Could you tell us about yourself and your background?
I studied Chemistry at university before deciding it wasn’t for me and leaving to start work. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, and after several marathons I have completed the Marathon Des Sables, a half ironman, walked the Annapurna circuit and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro (on my honeymoon). Lockdown and children have put such things on hold for the time-being but I look forward to taking them with me on the next adventure!
Did you always want to work in the financial services industry?
No. I wanted to be a vet or a lawyer growing up! I fell into this industry by accident nearly 20 years ago and the pace and change has kept me interested ever since.
When did you join Aspect and what is your role?
I joined Aspect in 2003 as a contractor in HR. From there, I had a brief stint working in what was then called the ‘Technology’ team before being recruited into Trading on the cash equities desk. I then moved to the commodities futures desk, specialising in US markets for several years. As the team has evolved, I’ve gained experience across all asset types and regions as well as learning new technical skills.
How would you describe your standard day?
There’s no such thing as a standard day. It can vary enormously depending on which asset classes and regions you’re trading and whether there are any instruments that need rolling forward. One day the markets can be quiet allowing scope for project work and the next you can be managing programme specific FX trading, rolling electricity contracts, performing exception management all whilst keeping a watchful eye on the Direct Market Access flow and market moves, potentially on a very volatile day.
Is there a project at Aspect you are particularly proud of?
Every new project has challenging elements so helping Aspect to add new asset classes or markets to various programmes, or learning new tech skills to analyse slippage or helping a Portfolio Manager fine-tune their trading strategy are all rewarding. As is training new joiners to the desk and seeing the world through fresh eyes.
What has been the most unexpected thing about your role at Aspect?
Everything! My career path to date has been highly unusual and the role is continually evolving in line with markets, the industry, technology and clients demands.
What would be your advice to those considering a role in the industry?
Give it a shot! And keep an open mind. There’s enormous scope under the Financial Services industry banner and if you’re committed to working hard and want to learn, there’ll be something that fits.
Are there any blogs or podcasts that you follow religiously that you think others might be interested in?
Bloomberg Markets OddLots, ZeroHedge, fivethirtyeight, Ted Talks and Desert Island Discs! (Also, the Little Ones sleep guide – vital for juggling work and children!)