Stephen Managing Director, Futures Sales Securities division, New York
If you are considering entering the financial industry it is important to do your homework. Talk to people in the different respective areas that you may want to pursue.
I work in the Securities division executing global futures for our institutional clients. They use the product for a variety of strategies including portfolio hedging, transferring investment expression across asset classes, managing cash flows and to speculate.
The most interesting aspect of my job is that we are one of few desks at Goldman Sachs that trade all asset classes: equity indexes, commodities, fixed income and foreign exchange. We have a bird’s eye view across the capital structure which helps us identify trends and themes that are developing in the marketplace.
Our group is very team oriented and we rely on each other for help developing trading strategies, interacting with clients and for general operational responsibilities. We work in conjunction with both the derivative and equity sales force and often identify cross marketing opportunities as well as leverage relationships.
I usually arrive at the office around 6:45am. My daily responsibilities include touching base with my clients to provide insight from our global futures desks. This usually involves a description of market action during the Asia and Europe overnight sessions and insight from our previous day’s activity. I also speak on our internal derivative morning call to provide a similar recap to colleagues and address housekeeping issues. When the market opens I am usually glued to my seat trading for clients and discussing the markets with them.
One of the most interesting aspects of my day is having access to and interacting with very successful and proven asset managers. It is always very interesting to compare different portfolio manager’s perspectives.
I especially enjoy creating and implementing successful trading strategies for our clients. Our market opinion is typically based on a combination of technical and fundamental analysis. The trades that we execute can have a very high notional value and providing accurate market timing can have a real economic impact for our clients.
I began my career in a year-long training program with another financial company. This program gave me the opportunity to spend three months on the NYSE, the AMEX (trading single stock options), an upstairs arbitrage/prop trading desk and lastly their NASDAQ market making desk. Ultimately, I was hired full-time on the NASDAQ desk and worked there as an equity market maker for five years. I migrated into a sales trading role when I came to Goldman Sachs.
My first few days working at the firm, I was humbled by the dynamic workforce. Everyone was extremely driven and there was an impressive coordination of global teamwork.
I graduated from college with a degree in English and History. I was originally interested in advertisement sales and marketing and did not plan on entering the financial industry. At a friend’s recommendation I applied to a rotational training program at a financial firm because it offered a taste of multiple global markets and the opportunity to build on my knowledge of the industry at a comfortable pace. Goldman Sachs’ extensive continuing education platform has also played a strong role in helping me up the curve.
If you are considering entering the financial industry it is important to do your homework. Talk to people in the different respective areas that you may want to pursue. Read relevant newspapers, books and materials and use the internet to educate yourself about the various career options available to you.