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Recruiting for e-trading risk functions

Back in the Spring, a group of eight senior electronic trading risk experts, representing some of the bigger investment banks, gathered in London for a round table. The discussion was primarily around the challenges of managing risk in electronic trading.

However, one of the more interesting things to emerge was the realisation that not one of the eight different banks attending that day had employed the same organisational structure for their respective e-trading risk functions.

There was no real template for how best to arrange the risk management teams covering the electronic trading businesses. Some banks place it primarily within operational risk coverage, others have attempted to shoehorn it into a traditional market risk organisational chart, divided by asset class. Whilst these approaches may have some merit, it is also clear from speaking with senior individuals in this space across the market, that they are not without flaws.

It has become increasingly popular to build out stand-alone functions covering all the different risks and e-trading asset classes from one team.  

Algo-trading continues to grow as does the regulation. One of the few hiring trends in risk recruitment which is visible across multiple banks is e-trading risk. There is much competition for candidates across all levels, especially at mid-level. The structure of an e-trading risk function can be a consideration for potential candidates in making a move.

There is a need to manage candidates’ expectations and reservations with structural differences. Some additional common themes have been:

  • Role responsibilities
  • Exposure to multiple disciplines of risk and asset classes
  • Level of influence and visibility relevant to other risk functions
  • Role stability and career opportunities 

In terms of candidate profiles, an understanding of electronic trading and the key problems from a risk management perspective are key. However, there is room for creativity in candidate generation. Traders transitioning into these roles is not uncommon, but we also see individuals from Production Support, Risk Technology and to a lesser extent Quant Risk teams making the move.

As a leading supplier of risk personnel to the financial services industry globally, we are extremely well-placed to find you the best matched candidates. We have a strong track record in Electronic Trading Risk recruitment from Associate level to Managing Director. Please contact me to discuss this further or ask any questions.

Peter Umesi

Director, Head of Risk Analytics, EMEA

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