Stuart Campbell, Head of Trading,
BlueBay Asset Management
Which will be the key areas of focus for your trading desk in 2022?
We have a couple of important infrastructure projects which will be a significant benefit, namely an upgrade of our existing OMS which should bring with greater functionality around low touch and auto execution among other things. We also will upgrade our dealer boards to include multi channel functionality when working from home. Away from infra projects we maintain a very close eye on regulatory change with next milestone looking like CSDR Buy Ins, we remain hopeful of changes to the existing proposals given the possible negative consequences on liquidity provision. Portfolio Trading has experienced significant growth, especially in IG space and it will be interesting to see if further expansion into other asset classes such as EM takes hold, we suspect this will be dependant on the continued growth of Fixed Income ETFs. Finally we will continue forging strong relationships with our sell side counterparts as this has proven time and again to aid liquidity provision when volatility hits in the Fixed Income markets
Which is the biggest market structure issue in your opinion?
I’d say without a doubt the largest single structure issue I would like to see challenged is around pre trade price transparency in Fixed Income. There is a lot of talk around Consolidated Tape and RTS reports etc but improving the quality of “axes” and streams or tagging such data in a more granular fashion could really improve outcomes for our end clients. We have noticed an improvement in this area in the last couple of years with more Algorithmic pricing engines entering the marketplace and the sizes quoted slowing increasing and we welcome this trend to continue
Which focus area would you like to see progressed by the end of 2022?
I think many of the ongoing topics of intertest in our space have been on the agenda for some time already but I would point to the Electronification of the Primary Market as long overdue. New entrants to the space this year are looking hopeful at finally delivering on this but much more work between sellside/buyside/OMS vendors is needed to get us past the tipping point of all deals being available to have full electronic STP. ISINs or FIGI identifiers at time of launch would be a natural derivative of this and a welcome bonus
How has your firm adapted to working post lockdown?
We like many other firms have embraced a hybrid model of working going forward. As an Active manager firm we find significant benefit in having decision makers discussing and challenging investment thesis face to face and able to quickly react to market moving data prints and headlines. New joiners is a keen area of focus and in particular for a trading role I would say extra effort is needed to ensure a smooth transfer of skillsets/tacit knowledge whilst providing the new joiner a supportive environment in which to excel.
Any thoughts about attracting the next generation of talent into trading?
One might argue that’s its an easier sell these days with many firms offering some form of WFH options. I would say that the skillset has changed somewhat in recent years such that a major benefit for a prospective Junior Trader would include a background in either coding or data analysis.
Top positive tips for your peers and colleagues in trading? Power of #buysidepositivity
Mental Wellbeing !! Get yourself the right balance between work and everything else important in your life.
Get yourself the right boss who understands and supports this.