Spot light on Lutz Kalthoff, Head of European Cash Equity Trading at Allianz Global Investorsd of Trading Champion 2020

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2020 has been a year of disruption – how has your desk coped with the pandemic? What key learnings can be made?

>>> It’s all about communication and personal interaction. Technology cannot be a fully equivalent alternative. The whole staff of the European trading desk (all asset classes) has been in the office all the time, split into 3 groups on 3 different floors. Traders had the chance to work from home as all have a fully functional set up with 3 monitors at home, but all wanted to be in the office, no complaints. Better communication and interaction with team mates and those PMs who came to the office. On special occasions we used the flexibility to work from home (e.g. when you have to visit a doctor in your home town during working hours, having to take care of your kids or in case you do not feel 100% well and want to protect your colleagues). This made things easier and we will definitely make use of this in 2021 as well.

Which projects have you successfully worked on in 2020?

>>> In Q3 we successfully migrated the team to Office 365 and earlier we introduced Bloomberg EMSX 2.0 which had some significant changes (not always to the better I think) compared to the former version. We are currently working on implementing an own ALGO wheel. And together with our TCA provider we worked on a better structure to analyse our PT flow which has increased significantly in 2020. Both projects will continue throughout 2021. IT support has been outsourced widely to a European and an Asian location to provide a 24hr multi-lingual customer support.

 

How do you envisage the trading desk of the future post the pandemic?

>>>  I cannot imagine sitting at home and trading from home permanently. Personal communication and timely information flow are essential factors in trading and I don’t see this guaranteed with the existing communication channels like BB chat, ZOOM, SYKPE, TEAMS etc. Sometimes you need to have a walk to your Front Office Services Team or to your PMs to solve a problem quickly and in person. Automation will be key and desks will probably be staffed with less traders in the future.

 

What are your top tips to inspiring traders about how to reach to the top of their profession?

>>> Show passion for your job, be a real team player, communicate well, build and maintain great relationships to your PMs, watch markets closely, use all available technical tools for decision finding, be open minded and keep yourself informed about all regulatory changes. Use TCA results and feedback from other traders to reflect and maybe change your trading style in order to improve future results.

What top tips do you use to optimise your mental health? #buysidementalhealth campaign 2020 by the Buy-side Trading Community (BTC)

>>> I am doing a lot of different sport activities with mountain biking being my favourite. Being outside, enjoying the nature and having the thrill of a great mountain bike ride offers great satisfaction, frees my mind and provides me with new ideas and motivation for the days to come.  (attached pls find my top 2 mountain bike pics…it’s all me   😊…..It's the tranquillity and beauty of the sunrise after an early bird ride to our little mountain near Frankfurt called ALTKÖNIG and the challenge of a nice trail with a fantastic scenery which makes this sport highly enjoyable).

 

What has been your career path before your current role?

>>> 10 years of FX trading at Bank Of Tokyo Mitsubishi (1990-2000), in 2000 I changed to the equity trading desk at DIT (Deutscher Investment Trust, which was the investment arm of Dresdner Bank) and after the takeover of ALLIANZ and several name changes since 2012 I am Head of the European Equity Trading Desk at Allianz Global Investors.