The finance world unquestionably is global in 2018. A financial professional these days finds many opportunities to travel and grow a business skill set from around the world. A good example of this is Ryan Van Wagenen from Los Angeles, California. Since leaving Southern California for university studies nearly 15 years ago, Van Wagenen has lived in New York, London, Houston, Utah, and North Carolina.
Van Wagenen has always welcomed the opportunity to travel and gain professional experience while abroad. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Utah in 2010, he rejoined the same group at Citi he had interned the prior summer and moved to New York. Van Wagenen thrived in the fast pace culture and enjoyed his time spent in the empire state. He worked primarily in mergers and acquisitions mainly covering transportation companies within the Industrials group.
In the summer of 2012, Van Wagenen was given an expat opportunity to work from the London office in Canary Wharf at Citi for a year. The timing was perfect as he was able to witness the Olympics in London within a couple weeks of moving. While in the UK, he continued to focus on M&A opportunities within the transportation sector, mainly working with shipping, surface transportation and logistics companies. After returning and working another year or so in New York, Van Wagenen moved again and was able to work with the global energy group out of Houston, Texas. He could not pass up this opportunity as many of the largest investment banking deals at Citi were originating in Houston. It was an interesting time in the oil patch, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had recently led the price of oil over $100/barrel. Needless to say, with crude oil at all time highs the deal flow was heavy in the energy group.
Another interesting opportunity came in 2015 as Van Wagenen moved to UBS as a Vice President in Houston to focus on business development for the firm. His role included sourcing investment banking & capital markets deals and private wealth on-boarding. This was a fast-paced part of his career as he was able to interface with many different executives and management teams primarily focused in the energy sector. In 2017, Van Wagenen decided to rejoin his former team at Citi in London. His desire to make the move was due to the relationships and great people he worked with over his 5 years with Citi. London also has a special significance to him and he knew he’d move back there.
Van Wagenen’s career has led to many opportunities to travel. For business and pleasure, he has flown over 700,000 miles since graduating from university. He still loves to travel and see new places and has been to approximately 30 countries over the past 7 years. Outside the US, some of his favorite countries to visit are Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland. One of Van Wagenen’s best trips was a relatively short trip to Barcelona in Spain. The main reason he enjoys Barcelona is due to the impressive and historic architecture. The Spanish city has some of the most beautiful examples of architecture, largely thanks to Antoni Gaudi. There are many historic buildings that have been designed by Gaudi in Barcelona and it is a beautiful place to visit. The Sagrada Familia is historically amazing and often referred to as Gaudi’s temple within the city.