Finding your Genius in Finance: The Career Journey of an Investment Risk Principal

By Simon Ospina Unpublished


I recently had the chance to attend CFA Society Boston’s Career Chat with Allysen Mattison titled Finding your Genius in Finance. Allysen, is a charterholder and currently serves as the Principal/Director of Investment Risk at Income Research + Management (IR+M). Throughout this conversation we learned about Allysen’s background, career progression, and some invaluable teachings such as the role of consistency and patience in her career path. 

Allysen began her career at Lehman Brothers as an Investment Banker in the Debt Capital Markets space after graduating from Tufts University with a BA in Quantitative Economics. She attributed networking as the determinant factor for landing her first job at Lehman Brothers as she would cold call Investment Bankers and forge connections within the industry.  Thereafter, she transitioned to a Trading and Sales role at Barclays in the High Grade Credit team that she recounted to be a great experience where she was tested to deliver under stressful situations. Pretty soon, Allysen realized that she wanted to move away from Sales and Trading and find a more quantitative-driven role, which is exactly what she found when she pivoted to work as a Risk Analyst at IR+M.

At IR+M, Allysen has served in several roles and shares how as her career progressed, she was considered for new roles that weren’t necessarily her area of expertise,  but because she had proven to be a high performer and demonstrated the passion and commitment to learn the firm would take a shot on her. As she has moved through the ranks, two main takeaways that stood out to me from her talk were the importance of always delivering high quality work as this will help you establish a fanbase that can cheer for you toward your career progression/transition, and the importance of learning how to be an effective communicator in a given company culture.

It’s great to see how in real life a career path is not linear from point A to point B, but instead is full of detours along the way which makes the journey a lot more gratifying!