Ikenna

Executive Director/Vice President,
Electronic Trading Platforms

Technology Division, Tokyo

“It’s rewarding to know my work has a direct impact on client experience and satisfaction.”

Joined GS

2010

Hometown

Staten Island, New York

Education

Baruch College
Statistics and Quantitative Modeling Major

Interests

Reading, Exercising, Hip Hop Music, Aquascaping

My early career path was slightly unconventional. I withdrew from university after my first year to work full time in IT, but returned a few years later as a part-time student. I graduated with a degree Statistics and Quantitative Modeling and a minor in Japanese. The minor in Japanese was because my then-girlfriend—now wife—is from Kyoto. When we eventually moved to Japan, speaking Japanese helped me communicate with her family and become immersed in the culture.

I’m in the Electronic Trading Platforms team, which is responsible for the ultra-low latency trading infrastructure that supports our electronic trading business. In my role I focus on ensuring the full technology stack, from Linux operating systems to the network, meets the demands of our clients. Low latency access to the market and resiliency of our systems are two keys to ensuring client confidence. It’s rewarding to know my work has a direct impact on client experience and satisfaction.

My day starts with catching up on overnight emails from New York and London teammates. The morning involves talking with clients, vendors, internal partner teams or doing technical tasks. After lunch I’ll continue working on various tasks. Depending on workload, I may visit our office gym for a 30-minute run or attend a studio class. Then I’ll spend another hour or two working before departing for the day. Some nights I log in from home if I need to connect with a New York-based colleague. 

Teamwork is the fabric of getting things done at Goldman Sachs. It’s core to our business principles and embodied in our culture. To me, it’s about working well together in order to add value for our clients. As we are a global firm, cross-divisional collaboration across different time zones is a common occurrence.
 
My advice to candidates who are interviewing is simple: be yourself. Come prepared with an open mind to tell us about you and to learn about us. Make sure your resume reflects what you know and is not buzzwords-driven. Our interviewing process can be lengthy, but use it as an opportunity to learn about the firm and the people you may be working with.

I’m involved with two employee affinity networks, the Black and Hispanic Latino Network (BHLN) and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) network. Both networks have provided a platform for me to share my Nigerian, Panamanian and American background through cultural exchange, while at the same time allowing me to learn more about LGBT social issues and promoting inclusiveness. 

Out of office, when not entertaining my young daughter, I juggle a few hobbies. Reading history-themed books is a favorite pastime. I also love Hip Hop music, especially from the 90s, and it powers my gym time or outdoor run around the Imperial Palace. I enjoy going out with friends and colleagues as well. Recently I have picked up aquascaping and occasionally lose time gazing into life in my home aquarium.