Cover Letters

E. common cover letter mistakes.

  • Vide o and Slides from the CDO program “ Cover Letters That Do The Job” and handouts: Job Postings & Tips and Sample PIPS Cover Letters .

Your cover letter is as important as your resume because it is often read first and plays a vital role in your quest for an interview. A cover letter is not a transmittal letter, and you may be surprised at how time-consuming it is to craft a good one. A cover letter has a purpose, which is to let an employer know why they should bother reading your resume and why they should meet you. It also serves as an example of your written work product; thus it should be clear, brief, and written in a business letter style, without any typographical errors.

1. Cover letters for unsolicited applications come in three main types:

  • Personal Letter. These are the most effective cover letters and are sent to people you have met or with whom you have a mutual acquaintance. These letters should all start with the sentence: “_______ recommended that I contact you.” As this type of letter is most likely to get a response, if you have any possibility of establishing this sort of connection to a prospective employer in advance of sending your letter, you should try your best to do so.
  • Targeted Letters. Next best thing. Targeted letters are based on research of the employer, and are individually tailored. Your letter should incorporate the information learned through your research to show the employer that you have skills they will be able to put to use.
  • Mass Mailers. Least desirable. These are generic except for the name and address of the employer, and have a very low success rate of getting interviews.

2. When you respond to a job listing, you will usually be requested to submit a cover letter as part of your application. In this case, use the job description and requested qualifications as a guide. While not simply imitating the language of the listing, your letter should demonstrate that you have what the employer is looking for.

3. A few employers at OCI request that students bring a cover letter to the initial interview. This is essentially to require students to think about why they want to work for this employer, but it makes for a letter which deviates from the usual “please consider me for an interview” approach. See below for suggestions on OCI cover letters.

Cover letters should follow standard business letter format, as to spacing, salutation, etc. If you are not sure of the fine points, consult a business correspondence reference source. Avoid abbreviations, contractions and shortcuts (such as a slash instead of “or”), although if there is an accepted short form of the name of the organization you are writing to (e.g., ACLU or Coblentz) it is acceptable to use it in the text of your letter. Your telephone number and email address should appear somewhere in the letter, either at the top with your address, or in the closing paragraph, when you ask them to contact you. Note that your resume is “enclosed,” not “attached” (which means clipped or stapled).

If you are not sure to whom you should send your letter, it is always acceptable to write to the executive director of a nonprofit, or the hiring partner or head of recruiting at a firm; they can forward your application to the appropriate person within the organization. If at all possible, write to an individual by name, not to “Director” or “Recruiting Coordinator.” Firm and organization web sites are very useful in finding this information (and for confirming correct spellings and the like); it may be more difficult to find the name of an individual addressee for government job opportunities. If you do not have the name of an individual, the salutation should be “Dear Sir or Madam” (not “To Whom It May Concern”). Of course if you are responding to a job posting, address your letter exactly as instructed.

As for the appropriate salutation, traditionally, it is “Dear [Mr./Ms.] [Last Name].  However, we understand that this prevailing business norm may not be inclusive of individuals who do not use either of those titles (for example, because they identify as gender nonconforming). One alternative, “Dear [First Name] [Last Name]”, avoids presuming how the recipient may identify, but it is not without some risk.  

If you use this approach, a recipient less attuned to thinking about gender inclusivity (and accustomed to seeing only “Dear [Mr./Ms] [Last Name]”) may wrongly conclude that you were unfamiliar with professional etiquette or that you used a mail merge template and did not bother to customize it.  While awareness around these issues is increasing, we believe that, unfortunately, it is still not a small number of recruiting representatives and attorneys who might draw the wrong conclusion.

One way to navigate this tricky situation might be to see if the recipient has an online presence (e.g., on the firm website or LinkedIn) that might give you a strong clue as to how they would like to be addressed.  Otherwise, you will need to make your own judgment as to whether recipients are more likely to recognize your inclusivity or to view the greeting as awkward or erroneous.

In our office, we are also working to help employers become familiar with gender-inclusive approaches like “Dear [First Name] [Last Name],” but like any process of education, this will take time. In the meantime, our primary goal is to make sure that all Berkeley Law students are fully informed as you navigate legal job markets. We are always available to discuss individually what approach would be the best fit for you.

