Over the summer, The TRADE has been gathering nominations to compile a list of the 40 individuals under the age of 40 that are most likely to enjoy notable career advancement in the coming years.
The list of 40 was drawn up following extensive market research with industry leaders on the sell-side and buy-side and verified with interviews with employers and individuals to evaluate their credentials.
To qualify for consideration, individuals had to be aged under 40 years of age as at 31 December 2015 and be working in a trading function at an asset manager, wealth manager, stockbroker, technology group, or life company.
Consideration was given to each individual’s day-to-day role in the business, career progression to date and involvement in industry initiatives.
Further credit was awarded for commendable extra-curricular activities such as examples of volunteer or mentoring work or for academic success in a professional examination scheme.
All those who made the list must be based in Europe, although they can trade assets globally.
After a lengthy judging process, our panel considered the following 40 people to be worthy of recognition.
Job title: Dealer
Rising star Zac Lewis was propelled into the spotlight earlier this year when he joined the dealing desk at Liontrust Asset Management.
Lewis joined Liontrust at a busy time for the firm as it has seen assets under management grow rapidly from £3.6 million (March 2014) to £4.5 million (June 2015), meaning an expanded workload for the centralised dealing desk.
Lewis joined from Balyasny Asset Management in March, having previously clocked noteworthy experience at Citi, OVS Capital and James Caird Asset Management.
He graduated London School of Economics & Political Science with a BSc in Operational Research back in 2006.
As an added bonus, Lewis will collect his award at this year’s Rising Stars event just five days after his 32nd birthday.
Name: Vanaja Indra
Job title: Market and regulatory reform policy expert
Company: Insight Investment
The role of market and regulatory reform policy expert would have been somewhat different before the financial crisis that is if it existed in many buy-side firms at all.
For Vanaja Indra though, this position at Insight Investment has placed her in the centre of the firm’s derivatives operations that are undergoing such wholesale change.
Indra’s knowledge spans a broad range of regulations, from the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and the US Dodd-Frank Act, to the globally impacting MiFID II.
Analysing these key reforms and understanding how they affect Insight’s key stakeholders has made Indra’s role crucial in this new regulatory landscape.
Beginning her career at Goldman Sachs in credit derivatives, Indra spent almost five years there before joining Cairn Capital for a similar tenure.
It was during this time that the financial crisis hit and Indra moved to what was then the Financial Services Authority to become an OTC derivatives and clearing policy expert, working with European regulators to draft EMIR. During her time at the FSA, she also worked with US regulators and influenced policy decisions on relevant Basel III counterparty credit risk discussions.
Now at Insight Investment, Indra plays a key role in how regulatory changes are impacting clients and the firm’s investment strategies.
Featuring in The Trade Derivatives in Q3 2013, Indra explained how the company had been preparing for the changes in derivatives regulation for years, but is still keeping on top of the ever-changing reforms.
“In this continually changing market, we must remain nimble so that we can always provide the best solution and direction for our clients.”
Indra has a first-class mathematics degree from Imperial College London and an MSc in operational research from the London School of Economics.
Job title: Trader
Russell Penn has spent his 15 years in the financial markets working within trading for buy-side firms.
Beginning his career at AXA Investment Management, Penn traded equities, FX and derivatives across global markets for six years, before moving to JO Hambro Capital Management.
At JO Hambro, Penn operated as head of trading, leading a team trading equities and derivatives in all major markets for both hedge and long only funds at the boutique asset manager.
Following a three-year spell, he then undertook a PGCE teaching qualification at the University of Worchester before moving back into trading by joining Aviva.
Penn worked as an equity dealer at Aviva Investors for nearly three years before joining Newton Investment management as a dealer.
Job title: Head of derivatives
Company: Royal London Asset Management
As head of derivatives at Royal London Asset Management, Darren Bustin ensured the firm was ahead of the curve when it came to central clearing.
At the present time, we are still discussing whether the majority of buy-side firms are ready for the mandatory central clearing of over-the-counter derivatives. Bustin and Royal London though were ready way back in Q1 2013, when he featured as the cover interview for The Trade Derivatives magazine.
Armed with three clearing brokers and ambitions to connect with multiple clearing houses, Bustin’s department had ensured readiness in preparation for new rules coming into force in Europe.
“Taking the first mover approach isn’t always easy because you have to go through testing phases when people aren’t as experienced or the regulators as clear, but it does allow us to concentrate on other aspects of the changes,” Bustin said to The Trade Derivatives in 2013.
“Another advantage of having centrally cleared interest rate swaps is that we are on the radar of most of the CCPs and actively engaged in margin methodologies. This not only means we are very aware of how their offerings are developing, it also puts us in a very good position to provide input.”
Beginning his career at JP Morgan in convertible bonds, Bustin then moved to BNP Paribas for a two-year spell as a trader before moving to Aladdin Capital Management as an associate director.
Bustin then moved to Edinburgh to head up derivatives solutions at Kames Capital before taking on a similar role at Royal London.
After four years in a demanding role which has required Bustin to stay on top of the overhaul of the derivatives industry, Royal London Asset Management has been able to stay well on top of new regulations and make sure it has been meeting new requirements around clearing and reporting across the global derivatives markets.
Job title: Senior investment manager
Company: Aberdeen Asset Management
Terence Nahar has built his career on designing liability driven investment strategies for buy-side firms using derivatives in a range of asset classes.
The products he uses within these strategies have undergone significant change since the financial crisis, with regulators completely reforming the over-the-counter derivatives market.
Heading up derivatives first at Royal London Asset Management and then Scottish Widows Investment Partnership – which has now become Aberdeen Asset Management – Nahar has navigated these firms through significant times of change.
Staying on top of widespread change is tough, but Nahar insists that there is much more to his role than just reacting to the effects of regulatory change.
“It is easy to focus on regulatory requirements, but our client base is exposed to much more than just changes in the regulatory environment,” he explains.
“The market is changing just by the fact that it is a dynamic market. So opportunities and threats present themselves on a continuous basis.”
Terence Nahar rose through the ranks at Investment banks in the early 2000s, Nahar with roles at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, along with a spell at consultancy McKinsey & Co in Amsterdam.
Throughout his career his client base has consisted of mostly pension funds and insurance companies in the UK and the Netherlands. In that time, Nahar has seen the market’s use of derivatives change significantly, along with his own role.
“Pension trustees have become much more sophisticated in terms of their understanding of derivatives,” he says. “Take the term ‘swap’ for example, they wouldn’t really know where to place it. Now days they fully understand what it is, how it can be used to de-risk a fund and they are much more open to other products being used in terms of structuring and designing de-risk solutions.
“Liquidity has reduced significantly primarily on the back of regulatory push-back in terms of derivatives used and requiring less leverage being applied in the system, initial margin, variation requirements etc. but I wouldn’t put it all down to regulations. As I said that would be a gross amplification of what has happened in the market.”