Edward Atkins, head of equity trading, Pictet Asset Management
Edward Atkins heads up the equity trading team at Pictet Asset Management. He looks after three trading desks whilst juggling compliance issues, research, commissions and sell-side relationships.
Atkins began his career at AXA Investment Managers, where he started as a trader in 2000. He spent five years with AXA, before moving on to join Credit Suisse Asset Management as a senior trader. Between 2006 and 2010, Atkins worked at Brencourt Advisors, Monument Securities and Gartmore. He finally settled at Pictet Asset Management in 2011.
He says ill-thought regulation is the biggest issue facing the industry, as ensuring his team are compliant is part of his day-to-day role.
When not overseeing the equities trading at Pictet, Atkins enjoys running (badly, he says). He enjoys watching England play rugby and cricket and is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club. On top of all of this, Atkins enjoys 70s cinema and jazz music.
Nik Louwye, head of dealing desk, KBC Asset Management
Nik Louwye currently heads up the dealing desk at KBC Fund Management, having been with firm for almost ten years. He started as a portfolio manager in Belgium, before moving to Dublin in Ireland to manage the company’s constant proportion portfolio insurance (CCPI) funds.
Louwye’s role as the structured fund manager meant he was proactively involved in contributing to the development of his team and the funds on a daily basis. Just over three years later, Louwye was promoted to head of CCPI fund management, meaning he was now involved in the strategic directions of the funds.
In 2014, Louwye moved back to Belgium to head up the dealing desk at KBC Asset Management. He oversees a team of seven traders and is responsible for the trading activates initiated by the portfolio managers in Dublin, Brussels, Luxembourg and Central Europe. The trades are worth over €200 billion per year, and the instruments traded include equities, ETFs, bonds, foreign exchange and listed derivatives.
Louwye holds two masters degrees in applied economics and banking and finance. He obtained the qualifications at Ghent University in Belgium. He speaks Dutch, French and English. He is a CFA Charterholder, and outside of work he enjoys playing football and cycling.
Laura Fitzpatrick, head of sales trading UK, Vontobel Europe
Laura Fitzpatrick joined Vontobel Europe in 2010 as an equity sales trader. She graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a degree, before heading to Dublin Business School to complete a Masters in business. She was part of a sailing team and a member of the business society throughout her time at University.
Immediately after she graduated, Fitzpatrick joined one of Ireland’s largest independent stockbroker and corporate finance firms, Merrion Capital. Whilst at Merrion, Fitzpatrick was sales trader. She recently got promoted to head of sales trading UK at Vontobel, specialising the Swiss equity market. Her in-depth local knowledge and ability to source hard-to-find blocks in the small and midcap space, adds value for her clients.
Fitzpatrick’s ambition is to lead the most successful local market desk and see its market share increase above 30%. She is also an executive director at Vontobel, something she is very proud of.
When not at work, Fitzpatrick is busy with a young family but on the rare occasion you will find her sailing. She used to compete on an international level and sailing remains one of her passions.
Tony Ashraf, European head of clearing and collateral, BlackRock
This year we decided to list our first ever post-trade buy-side Rising Star, and with that we found Tony Ashraf, BlackRock’s European head of derivatives clearing and collateral.
Ashraf has extensive buy-side and sell-side experience, having started his career at Morgan Stanley as an analyst in 2002. After seven years at the investment bank, he was named European head of OTC derivatives in 2009, a role he served for almost three years.
He then moved to Barclays in June 2012 where he was head of fixed income and equity settlements. After serving over a year at the bank, Ashraf decided to make the move to the buy-side, joining BlackRock’s Edinburgh office in May 2013.
He served as vice president and European head of derivatives clearing, before being promoted to director at the beginning of 2015.