A day in the life of a top Wall Street strategist

Helima CroftRBCHelima Croft.

Helima Croft is a busy person.

She is RBC Capital Markets’ global head of commodity strategy, a regular CNBC contributor, and a mother of three.

She’s also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and of the National Petroleum Council, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Energy.

You may know Croft from her research on geopolitics and energy, which we often share.

But now you can get a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of a senior Wall Street strategist like Croft.

RBC compiled the pictures below and shared them with us. Here’s a lightly edited version.

5:00am: Rise and shine! I sneak in a quick spin class before the work day begins. This class is always high energy and gets my wheels spinning (pun intended) ahead of an action-packed day.


6:15am: Returning home, I help my two oldest kids get ready for school. I have to remind them that the early bird gets the worm!


7:30am: My work day usually begins by going through all of the news and analysis that has emerged overnight. I spend most of my time combing through my go-to sources for a variety of OPEC oil producers and other commodity producing countries.


Usually, I end up diving deeper into something that caught my attention or something that I think the market is under appreciating.

Here I am discussing our industry's latest trends with my awesome teammates, Christopher Louney and Michael Tran, as we outline this week's 'Commodity Comment' note.

11:00am: I spent the morning writing research and preparing notes for the day; now I'm en route to CNBC for a segment on Power Lunch. I always take the time to review my talking points again during the car ride there and sneak in my own 'power lunch.' Always on the go!


12:30pm: My own version of a celebrity sighting -- just ran into Dominic Chu, CNBC Markets Reporter on set! We snap a photo of our matching colour scheme before heading onto the set.


Here's the segment:

1:30pm: Another great segment on CNBC! It's time to head back to the office and continue the work day.


2:30pm: Yes, LOVE DOES WIN! I am so proud to work at RBC, a company that helped sponsor this amazing art installation in Brookfield Place during PRIDE month.


3:00pm: I spend the next few hours catching up on emails and touching base with clients. A lot of my time is spent in client meetings and doing client calls.


Lately, these calls have been focused on the protracted oil supply outages in countries like Nigeria and also the ultimate implications of Brexit on commodity markets.

A number of our 'Fragile Five' countries (the five OPEC nations that we think are most at risk in the current low oil price environment) are experiencing significant duress. Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Venezuela and Algeria are at the highest risk in our view, and in any given day I may talk to clients about each of them.

5:00pm: I head to the West Village for a quick drink with my team.


6:00pm: I make a quick pit stop at home to say good night to my husband (who also got the colour coordination memo) and my youngest child (who was sleeping while I got the other two ready this morning) before getting on the road again.


7:00pm: The fun never stops! I am off to the airport with the one and only Kathy Kriskey, Head of Commodity Investor Solutions at RBC. A huge part of my job is flying anywhere and everywhere to meet with RBC Capital Markets clients to give my analysis on geopolitics and commodities. On the way to the airport, we couldn't resist a selfie.


I work in the office with my team to examine the markets, analyse and model important trends, and then create forecasts. Then we bring that analysis to the market through published research, and then work tirelessly to communicate it to our clients. Tomorrow will be a day full of that and I have a full slate of meetings scheduled, kicking off bright and early at 7am!

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