The #Buysidewomen campaign was launched at K&K Global Consulting’s (K&KGC) 7th annual Alpha Trader Forum Global Summit on the 6th & 7th February 2019 in London. The campaign, spearheaded by Managing Director and co-founder Anita Karppi, is to raise awareness about the lack of women in buy side trading and to encourage the next generation of young women to be fearless in what is still a widely male dominated working environment.
The Buy-side Perspectives caught up with Danièle Chekroun, head of European equity execution at AXA Investment Managers, who shares her thoughts on this within her role as head of equity trading at one of the leading global asset management firms.
When did you start your career on the buy side?
I started my career 21 years ago, in 1998.
How has the culture/environment changed over the years? The regulations are tougher and there is more and more onus to demonstrate best execution.
Since MiFID in 2007 we have seen more fragmentation in the market and the way we trade has changed with new players, platforms and of course algos.
What motivates you in your role?
The fact that every day is different and we are always evolving with market structure. But we still have close relationships with our counterparts and the human aspect remains very important.
What challenges do you have in your role and how did/do you overcome these?
Managing people and facing new challenges that the industry requires, such as being abreast of new rules in the way we trade. Sourcing liquidity is more and more complicated in a world where technology is important and also analysis of the tremendous data we are collecting.
Why do you think there are not more women working in buy-side trading roles?
A cultural transformation is needed in the broader investment management community, which is why at AXA IM we are taking action at different levels. But I think women are more present in the buy side than the sell side which is more male dominated.
How do you optimise work/life balance?
When I’m at work, I try to be as efficient as I can in order to save more time for my family in the evening. My company offer a number of initiatives aimed to provide employees with options for creating a sustainable work life balance, including facilitating home/remote working, so this is helping a lot.
Can you share any personal experiences that have either helped you in your career in buy-side trading?
I was an intern at Meeschaert Rousselle when I finished my studies and I was fascinated by the trading floor. I will be always grateful to Michel Jollant, the head of trading at the time, who gave me a chance to start in this career and taught me a lot about this business.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women who aspire to become successful buy-side traders like yourselves?
To be themselves and to be proud of giving their added value in a world of finance where women have a genuine and pragmatic approach.