Seijiro Executive Director/Vice President, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Investment Management division, Tokyo
The rewarding part of my job comes from being able to make the best investment decision and carry out the best execution possible for the client.
I work in Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) in Tokyo as a trader dedicated to the fundamental equity team. I am responsible for executing equity, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and index futures transactions for our clients. I also provide market information, including sector trends, liquidity and trading techniques on the instruments that I trade and other views to the team concerning the various equity strategies.
My team places great emphasis on open discussion and collaboration. This has been the key driver that differentiates us from our competition. We have a great sense of achievement and camaraderie, however we are also part of the global fundamental equity group. As a member of the global trading team, I focus on the Japanese market, working collaboratively on various aspects of the job with other members around the globe.
The rewarding part of my job comes from being able to make the best investment decision and carry out the best execution possible for the client. This happens when I fully understand the fund manager’s investment theme, find a proper trading technique to match the theme and then the market must play out according to our story. It is also exciting when ideas flow the other way and my discoveries turn into investment strategies.
My current assignment is reviewing Japan stock trading for the fundamental equity team in GSAM. The most interesting aspect is being able to see real world events as they happen. I also enjoy being part of a professional investment team that attempts to steer through these events day by day. The challenge of the job is dealing with the uncertainty of the markets - it is impossible for one to always be right!
Before trading begins, I start each day by checking the Europe and US markets looking for global movements. I then look for news on Japan single names. Finally, I check overnight orders from other regions and the cash level of our portfolios before placing any Tokyo orders.
We also begin each day with team meetings to discuss the strategy we plan to use that day or week. The majority of my day after that is focused on analyzing market movements and executing orders with a break mid-day to update the team on the latest market news.
I started my career at a Japanese bank, working in the domestic branch for eleven months and then in the dealing room before I moved over to an investment bank. I wasn’t particularly looking for opportunities outside of that firm after I joined, however I learned about an available position in GSAM and was invited in for interviews. As the interviews progressed I became very interested in moving over to Goldman Sachs. The position was not only a step up but the team was full of friendly, humble and talented people from entry level to senior manager level. These were the key factors that brought me to Goldman Sachs.
My first impression of GSAM was that it was very competitive in a good way. The team members were eager to achieve excellence for clients and were very open to sharing information within the team. It did not take long for me to understand why Goldman Sachs has such a fine reputation in the industry.
Long before I came to Goldman Sachs I knew that I wanted to be a professional trader. Although working at Goldman Sachs in particular was not something I had planned, I am grateful that I was presented with the opportunity to further my career here. The guidance given to me by my managers has been very helpful in shaping my career path so that it aligns with my interests and goals.
My advice for those interested in a finance career is to read newspapers and other publications so that you are always aware of what is happening in the industry. Also, talk with various people working in the industry and ask as many questions as possible. You’ll soon figure out if this is the right field for you!