First Paragraph. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing. Introduce yourself as a law student (including the year you are in) or a graduate of Berkeley Law and specify what it is you are seeking: a summer job, an associate position, a clerkship, part-time work during the school year, etc.

The goal of this paragraph is to give the reader a reason to want to finish reading the letter. If you don’t have a personal connection to cite, try to establish a nexus between yourself and the employer, such as knowledge of their practice, an established commitment to or interest in their work, a connection to their city, or something else which conveys that you are not just writing to them as part of a mass mailing for any job in any location. (If that in fact is what you are doing, try not to be too obvious about it. An employer wants to think that you sought him or her out purposely rather than randomly.)

Body Paragraph(s). This is the section in which you “sell” your experience and qualifications to the employer. Your goal here is to answer the question, “Why should the employer meet you?”

Call attention to something which substantiates your interest in this particular employer. It could be coursework in their specialty, the recommendation of a professor in their area of practice, undergraduate residency in their city, or any other indication of your interest. Try also to show how your experiences will translate into skills which will be useful to this particular employer. Highlight relevant qualifications which are not on your resume, such as coursework, research, or a prior connection to the organization or the issues they work on. If you have general legal skills such as negotiation, litigation, client counseling, interviewing, mock trials, etc., you may want to include them. As much as possible, try to convey understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the aims of the organization.

Employers do not expect first-year students to have highly-developed legal skills to offer. Therefore, for first-year students writing to private firms, this section can be a single, short paragraph, unless you have a strong background in a relevant area. However, even inexperienced first-year students writing to public interest/sector organizations should make an effort to describe skills and interests that are relevant to the employer.

It is appropriate and not uncommon for a public interest cover letter to be somewhat more detailed or personal than a private sector cover letter. Of course, it is still very important to be concise, but it is acceptable for the letter to be a full page if your experience dictates. In a public interest cover letter, it is important both to highlight your demonstrated commitment to the mission/work/client base of the organization through your own relevant work or life experience, and to illustrate your relevant skills. Take another look at your resume for items that show your interest, commitment and skills. Even if you do not have experience in the specific area in which an organization works, it is still important to emphasize your demonstrated commitment to the public interest, and to draw connections between that general commitment and the specific work of the organization. As it is important not to merely regurgitate your resume, consider including a story that illustrates you are interested or qualified in the position.

If your application raises questions that are readily answered, such as availability after the Bar exam, judicial clerkship plans, etc., the letter can address those; other issues may be better deferred to the interview stage. Consult a CDO attorney-counselor if you’re not sure whether to include something in your cover letter.

Final Paragraph. In your last paragraph, thank them for their consideration, and say you hope to hear from them soon. For out-of-town employers, indicate when you plan to be in their geographic area and state your availability for an interview. Be sure to include your phone number and email in this paragraph unless you use a letterhead style that includes them at the top of the page. If you state that you will call the employer to follow up on your application, be sure you do so.

If you are bringing a cover letter to an on-campus interview (which you should do only if the employer requests you to), the content will be a bit different. You don’t need to introduce yourself, as you will be there in person, and you won’t request an interview at the closing. But you can thank the employer for interviewing you and say that you welcome the opportunity to learn more about the employer and to discuss the possibility of working for them. The important thing is to show why you are interested in this particular employer, and how you think your background makes you a good match for them.

The mistakes most commonly found in student cover letters are:

  • Restating your resume. “ I graduated from the University of Oregon in 2005, with a B.A., cum laude, in Political Science, then worked as a substitute teacher in an urban high school before starting law school in the fall of 2008 .” Don’t waste space with facts that are readily gleaned from your resume! Instead, you could say (briefly) how your work experience led you to pursue a legal career in an area practiced by the employer.
  • Focusing on what you stand to gain from the job . “ I am particularly interested in your firm’s excellent training program for summer associates, and in gaining exposure to a variety of different practice areas.” Remember, employers only grant interviews to candidates who offer something of potential use to the employer. Try to say how your skills and enthusiasm will help the employer serve its clients, or otherwise further its aims.
  • Being too informal or familiar. “I’m thrilled by the possibility of working with you this summer, and would love to meet with you in person/by phone to chat about what the options might be.” Enthusiasm is good, but it must be presented professionally.

