The Rising Stars: Grigg, Black, Beddow, Rotello

Ahead of The TRADE’s Rising Stars event on 16 November, today we feature profiles on Egerton Capital’s Grigg, DRW Trading’s Rotello, Renaissance’s Robert Beddow and Andrew Black from Pioneer Investments.

By Editors

James Grigg, execution trader and partner, Egerton Capital

James Grigg is a global multi-asset execution trader at Egerton Capital, a London-based hedge fund with around $14.6 billion in assets under management.

Grigg is a seasoned equities trader, beginning his career at Deutsche Bank’s middle-office for EMEA equities in 2001, providing support for trading and sales. After over three years at the bank, he moved onto the front-office side for the bank’s euro long/short fund.

In 2006, Grigg moved to the buy-side, moving up from being a junior trader to heading up the EMEA equity trading desk at Alliance Bernstein over a course of seven years. He then joined Lombard Odier as a senior trader for its European LODH Funds, where he was also part of several buy-side regulatory groups focusing on Mifid II.

Grigg explains being awarded partner status at such a young age at Egerton Capital as his most notable achievement in his trading career.

Adam Rotello, head of London fixed income options trading, DRW Trading Group

As a native of Chicago, which boasts the largest group of proprietary trading firms, Adam Rotello joined market maker DRW Trading Group in 2006 after achieving a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois.

Rotello believes the analytical and critical skills he attained from his degree have made him a natural fit to the proprietary trading world, in which the ability to identify arbitrage opportunities and act within a second is a must.

He began his career on DRW’s US Treasury options desk, before a brief stint on the overnight trading desk, trading on the Euro-Yen book. Following the financial crisis, he moved into commodities and began trading in the soybean options trading pit at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

In 2011, Rotello made the move from Chicago to DRW’s London base, becoming a fixed income derivatives trading and managing its short sterling trading book. After three years, he now manages DRW’s London fixed income options trading desk.

Robert Beddow, head of trading, Renaissance Asset Management

At the age of 36, Robert Beddow is fortunate to be one of the few under 40 traders that started his career without a university degree. With only his GCSE’s, he began his career at Citi as an equity settlement analyst. He then moved to Lehman Brothers when he was 18, in which Beddow describes as his “first exposure to the fast paced, boisterous, old-school trading environment”.

He possess over 16 years of trading experience across the sell-and buy-side, from trading equity derivatives and structured products at Dresdner Bank (which later became Commerzbank), to fixed income and credit derivatives at SwissRe Asset Management.

In 2007, Beddow moved to Griffin Capital Management managing its trading and derivatives strategies across all emerging markets asset classes for four years. When the company was taken over by Renaissance Asset Management in 2012 he was named head of trading, and was responsible for updating the company’s “archaic systems” and introducing modern electronic trading systems.

Looking at the future of the trading desk, Beddow believes there will be two routes buy-side firms will go down. “One is where traders will simply become button pushes where algorithms will completely take over. The role of the traditional trader may become diminished and instead take up more operational tasks,” he says.

“The other is working more for the hedge fund and the more active asset managers where you have freer range to execute trades yourself.”

Andrew Black, senior trader, Pioneer Investments

Andrew Black joined Pioneer Investments in 2014 as a senior trader, joining a team of just seven in Dublin.

With such a small team around him, he believes the comradery with his fellow traders has helped his division become so successful.  Drawing on from his rugby playing days, it has helped Black become a team player and bring his skills to the forefront.

After gaining his undergraduate degree at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, he started at Martin Currie as a dealer, working on the Asian and Emerging Markets desks. He later moved on to the European and US trading desks, while also trading in FX markets.

In 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, he joined hedge fund TCI Fund Management as a senior trader, and then became a partner. During his time, he headed up the trading desk for the fund’s global equities portfolio, which at its peak managed around $19 billion in assets. It was at the fund that Black also gained experience trading in credit, single stock, index derivatives, and fixed income.

Now four years on since joining Pioneer, Black has been responsible mainly for its equity derivatives trading strategy. Although it may seem only short period of time since joining, Black has been surprised as how significantly the trading desk has changed.

“Over the last four years we have gone from barely trading anything electronically to 45-50% of our trading using algos,” says Black.

He says he is pleased with the pace that Pioneer has evolved with the changing trading environment, and wants to continue the drive with increased electronic usage and analytics.