Career Change & New, Creative Solutions for Post-trade Processing
So, you want to move to Thailand to become a scuba diving instructor? No, this whimsical dream of a beach bound career is not coming from an 18 year old boy but an ex-derivatives trader.
Such talk of a drastic career change is commonplace in the current market downturn. With companies contracting and wiping out entire desks and product lines, it is no surprise some financial professionals want to take a break from Wall Street or change careers altogether.
“A significant percentage of the current workforce will have to leave the financial industry permanently,” said Gold. “Some people may be thinking that they made it through downturns before, such as the period immediately after Sept 11th, but the severity of this market environment is much worse.”
Also, the firms who are hiring these days, and there are some, are not flexible when it comes to specific requirements for jobs and this restricts the range of potential candidates who will be considered.
“I tell my candidates the focus right now should be on securing a career and role rather than worrying about upward movement,” Gold said, adding that for some candidates, for those who have high aspirations of being the next best product structurer for example, this is a hard pill to swallow.
So, what is a job-seeker to do? Gold’s top recommendation is to be more flexible on re-locations.
“We cover the Tri-State area and we have found that the candidate who is looking at this wider area and is willing to move will have better luck,” said Gold. Green Key Resources has also had success in moving candidates to jobs outside of this area and as far as Texas or California in the last few months.
Green Key Resources handles all types of roles including project managers, head of operations within financial institutions and especially hedge funds, and for these operational candidates, especially those roles in OTC derivatives, Gold suggests looking at the outsourcing service providers for roles. These third party service providers are hiring for talent now.
Of course there is still hiring going on in the market but the volume isn’t there. Some financial institutions, particularly the healthier or large hedge funds, are snatching select and ‘talented’ candidates from the now overpopulated pool of highly-skilled candidates.“This market has shaken the trees and those firms who can hire are snatching those newly available candidates who have the credentials they require,” said Gold.
What about the senior managers who are suddenly job-less? Well, the super senior and experienced operational experts may be able to transfer skills set to a different industry sector, but this is unfortunately not a frequent occurrence as it really applies to the top 2%, said Gold.
So what is to happen of these operational managers then? Well, I can chime in here to say some are going down the entrepreneurial route and some are just plain moving on to greener pastures (as Gold predicated).
I’ve heard movie script ideas, elaborate plans of how to make money from the blogging and even blueprints for new restaurants. Some of these bright ideas also apply to the post-trade processing of derivatives as the more tech-savvy or entrepreneurial individuals are looking to solve age old post-trade operational problems. Some new start-ups I’ve come across include RFQ-hub and NetDelta.
In his report “Game-Changers: New Financial Products and Platforms for Uncharted Territories,” Aite Group’s John Jay describes some of these new ventures which relate to the OTC derivatives space. The old adage goes that desperate times call for desperate measures but desperation, as Jay affirms, also breeds creativity.
And Jay dubs these three vendors the ‘game changers’ in his recent report: SwapRent, NetDelta and the Receivables Exchanges. NetDelta is one such market newbie that I wrote about back in January and when the debate on central clearing of credit default swaps was at its peak. Just to recap to those who missed this column, NetDelta is an electronic netting solution for credit derivatives which reduces counterparty risk among the users. Unlike clearing via a central counterparty facility, NetDelta provides the netting and settlement of credit derivatives in a closed environment (whereby each participant trades against its own capital and within the credit limits set by the NetDelta participants) thereby avoiding the concentration of counterparty risk which is inherent in a central counterparty approach to clearing.
The structure and detail of NetDelta’s innovative settlement solution is described in both my previous column and in greater depth Jay’s report.
NetDelta is proof that these new and innovative market solutions are attracting industry veterans– just a couple weeks ago NetDelta announced Andrew Scott has joined the firm as managing director and Michael Shapiro has joined as a director to push NetDelta’s sales effort.
NetDelta, like all the many other solutions/services out there, was born out the abysmal conditions of today’s financial markets. Clearly surviving this credit crisis and market downturn requires more than just a reinvented wheel or cookie cutter solution. And perhaps the best reinvention lies within the financial professionals out there looking for a new job or a new career?
* Blog penned by Julia Schieffer, editor of DerivSource.com