Other cover letter mistakes include: being defensive or apologetic; appearing arrogant or entitled, and being too long and wordy. Unsupported statements of your qualities (“I am highly motivated and a quick study”) do not help your case. Generic reasons for your interest in the employer (e.g., its “excellent reputation”) tend to demonstrate your lack of specific knowledge. Of course typos and inaccuracies, such as misspelled names, or (please!) stating an interest in a practice area that the firm doesn’t have, are automatic application-killers.

Our cover letter template  provides suggestions only; please do not feel excessively constrained by its approach. Your letter should, of course, be original work that reflects your unique background and the job you are aiming at.

Return to Contents

Include your name, address, phone number and email address at the top of the letter. Consider using the same format as your resume. Your name and contact information can be placed at the left margin, the center or the right margin. A NOTE ABOUT YOUR ADDRESS: If you are applying in St. Louis, use your school address. If you are applying in your hometown, include both your school and home address to show the connection.

The address block should be left justified and include a contact name, if possible.

Do not use first names. Do not use Miss or Mrs. The salutation should be followed by a colon, not a comma.

In this paragraph: \(1\) identify your class year and school; \(2\) mention any geographic ties to the area; and \(3\) include information about why you are interested in the specific employer. If you are applying to multiple offices, indicate that here. For example: "In addition to your Washington, D.C. office, I am also applying to your Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York offices."

The second paragraph \(and if applicable, the third\) is an opportunity for you to market yourself. Do not regurgitate your resume. Talk about the skills and abilities you possess and back it up with examples from your prior work experience and academic studies. If you do not have prior work experience, look to your extracurricular activities to convey your skills. The skills you reference can be legal in nature and/or general \(e.g., research and writing, attention to detail, communication, diligence, work ethic\). If you are a 2L, you should lead with your legal experience - both your 1L summer position and your law school performance.

The last paragraph should thank the employer and provide for future contact. For example, if you are direct applying in a city where you are not located for the summer, if possible, offer a date you will be in town for a potential meeting. Alternatively, simply state "Please feel free to contact me at the phone number listed above." If you are direct applying and applying through OCI, state that here or in the first paragraph.

Use standard business closings, such as Sincerely, Truly, Regards, and Respectfully. The signature block can be centered, left justified or closer to the right margin.

If you are enclosing only your resume, use "Encl." If you are enclosing more than one other document \(e.g., resume and transcript\), use "Encls."

The date can be centered or left justified and should be placed above the employer's address block.

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Transactional Attorney Resume Template

Download in google doc, word or pdf for free. designed to pass resume screening software in 2022., transactional attorney resume sample.

In this role, you will help your client with any transaction or deal they wish to process. Your client may be an individual or may be a company, whether public or private. Tasks you may be assigned include drafting contracts, drafting other legal documents, giving your clients advice on transactions, etc. You need to have a strong background in the relevant areas of law and a history in transactional law.

A transactional attorney resume sample that highlights the applicant’s certifications and key achievements.

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Recruiter Insight: Why this resume works in 2022

Tips to help you write your transactional attorney resume in 2024,    include transactional-law-related certifications..

Show recruiters that you have specialized knowledge and skills in transactional law by including relevant certifications like this applicant has done. It will also show recruiters that you are passionate about transactional law.

Include transactional-law-related certifications. - Transactional Attorney Resume

   Include key achievements in your introduction section.

Grab recruiters’ attention from the very beginning of your resume. Because they may not have time to scrutinize the hundreds of resumes they get, it’s advantageous to include impressive achievements and metrics in the introduction section as this applicant has done.

Include key achievements in your introduction section. - Transactional Attorney Resume

Contract Attorney Resume Sample

Corporate counsel resume sample, real estate attorney resume sample, legal counsel resume sample, skills for transactional attorney resumes.

Here are examples of popular skills from Transactional Attorney job descriptions that you can include on your resume.

