Meet a Quantitative Trader

Meet a Quantitative Trader

University: University College Dublin

Subject of Study: Actuarial and Financial Studies

How did you originally learn about opportunities at SIG?

I was a member of the Actuarial and Financial Society and the Investors and Entrepreneurs Society at University and attended a talk given by a graduate from my course who worked at SIG. I loved what I heard and thought it really appealed to my skillset, so I applied for the Quantitative Trader (QT) Internship Programme. Having always been interested in a mathematical career, I thought this was great way to see if trading was a fit for me.

After completing your internship, what made you decide to return to SIG and join our Quantitative Trader (QT) Development Programme?

Prior to SIG, I didn’t know a lot about the markets. After comparing my experience at SIG to my investment banking and finance internships, I knew I wanted to continue in trading. Nothing else is as exciting and dynamic day-to-day. The trading floor is unlike any other environment and I look forward to seeing something new daily. Additionally, the structure of the QT education programme really sealed it for me. This programme is second-to-none, and I felt I would learn a lot more at SIG with its focus on classroom, strategic, and on-the-desk training than anywhere else.

What do you like best about working here?

I love how welcoming, open, and collaborative SIG’s environment is. With all of the perks of a larger company, there is still a “small company” atmosphere where open communication is encouraged. Every day, I participate in any number of informal discussions that align with time-sensitive trading decisions or news stories. Being able to engage in such discussions with some of the smartest people in the industry has been a great learning opportunity for me.

Walk us through a typical day in your life.

There really is no “typical” day and I love that. As a QT, I carried out trade support tasks, covered traders, back-tested strategies, and attended education classes that included strategic games and mock trading. As a trader, I now have my own book trading single stock options. I start my day going through overnight news or earnings in my symbols ahead of the morning meeting at 7:30 a.m. Through the day, I’m making markets and providing liquidity on-screen and via the broker market, while actively working with the Research team to uncover opportunities in my stocks. Every day ends with a written recap of trading that day, where I analyse different decisions I made. I’m also still involved with the QT Programme and teach mock trading sessions to our current grads. It’s been really nice way to pass along what I’ve learned while still learning myself. With a lot of trading situations, there’s no definitive right or wrong answer so these sessions are very interesting.

We talk a lot about teamwork and collaboration at SIG. How do you see this demonstrated in your role?

Having interned outside of financial services prior to joining SIG, I was initially surprised at how much the researchers and the traders work together. If there’s a big headline or event on the desk, traders and researchers will collaborate to determine the optimal path forward. There is a wide range of people with varying roles and experience levels on the desk, and we’re all able to share our ideas and market insights as we work to come up with tradeable strategies. All in all trading these big stories is really a group effort with almost everyone on the team involved.