Boban Markovic (Class of ’23) is a second-year Darden MBA student focused on investment banking. Last summer, Markovic completed an internship at Credit Suisse, where he worked as an investment banking summer associate within the Technology Group. After graduating, Markovic plans to resume his career in finance. Markovic recently completed a weeklong Darden Worldwide Course focused on Global Capital Markets in London and offered some reflections on his experience.
1) Tell us about yourself? Why choose the Global Capital Markets course in London?
Serbia is my homeland, but I called Washington D.C. my home for six years before coming to Darden. In between, I lived in Seattle, Bulgaria, Italy, and Switzerland. Each place has its unique charm and a special spot in my heart. It has been quite a journey, to be honest.
My career path in finance was also an adventure. I started in the hedge fund industry, but life in Washington D.C. exposed me to international finance. After spending three years at the Institute of International Finance focusing on emerging markets, I decided to pursue a more dynamic career path and move to a deal-oriented industry. Atoll Financial Group, a DC-based boutique investment bank, gave me a chance to explore my passion for tech-driven verticals and take on as many responsibilities as I could handle.
The Darden MBA presented a great growth opportunity for me. I spent my summer internship in New York, working with the Credit Suisse Technology team. It was a truly memorable experience during a very turbulent time for both the bank and the tech industry.
The Global Capital Markets course in London was the missing link that tied up my international experience and interest in finance quite well. It was led by Professor Allayannis, a prolific scholar, and a respected voice in capital markets who knows how to bring out the best in his students. It was an opportunity not to be missed!
2) This course is set in one of the world’s premier global financial centers. How has your time in London helped expand your knowledge of global financial markets?
The timing of the course was perfect, for better or for worse. The day we landed in London, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) faced a bank run and was placed under receivership. A few days later, Credit Suisse Group began negotiations about a potential acquisition by UBS. That week, banking history was being made, and we had front-row seats in London. Discussing the ongoing events with industry leaders and attempting to assess the impact on their fields of expertise was an excellent addition to the Darden learning experience.
3) What did you learn about finance in London that would have been hard to learn had you taken a similar course at Darden in Charlottesville?
I learned that life can go on as usual even if it’s raining all day. Jokes aside, the weather was not too bad. We had a great mix of case studies, speaker series, presentations, and on-site discussions. At Christie’s, we had a chance to learn about art market trends, NFT collections, auctions, and witness a sample art valuation process. Visiting Chelsea Football Club opened my eyes to the world of investment management in sports and shed light on the numbers behind the match day frenzy. In broader terms, we had an opportunity to learn about fintech and telecom in emerging markets, energy and cleantech, real estate trends, financial derivatives on dry shipping, and the use of gold in portfolio management, among other topics.
4) What was the most memorable part of the London Global Topics Course?
To be honest, I took London for granted in the past. The city offers a richness of culture, architecture, history, cuisine, and a plethora of professional growth opportunities. Personally, touring the city and observing the preparations for the coronation of King Charles III was a truly historic moment. Celebrating my birthday with the group on St. Patrick’s Day comes in a close second place.
5) How do you plan to apply what you learned in London to your future career endeavors?
This is the first banking crisis that my generation is facing as professionals. Professionally, challenging times are a good litmus test for one’s values and leadership skills, an opportunity to display professional integrity, and make career moves. I am grateful that we had a chance to witness recent events while still in the classroom. Invaluable lessons came at a low cost.
Personally, it was inspiring to see Darden alumni in their professional environments and leadership roles. Their success resonates across the Darden community and sets a benchmark for success, ethics, and humility for new generations.