Meet a Derivatives Trader

Meet a Derivatives Trader

Alma Mater: Columbia University

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Were you involved with anything in the past that sparked your interest in joining a company like SIG?

I played a lot of different card games with my friends and family growing up, and would always take these very seriously. Over my college years, I developed an interest in poker. I studied the game a lot, played in all sorts of settings, and eventually got good enough to consistently beat my opponents. The fact that poker was mentioned on SIG's website as having parallels with decision making in trading got me very intrigued.

What made you decide to join our team?

The biggest factor for me was definitely the people. During my interview process, I got to meet many traders with similar mindsets to my own. They made me feel like part of their group in the short time I was there. Not only did everyone seem very knowledgeable and have a lot to talk to me about, but they also were genuinely interested in doing so.

What is unique about your current role?

As part of the Quantitative Trader (QT) program, I participated in training on the desk and education off of the desk that included mock trading and gaming sessions. Around the time I completed the program and moved into my current trading role, I also had the chance start teaching these gaming sessions. Education is something SIG places a huge emphasis on, so it meant a lot to me to able to give back to the program in this way. Having been in their shoes earlier in my career at SIG, the opportunity to teach and engage with our current QTs has been great!

If you were speaking with a graduate who was considering starting their career at SIG, what advice would you give them?

If you are an analytically-oriented, competitive team player that loves fast paced environments, and aren't shy of being given big responsibilities early on in your career, then SIG might just be the right place for you!

In your opinion, what is the best perk we offer?

The free tickets to Philadelphia teams' sports games are big. You're always surrounded by a great crowd of people and in great seats, making for some memorable times.

Walk us through a typical day in your life.

I'm usually at my desk around 8 a.m., whether I'm coming directly from home or from one of the basketball games I play in with a group of SIG employees some mornings. I trade equity options, so my mornings are spent preparing for the trading day ahead. This involves a lot of brainstorming over interesting situations with our research analysts and other traders, and coming up with a game plan for the market open. Throughout the day, I am constantly making trading decisions under uncertainty, based on the limited amount of information available to me through the markets. There is a very collegial atmosphere in my group, and there's almost guaranteed to be an interesting conversation going on somewhere when it gets slow. Markets close at 4:00 p.m., and after attending a brief meeting to discuss some of our day's interesting trades, my day is done. A few days a week after the market closes, I’ll lead gaming education sessions, teaching the fundamentals of poker and strategic board games. Here, I’ll highlight concepts and scenarios that are applicable to what typically happens on the trading desk.

What is your favorite thing about living in the Philadelphia area?

Philadelphia is host to a big restaurant scene, no matter what kind of food you prefer. It's nice to be able to walk out of your apartment after a busy day at work and have access to so many great cuisines.