Daniel Leon: Collaboration is key

The TRADE speaks to Daniel Leon, global head of trading, treasury management and global solutions at HSBC Asset Management, to learn how collaboration and communication steered the firm through the unique challenges of the Covid-19 crisis.

Daniel Leon

How has HSBC fostered team collaboration in the hybrid working environment?

My experience is that the collaboration came very naturally when the Covid crisis happened. The move into remote working happened so fast that we all felt we had to go the extra mile to share, collaborate and adapt to the new environment.  At HSBC Asset Management, we are working to make sure collaboration works whether you are at home or the office for the dealing team. We do it through the usual information sharing meetings, but also by offering opportunities for small teams to work together on specific dealing projects such as transaction cost analysis, industrialisation, and sourcing etc. Each trader has opportunities to engage and work with their colleagues.

How can institutions leverage increased use of remote communication tools to drive execution performance?

I am a great believer in using hybrid communication tools. At HSBC Asset Management, we have built an application called STAN to manage primary issuance globally that combines chat room, access to information and decision making. This is our new meeting room: a digital environment where you can see the new issues coming and talk about it between traders, portfolio managers and credit analysts.

This new digital room allows us to monitor, analyse and decide in a very efficient way. The persistent nature of the chat makes it more inclusive as everybody has access to the information and can jump in. Looking further ahead we want to digitalise the way we monitor and capture market opportunities.

What role has technology played in creating an inclusive environment?

One of the major benefits of hybrid/remote working is that technology can be used to foster a more inclusive environment by democratising meetings – compared to in-person meetings, the use of services such as Zoom enable team members to bring ideas to a virtual table, giving more opportunities for meaningful discussion and idea sharing. The big risk of remote working is to marginalise the more junior employees that have not yet built their network in a company. The digital journey we are building aims to give all team members a picture of what is happening and access to the conversation. It is going to be a better environment than when I started on a trading floor, barely speaking to my neighbour and not being sure of what was happening.

What events in 2022 do you expect to most heavily impact the liquidity landscape?

In this environment, it is really the central bank that I will be looking at for trading liquidity.  How they will react to inflation and to the impact of the Russian/Ukrainian conflict on the commodities market will be essential for us.