Basel II – an international framework for regulation of banking capital.

“Since then, I have had the privilege of helping banks of different sizes in Canada, US , Africa and now Europe and also has provided me with great learning opportunities to understand the end to end business model in various segments of banking like treasury, financial markets, lending and more,” he said.

He has spent the last seven years at ING in Amsterdam, most recently as a Customer Journey Expert in the lending and payments segment. For him, the training programme was about networking and exploring new possibilities. “Learning is a continuous affair,” he said, adding that the programme helped him refresh his basic concepts while also brushing up on the latest in the world of financial regulation.