8th October 2020:
👦👱♂️🧒👩 Join our #buysidementalhealth campaign 👨👳♂️👵👶
Why did we start the #buysidementalhealth campaign?
We built our services, The Buy-side Trading Community, 11 years ago from scratch based around the needs of the people in the community with the objective to support them in their careers. As every action starts with being in 'the right frame of mind', we have started a much needed campaign called #buysidementalhealth
This campaign’s sole aim is to help our community members and get them to acknowledge the need to actively nurture ones own and team member's mental health. This has been highlighted even more during 2020.
9th December 2020:
Our #buysidemental health campaign was launched on World Mental Health Day 2020 to raise awareness and the topic of this vey taboo subject and we were overwhelmed with positive feedback from the community! It is one of the most important topic that is hard to talk about!
So we decided to ask our 2020 Heads of Trading champions the following question:
What top tips do you use to optimise your mental health? #buysidementalhealth campaign by the Buy-side Trading Community (BTC)?
Daniele Chekroun, Head of European Equity Execution, AXA IM: "I think it’s important to know where are your priorities to optimise your mental health. I keep thinking that this crisis demonstrate that health and family are essential to every one’s life and it’s important to protect it". https://www.kandkgc.com/danielechekroun
Richard Worrell, Head of EMEA Equity Trading, Janus Henderson Investors: "I do think the work we did at the IA, in conjunction with AFME, in trying to reduce Market Hours was on the right track. One of the pillars of the case was mental health. I worry that we are all working long hours and under constant pressure to deliver short term results. It is perhaps fair to say that comes with the territory but I felt the balance had gone wrong. Maybe the pandemic and working from home has forced a reset of that to some extent". https://www.kandkgc.com/richard-worrell
Lutz Kalthoff, Head of European Cash Equity Trading, Allianz Global Investors: "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". https://www.kandkgc.com/lutzkalthoff
Justin Sham, Fixed Income Bond Trader, Morgan Stanley Investment Management: "If you do a job you love you’ll never do a day of work in your life – mental health is what you make of it. Remember that the sun will set and rise regardless of whether you worry and stress or not. Reality check what you’re doing and realise chances are it could be worse" https://www.kandkgc.com/justinsham
Eric Heleine, Head of Trading desk & overlay management, Groupama AM: "Sport and family are the two ways for me to balance between responsibilities and stress. Taking a step back is also important to keep motivation and chase negative thoughts. The weekend is the good moment to have professional digital break and focus your time on simple things. https://www.buysideintel.com/eric-heleine-2020
Kevin White, Global head of Alternative Trading, Invesco: "We at Invesco have been very lucky with the various programs and access we have internally. Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing is at the forefront of all our minds, and Invesco continues to be committed to ensuring that we are all working in a safe and supportive environment where Mental Wellbeing can be openly talked about and people have the support and help they need. We have also partnered with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England to provide interesting, informative and interactive learning that will enable us to understand more about mental wellbeing, the signs to look out for in our teams, and some hints and tips to support us to have effective conversations about this sensitive topic. I personally have a passion for triathlons and my escape has been getting out on my road bike and enjoying the country lanes. https://www.buysideintel.com/kevin-white
Mike Poole, Fixed Income Dealing Manager, Jupiter AM: Find something you enjoy outside of work and make (not ‘try to find’) the time for it. It can be as little as a 20 min jog, cooking, working your way through the West Wing again…something that enables you to switch off, which is ever more important with ‘the desk’ there whirring in the background. Something I have found tough is the lack of that ‘leaving the office’ feeling. A constant nagging that I should be in the other room working on something, feeling I might be missing something on the screen. Find a way to replicate the feeling of closing the door on the working day, yes there might be something you have to come back to, but if you can separate that work and home feeling, it goes a long way to switching off for a period of time. The lack of decompression one achieves on the commute home is also missing, being in ‘work mode’ still when switching off the screen and engaging with the family is often not ideal for all concerned! So finding a way to achieve that – spending 15 mins reading a book post the close is a good way to get yourself away from the ‘working day’. https://www.buysideintel.com/mike-poole
