Prominent finance journalist and alumnus Lukas Becker spoke to us about how he found his niche in journalism, and his fondest memory of RMIT.
Based in London, Becker is the derivatives desk editor of Risk, a UK-based finance magazine.
He was previously editor of the International Financial Law Review.
Can you describe your role?
I manage a team of journalists here in London, New York and Hong Kong who focus on issues related to the trading, valuation and regulation of financial derivatives. This part of the market is very complex and little understood by outsiders, but it's extremely important to the wider economy – after all, derivatives played a role in the 2008 financial crisis. My role involves writing and editing news and features, hosting conferences and awards ceremonies, and a lot of coffee meetings with senior industry figures.
What do you love about your job?
When we publish a story that has a noticeable impact on the industry. For instance, a financial regulator might reference one of our stories as a reason for taking a particular course of action. Or a story could highlight a growing risk the industry hadn’t fully considered, triggering efforts to mitigate it.
What is one of the unique challenges of finance journalism?
Writing articles about an opaque part of the financial markets is a painstaking process. It involves persistent contact building, but also an understanding of what their underlying motives may be for sharing information. Stories can take weeks to come together, but thankfully in Risk we have the time and space to tackle the issues in a thoughtful and objective way.
What aspect of your RMIT experience has been most helpful in your career?
The RMIT journalism course set very high journalistic standards that we were all expected to meet, and this gave me the necessary skills to jump right into the journalism world when I moved to London in 2007.
What is your favourite memory of RMIT?
Attending five different University Games tournaments with the RMIT touch rugby club. It’s a university experience few people were aware existed, but I had a blast every time.
When you were studying, what was your favourite place on campus?
I liked that Building 6 housed both the journalism and PR students, occasionally leading to some intense debates about each other’s roles in society.