Skills Word Cloud For Transactional Attorney Resumes

This word cloud highlights the important keywords that appear on Transactional Attorney job descriptions and resumes. The bigger the word, the more frequently it appears on job postings, and the more likely you should include it in your resume.

Top Transactional Attorney Skills and Keywords to Include On Your Resume

How to use these skills?

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Transactional Attorney Cover Letter: 4 Templates

A cover letter is just like a job application that is sent by the candidate to the company’s HR. You have to write in it what makes you the best fit for this position. Below are some of the samples for a Transactional Attorney cover letter and you can choose any one of the samples for your reference.

Letter Template: 1

Table of Contents

Transactional Attorney Cover Letter

James Brown

238 Broadway

United States

The HR Manager

XYZ Company

354 F 63rd Street

United States 

Sub: Cover letter for the post of Transactional Attorney.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. or Miss HR Manager,

It gives me immense pleasure to express my interest to write this application to apply for the available post of Transactional Attorney in your reputed organization. I truly believe that I do possess all the required skills and qualifications that are necessary to fulfill all your requirements for this position. My experience makes me the best fit in this role.

I am very happy to inform you that I have also been working as a transactional attorney at

[mention the name of another company] and there I used to work for over 6 years. Working in the same field I have been able to gain proper skills and responsibilities in this field. There I used to spend a great deal of time drafting agreements, negotiating with counterparties over the phone as well as in person, advising on corporate governance matters, etc.

It was all about me. I am attaching my resume with this application for your kind reference. I believe that you will go through it and get back to me very soon as I am really looking forward to this opportunity. I hope to hear from you soon and meet you in person. I thank you for your time and consideration.

[Handwritten signature]

[Mention the contact details]

[Mention here, if there is any post no to be given]

Download Template : ( pdf, docs, ODT, RTF, txt, HTML, Epub, Etc )

Letter Template: 2

With great excitement, I would like to express my interest to apply for the available position of Transactional Attorney at [mention the name of the company]. After seeing your advertisement on your company’s website, I couldn’t hold myself back from applying for this opportunity. I believe that I possess all the required skills and qualifications that are necessary for this position. I can guarantee you that I will be the most suitable candidate for this role.

First of all let me start by saying that I have completed my bachelor’s degree in law from

[mention the name of a college] and I have also obtained a master’s degree in the same.

Previously I used to work at [mention the name of another firm] and there I was responsible for creating legal entities, filing legally required forms, conducting due diligence drafting agreements, purchasing some sale agreements, drafting standard form of contract which minimizes the liabilities, help frame the issue by listening carefully to the clients, etc.

I duly state that all the above-mentioned information about myself is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. My resume is attached to this application for your reference. I have faith in you that you will definitely go through it and get back to me. I am looking forward to this opportunity. I thank you for your time and consideration.

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Litigation Associate Cover Letter Example

Increase your chances of scoring a job and learn to write your new cover letter with this expertly drafted Litigation Associate cover letter example. Copy-paste this cover letter sample free of charge or try to redesign it using our HR-approved cover letter creator.

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

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Litigation Associate Cover Letter Example (Full Text Version)

Theo Winkler

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter to apply for the Litigation Associate job within OPI Legal, Ltd. in San Jose, CA which has been posted and advertised on your company careers website. With multiple important skills and abilities and well-developed field expertise, I believe that I would be a valuable addition to not only your team but the whole company.

Having worked as a Litigation Associate at QED Legal, Ltd. for over three years, I am fully adept at all aspects of the position. Besides offering professional legal advice and recommendations to various individuals in lawsuits and communicating with clients to determine their needs and goals, I am also experienced in drafting litigation documents, maintaining confidential documents and files, and developing and implementing new processes to decrease unnecessary costs. For constantly executing perfect work and exceeding all assigned objectives, I was awarded the Employee of the Year once which was a great satisfaction for all the hard work and effort which I have always put in.

