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Ryan Carter

October 2020

1. Brief job description:

Execution of FX, Futures and Fixed income trades for a variety of GAM investment funds

2. What were your main responsibilities?

  • Executing portfolio manager orders for multiple GAM funds
  • Best execution, liquidity and regulatory analysis
  • Market updates and macro trade idea generation
  • Counterparty reviews and relationship management.
3. Did you have any projects to work on?

Yes, every quarter we are tasked with analysing multiple trades which fall outside of our cost/ spread boundaries. We are also tasked with the write up and analysis of GAM’s global trading activity. Both findings are then relayed and presented to the Best Execution committee.

4. Day in the life – what does your day look like?

Get into the office at 7am (WFH at desk by 6.30am), complete all morning checks carried out by the trading team such as checking cash balances and trading any daily portfolio hedges. Spend the morning reading research, analysis of markets and rebalancing paper portfolio or distributing trade ideas. If Portfolio Managers want anything traded, this is always our number 1 priority and we drop whatever we were doing to complete this as cost-effective as possible. When no orders need trading, I spend the majority of my day reading research, putting together investment ideas, building systematic models or helping out the investment teams.

5. What skills have you learnt, or improved on (department specific, personal, technical etc)?

Too many to count and at such a level I didn't think I would get to in only 12 months.

Market analysis and pure best execution of trades is number 1…being able to do my job well and have a view on what the market is doing and why is my most important skill.

Interaction skills and confidence. From being scared to answer emails to interacting with the biggest banks and their traders in the world whilst handling hundreds of millions of USD, confidence and people skills have had one of the most notable improvements in my skills set.

Technical ability and computer skills. I am definitely 1000X better at Excel than when I start. I’ve been able to teach myself python and also query and fix most issues we may have with tech on the desk.

6. Did you take any qualifications?

Yes, I complete the Investment Management Certificate in Jan 2020

7. Do you have any further learnings or reflections, including adapting to the “remote working” environment?  

WFH was boring and non-stimulating at first but once I figured out a routine and what I can do with all the spare time I have left from not commuting, I found myself being more productive and doing more work for the team.

8. What are you moving onto next?  Has this year inspired your future outlook or decisions?

I love what I do right now and I can see myself doing this role for the foreseeable future. Being the youngest person on the desk, I feel a responsibility to bring something that we may be lacking in order to fill in any gaps. I want to become the best trade possible and be a safe pair of hands across all asset classes so PM’s can rely on me for anything which also strengthens the desks reputation too. I am also learning to enjoy more and more of the investment analysis side and being able to have a view on markets. Our goal here at GAM is to ultimately make money for our clients through investment decisions so being a part of that process seems extremely rewarding. Currencies are for sure my investment class of choice given there dynamic and volatile nature.

9. Can you summarise your experience?

To be honest, it was the best experience I could have ever hoped for. From the incredibly steep learning curve and mental challenge, the meeting with counterparties and building relationships in the industry, to just being a part of a great team and working on many different projects over the last 12 months. My experience at GAM during my traineeship was for sure 10/10 and being made a permanent member of staff during the midst of a pandemic makes me feel fortunate to still be here for the foreseeable future.