Tom Wells – United Kingdom
Senior Associate Director
European Corporate Finance
LLB Degree of Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – The College of Law
"The successful closing of good deals that are important for our clients and our organization alike is always rewarding. Where a transaction has been more challenging or where it has taken on a heightened significance, there is an even greater sense of professional reward at its completion."
What do you do at Mizuho?
With a focus on clients in the natural resources sector, including global commodity traders and metals and mining companies, I work with the Global Relationship Manager in marketing the bank's products and services to clients and then supporting the delivery of those products and services.
What has been your proudest moment/most rewarding experience while working at Mizuho?
The successful closing of good deals that are important for our clients and our organization alike is always rewarding. Where a transaction has been more challenging or where it has taken on a heightened significance, there is an even greater sense of professional reward at its completion.
What do you do for fun outside work?
I enjoy watching a wide range of sports—soccer, tennis, rugby, cricket, athletics... I am also trying to get on the London property ladder at the moment, which is proving quite time–consuming and challenging.
How would you describe Mizuho's corporate culture and people?
Supportive. I have now had three roles at Mizuho and each time I have looked to move I have been fully supported by HR, my colleagues and, perhaps most impressively, my bosses at the time.
What is the first thing you read every day (and why)?
BBC Sport, Telegraph Sport and the Guardian Sport. This subject matter is the first thing my boss expects to cover when I get into the office! The Financial Times comes in a close second.
How is Mizuho different from other places where you have worked?
Whilst Mizuho London benefits from a close knit feel, the size and reach of the bank as a whole is vast. Whether it is during a competitive situation or a client asking for a big commitment, there are frequent moments when you are reminded of the huge scale of the institution you work for.
What skill or competency do you feel you have enhanced while at Mizuho?
Seeing the value in different ideas and approaches. Unlike at school or university, your work is not just your own—it's a much more collaborative effort. I have discovered that there are lots of different ways of achieving the same goal, many of which are often better than your own!
What is the most important thing you have learned while at Mizuho or in the industry?
Always make the effort. Ability is taken as a given but the people who I feel stand out here are those who make the effort at every turn, whether it is when meeting with clients, helping out colleagues or even on a small piece of internal work.
What is a topic or issue outside of financial services that interests you?
Sustainable energy. I work with clients in the Natural Resources sector, many of whom largely deal in traditional energy sources. It is fascinating to see the cross–over between Natural Resources and renewable energy.
Tell us about something you have learned from another culture.
In Japanese culture there is a dislike to giving a direct ‘no’ to a request. This made my first holiday request during a busy period quite challenging. I thought the response “maybe” meant “quite possibly” or perhaps “if you must”. I didn't think it meant “no”. It did actually mean “no” though. I think. Still, the experience taught me the importance of intercultural understanding at a global company. It's important to respect the cultural niceties of the people you work for and with, because that is part of what makes a company like Mizuho successful–the synergy between people from different backgrounds.