Sharon Ruffles, Head of Fixed Income Dealing, State Street Global Advisors: Looking after our Mental Health as well as our physical health at this time is more important than ever. We all have Mental and physical health, and it is important to understand that both of them can be good and sometimes not so good. Having suffered from poor mental health myself in the past I am so pleased that this is now a subject that we are more willing to talk about. May I challenge you to ask yourself this question. How do you respond, and how comfortable do you feel, if I tell you my arm is broken? Can you find the words to easily to respond? And how easy is it to respond to me if I tell you my mind is a little broken right now? If the honest answer is it doesn’t feel as easy, and you don’t know what to say you wouldn’t be alone. But by letting those around you know that it is ok to speak about how they are feeling mentally as well as physically, and by sharing some of your own challenges, you could literally be saving a life. Now, more than ever, we should be reaching out to our colleagues and friends and letting them know we are here to talk. From experience I can tell you, that just like our physical health can heal, so can our mental health. The first steps towards healing is speaking. https://www.buysideintel.com/sharon-ruffles
Simon Steward, Head European Equity Trading, Capital International: I am glad you raise this and what a timely period you chose to launch this initiative so thank you! Mental health is clearly very personal so everyone deals with it in their own way but personally I have found over the years having an outlet to talk about stress and tough situations that are weighing on my mind has been crucial. Over the years that outlet has changed between family, colleagues & friends with the simple view that its important to share issues and don’t carry the burden single handed. Work life balance has really come to the forefront over the pandemic with traders working longer hours especially in a work from home environment where it seems tougher to establish boundaries around walking away from your workstation at the close of the day. So establishing good habits be it going for a walk, daily exercise or simply taking a day off away from the screens is essential and needs to become part of your work routine. Finally share the load, I have mentioned about talking around issues but sometimes the sheer amount of work we take on can be challenging and most of us are surrounded by very strong teams who are hugely capable so the skill of delegation and sharing workloads can really stop any issues at the source. https://www.buysideintel.com/simon-steward
Graham Sorrell, Head of Equity, Currency & Derivatives Trading EMEA at State Street Global Advisors: "With WFH now widespread, the separation of home and work life can so easily become blurred. This lack of down-time or time away from the screens is not healthy, especially in a pressurised environment. That’s why, now more than ever, it’s important to take time for yourself. Not only to refresh, but also to assess how well (or not) you’re managing. Be open and talk about it, that could be inside or outside of work. It’s been very tempting to hold onto holiday and use it when ‘we can do something’. But I’ve been keen, both for myself and to impress to my team, the need to make sure we’re all regularly getting that much needed break". https://www.buysideintel.com/graham-sorrell
Richard Worrell, Head of EMEA Equity Trading, Janus Henderson Investors: "I do think the work we did at the IA, in conjunction with AFME, in trying to reduce Market Hours was on the right track. One of the pillars of the case was mental health. I worry that we are all working long hours and under constant pressure to deliver short term results. It is perhaps fair to say that comes with the territory but I felt the balance had gone wrong. Maybe the pandemic and working from home has forced a reset of that to some extent. The new world feels slightly less rushed, not jumping from meeting to meeting, and the Zoom setup seems to optimise the time better. At the same time, I’m not sure sitting at home for days, weeks and months alone is good for mental health. I also seem to get more emails out of the traditional working hours. Maybe that’s down to people’s new personal work habits but I sense some are just sitting at a desk for longer than ever. As I touched on earlier, I think it’s about balance. I’m therefore still a supporter of the office environment as well as work from home. It’s very important for building and developing staff and teams, the company culture and our mental health. Going back to the Principles idea, in terms of mental health, you really need to focus on what is important to you and enjoy what you are doing". https://www.kandkgc.com/richard-worrell
Hans Lindh, Former Head of Execution, Swedbank Robur: "I’m convinced that what I mention in my top tips above is good for mental health in general. Possibilities for traders to work from home a few days a week or parts of the day, off hours for example is another. Should we allow or even demand that people exercise more, maybe? At least it should always be a part of the packaged. Also not everyone wants to be a trader forever, every firm who wants to stand out as a firm that looks after employees mental health have to actively manage traders next career development. For some trading can be the young persons profession and not everyone wants to live his or her life in the fast lane until the end. As I mentioned I think any trader with a few years of experience can be used in so many other positions within the financial industry and this can help mental health long term". https://www.kandkgc.com/hanslindh
More insights coming soon!
Thank you for your support with this important campaign!
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