Furthermore, I am a Certified Litigation Specialist possessing a degree in Legal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. With a pro-active approach and a strong attention to detail and accuracy, I excel at using all software programs necessary for the role, including MyCase, Bill4Time, and ActionStep. Finally, I would appreciate the opportunity to come in for an interview to discuss the job and my qualifications in more detail in person. I can be reached at 555-555-5555 or via email at [email protected]. Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

Kind regards,

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

Milan Šaržík, CPRW

Milan’s work-life has been centered around job search for the past three years. He is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW™) as well as an active member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Careers Coaches (PARWCC™). Milan holds a record for creating the most career document samples for our help center – until today, he has written more than 500 resumes and cover letters for positions across various industries. On top of that, Milan has completed studies at multiple well-known institutions, including Harvard University, University of Glasgow, and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

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  • Checklists Checklists on Practical Law incorporate timelines, flowcharts, tables, decision trees, and lists of issues to assist in tracking of steps to completion a specific legal undertaking.

CALI Contract Drafting Lessons CALI has a number of lessons related to contract drafting, including Drafting Contracts Using “Shall', “May” and “Must,” Drafting with “And” and “Or,” and Contract Drafting: The Sale of Goods.  Information on accessing CALI lessons is available  here  (ASURITE ID required).

Adams on Contract Drafting This blog from Ken Adams, a practicing attorney and the author of  A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting , provides opinion and analysis on topics related to contract drafting.

A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting  (Kenneth A. Adams, 2017) A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting  is an in-depth survey of the building blocks of contract language.  The treatise focuses on how to express contract terms in language that is free of ambiguities and other problems.  It offers examples and analysis of sample terminology.

Contract Drafting: Powerful Prose in Transactional Practice (Lenné Eidson Espenschied, 2019)​ Through fourteen lessons,  Contract Drafting  provides an introduction to the substantive areas addressed in transactional documents and instruction on drafting topics that include avoiding ambiguity and proper word selection.

Drafting and Analyzing Contracts: A Guide to the Practical Application of the Principles of Contract Law (Scott Burnham, 2016) This title is organized into three parts: Part 1 addresses how the principles of contract law are exemplified in drafting; Part II discusses how the principles of drafting are exemplified in contracts; and Part III guides the reader on how to read and analyze a contract.

Garner's Guidelines for Drafting & Editing Contracts   (Bryan A. Garner, 2019) This resource from a recognized legal writing expert introduces students to contract drafting and how to write clear, concise, well organized legal documents. It includes discussions on formatting including spacing and fonts and accepted conventions in contracts. Garner provides expert advice on optimal structure and word choice. He emphasizes the importance of avoiding "forbidden words," legalese, and unfamiliar idioms to  help students produce clear, effective documents.

Legal Drafting in a Nutshell (George W. Kuney and Donna C. Looper, 2021) This compact guide provides guidance on producing transactional documents, contracts, instruments, legislation, and regulations. It offers instruction on approaching the drafting process both from the large scale, macro overview and the small scale, micro mechanics of a document.

Preparing Legal Documents Nonlawyers Can Read and Understand (Wayne Schiess, 2008) This title focuses on ways the legal writer can connect with a lay audience through the use of appropriate language, grammar, and formatting.

Working with Contracts: What Law School Doesn't Teach You (Charles M. Fox, 2002) Working with Contracts is a helpful handbook for drafting transactional documents and provides a roadmap for navigating the legal, business, and technical knowledge essential to drafting superior legal agreements.

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Transaction Analyst Cover Letter

15 transaction analyst cover letter templates.

Transaction Analyst Cover Letter Sample

How to Write the Transaction Analyst Cover Letter

Please consider me for the transaction analyst opportunity. I am including my resume that lists my qualifications and experience.

In the previous role, I was responsible for initial review and analysis of new real estate investment opportunities presented by correspondents or other sources.

Please consider my experience and qualifications for this position:

  • Familiarity with TruVault is preferred
  • Minimum 6 months in the same role within Concentrix
  • No warnings in the last 3 months
  • The calculation of interest payments and root cause analysis in case of discrepancies
  • Handling general stakeholders’ queries
  • Manages positive customer experience by identifying legitimate registrations and transactions queued for review and releasing them for fulfillment in a timely manner, or if falsely declined, to work with the client and/or end customer to restore the account in good standing
  • Manages SLA’s for personal performance and overall fraud and false positive rates through effective management of transactional activity in numerous queues from a variety of clients
  • Independently determines if transaction events are fraudulent or are legitimate

I really appreciate you taking the time to review my application for the position of transaction analyst.

