Michael Majeed, Toronto Financial Services Consultant and Educator, Brings Perspective and Experience to Young Professionals
A financial services consultant, Michael Majeed enjoys helping clients find ways to save money. In his role as a Senior Financial Consultant and Regional Sales Manager for a leading SR&ED tax credit firm in Markham, Ontario, he specifically shows businesses how they can receive substantial tax refunds, so that in turn, they can use the money to grow their business.
Michael has always found the financial services industry interesting, so in pursuit of his goals, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor of arts degree in Commerce and Economics. Thereafter he went on to complete a dual global masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto, Canada and University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
In addition to his career responsibilities, Michael is frequently called upon as a keynote speaker for the University of Toronto’s finance department, teaching students what they can expect from their own financial careers.
In his presentations, Michael stresses the importance of client relationship building in business and specifically why it’s important to continually let your clients know that you’re looking out for their interests.
Here, we talk to Michael Majeed about his career path and his advice for young people who are looking to start their career.
Thanks for sitting down with us. First off, how has your role in finance changed over the years and also, how do you stay current on industry developments?
Well, I started at Canada Trust in the late 1990s as a Financial Service Representative, moving on to Senior Financial Advisor with the bank. Then, I went on to become an associate Financial Analyst at Stratos Business Consultants in Toronto where I eventually worked my way up to Senior Financial and Business Analyst. My main role was to give guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions.
Today, as a financial consultant at Arck, I am more involved in helping mid- and large-sized Canadian corporations save money in the area of scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) tax incentive program.
I think it’s extremely important to stay current on industry developments, so I start every morning by reviewing the business papers and financial websites for a detailed market and economic overview. I look at these platforms in part because they provide me with relevant information pertaining to economics, finance and world issues.
There are some key similarities and differences between finance vs accounting careers. For university graduates, how would you tell them to prepare accordingly?
The two areas differ in that accounting careers typically involve analyzing and utilizing financial information in order to evaluate a business’ financial position, while finance careers focus on the management of current and future figures of a business or organization, as opposed to just the recording of past and present income and expenditure. With that being said, I think it’s important for undergraduates to take both accounting and finance courses because the two will obviously intersect no matter what career path they ultimately decide to pursue.
The biggest difference between accounting versus finance is that accounting has a relatively narrow focus, while financial services covers an array of specializations in the world of business, economics and banking.
What is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
Jump on every opportunity that is given to you, but don’t do it alone. Find partners and collaborators and do research and get to know the subject matter experts who are well versed in your subject. Also, attitude is everything. Exuding a positive attitude can go a long way. It can shape your day, but it can influence co-workers and clients, as well.
You have stressed the importance of building quality client relationships. What are your 3 best practices for engaging clients?
1. Know what the client wants. 2. Treat them like a partner 3. Always be available to them. In relationship-building it’s important to continually let your clients know that you’re looking out for them. This means clear, honest, ongoing communication so you stay top-of-mind.
If you could go back and answer one financial question for your younger self, what would it be and why?
Invest in Apple!
All kidding aside, I would tell my younger self to stay away from credit cards and debt. Start investing money into the markets and always keep apprised of the latest technology.