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A day in the life of a banker

Gulf News asked Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for private banking at Emirates NBD, to show what an investment banker does every day

  • Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 April 8, 2012
  • Gulf News

Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for private banking at Emirates NBD, with his staff
  • Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Gulf News
  • Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for private banking at Emirates NBD, with his staff.
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Gulf News asked Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for private banking at Emirates NBD, to show what an investment banker does every day, from the moment he wakes up in his apartment at the Executive Towers in Dubai, to the time he steps into Emirates NBD headquarters until he goes to bed.


I wake up and dress for the gym. I am an early riser and like to get as much as possible into my morning hours.


My driver takes me to the gym and by 6am, I am working out with my personal trainer. It is good to begin the day with some exercise, because it keeps me fit and alert for the rest of the day.


Arrive at work and start checking through the news on market developments on Wall Street and Europe and how the Asian markets have opened. I am on one of the early birds in the office, and the half hour of peace and quiet is important for me to take stock of the markets. The UAE is comfortably positioned in the intermediate time zone between the East and the West, and developments on either side can significantly impact our markets and the investments made by our investors.


Meeting with colleagues over coffee to discuss the current strategy and any developments we need to explore further. The developments in the global markets are often the triggers for us to rethink strategies.


I chair the morning meeting where the whole of Emirates NBD Private Banking participates in a conference-call that looks at what is happening in markets across the world. We also receive updates on the performance of the different investment products.

9.30AM to 10.00AM

I have a series of ad hoc meetings with colleagues on any matters that need my immediate attention — sometimes routine administrative stuff; at other times it could deal with more important investment issues.

10.00AM to 12.00 noon

Much of this time is taken up with internal and external meetings. The internal meetings cover the management and governance of portfolios, advice and guidance we give clients and the governance of our investment process.

The external meetings are often with third party providers of investment products and investment advice. As the liaison between the investment vehicles and the investors, it is important for Private Bankers to keep updated on the new developments in the various investment products and solutions, so that we can position them in the appropriate context for our clients.

12.00 noon

Having started my day very early, I am quite hungry by midday. However, lunch depends on the time I have. Sometimes I manage a quick lunch with colleagues, which is usually spent talking shop anyway. More often, it is a sandwich at my desk, while monitoring the opening of markets in Europe.


Most afternoons are spent in a manner similar to the late morning, with a series of internal and external meetings. Sometimes, the communications team sets up media interviews (via telephone or live) mostly to discuss the weekly economic review that I write every week.


I try to finish in the office between 6 and 7 pm. My driver picks me up and normally I quickly shop for dinner, on my way home. I watch a little TV over dinner, and then go onto my home computer to check how the markets are performing in the US. I then surf the internet exploring longer term market themes, such as the development of places like Mongolia and Kazakhstan as new places for investment.


Around 10pm every night, I usually call my family in the UK, to see what kind of day my three boys have had at school. This is the best part of my day, and their schoolboy tales not only revitalise me — they also help to underline time and time again that true wealth is about relationships, family and friends.

Around 11-12

I retire to bed with my iPad to read.

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