Phoenix Stiedemann

  • Microsoft Word (.docx) .DOCX
  • PDF Document (.pdf) .PDF
  • Image File (.png) .PNG

Responsibilities for Transaction Analyst Cover Letter

Transaction analyst responsible for an investment alternative for stockholders seeking to allocate a portion of their long-term investment portfolios to commercial real estate with lower volatility than publically traded real estate companies.

Transaction Analyst Examples

Example of transaction analyst cover letter.

In response to your job posting for transaction analyst, I am including this letter and my resume for your review.

In the previous role, I was responsible for transaction support for the Company’s commercial real estate portfolio through underwriting acquisition, development and reinvestment projects.

Please consider my qualifications and experience:

  • Meets or exceeds established service level agreements for resolution of transactional events
  • Expert working knowledge of internet search techniques, MS Office with an emphasis on Excel, and overall PC skills
  • Working knowledge of the payments industry, ideally with a focus on risk management
  • Demonstrated positive team player with results oriented attitude
  • Flexibility to work various shifts and schedules, including some holidays
  • Strong background in a technical and analytical business environment with a proven track record of success and increasing responsibilities
  • Extensive experience working with, understanding, and analyzing large amounts of data
  • Experience with SQL programming languages such as Visual Basic, C++, Java, HTML

Thank you for considering me to become a member of your team.

Shiloh Cormier

I submit this application to express my sincere interest in the transaction analyst position.

Previously, I was responsible for data and analytics management of SSI’s real estate portfolio, including tracking operational and lease information and performing analyses.

  • Proficiency with BlackRock Aladdin is highly preferred
  • Product knowledge of IED/FID OTC Derivatives, FX, IED, Repos and Loans preferred
  • Should be flexible with working in Shift (Asia & EMEA)
  • Of transactions and consistently choose the correct course of action
  • Moderate technology skills
  • High attention to detail and conscientious approach to validating data
  • Strong organizational and time management skills to handle multiple assignments independently
  • Strong quantitative skills with good knowledge of MS Excel

River Schamberger

I am excited to be applying for the position of transaction analyst. Please accept this letter and the attached resume as my interest in this position.

Previously, I was responsible for real estate services, analyses, negotiations, legal contracting and management of commercial real estate transactions.

I reviewed the requirements of the job opening and I believe my candidacy is an excellent fit for this position. Some of the key requirements that I have extensive experience with include:

  • Background in a modeling and testing (champion/challenger) environment preferred
  • Real estate educational background or experience preferred
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, specifically Microsoft Excel
  • Strong written and verbal communication essential
  • Minimum of 90 days experience as an Apple Advisor
  • Interaction with cross-functional groups including Operations, IT and Finance
  • Good knowledge of deregulated electricity markets
  • Prior lease negotiation experience

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my cover letter and to review my resume.

Blake Rohan

In my previous role, I was responsible for analysis of all economic factors impacting real estate fundamentals and investments.

  • A record of high academic achievement (strong GPA)
  • The control function
  • Demonstrated understanding of inventory control practices and analysis
  • Experience within SAP, Siebel, Microsoft Office Suite, and Business Warehouse
  • Well versed in stocks and flows management
  • Skilled in computer systems and applications including Microsoft Office applications (advanced skills in Excel, Access)
  • Able to present progress, findings, status, risks, next steps and recommendations to Manager/Director stakeholder levels
  • Capable of understanding technical application structures supporting area of expertise

Thank you for taking your time to review my application.

Emery Weissnat

I would like to submit my application for the transaction analyst opening. Please accept this letter and the attached resume.

In the previous role, I was responsible for performance reporting for client’s investment in private equity and real estate funds.

  • MBA or equivalent experience in Business/Finance
  • Recruiter Complete
  • Knowledge of portfolio Modelling
  • Knowledge of legal trade documentation
  • Experience in Insurance Credit Market (analysis of insurance policies)
  • Familiar with distribution techniques secondary market options for Trade assets would be desirable
  • Used to work in an international atmosphere
  • Background in commercial real estate transaction management, tenant representation, or landlord representation preferred

Phoenix Pfeffer

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