The head trader panel at the 7th annual Alpha Trader Forum (ATF) Global Summit held in London on 6th & 7th February was enlightening and thought provoking. The human element of the trader is often forgotten within the discussions about the latest technologies, data and how to act in the best interest of our clients.
We established the various factors that motivates traders in their roles and the lack of contingency measures in place within some firms for staff absences and redundancies. The fixed income and FX buy side reported a significantly higher level of “burn-outs” within their trading teams compared to their equity trading peers. A prominent head trader highlighted that his firm has stand-in trading personnel to cover for paternity/maternity leave and holidays.
The buy side and sponsors discussed the reasons to why only 10% of the buy-side traders are women and the multitude of challenges to transform the buy-side community with a higher level of diversity. The exquisite head trader panel, consisting of leading buy-side women, unveiled their interesting careers and how they operate their trading teams.
A big thank you to Cathy Gibson (RLAM), Eden Simmer (PIMCO), Vernita Exum (Vanguard), Louise Drummond (Aberdeen Standard Investments) and Sharon Ruffles (State Street Global Advisors) for their contribution over the two day global summit.