I publish here an interview conducted at London’s Cass Business School given by Portfolio Managements Managing Partner Anton Kreil to students of Cass. Mr. Kreil was a major Investment Bank trader for years and shares some of his experiences with the audience. He also provides some advisory to anyone who wishes to become professional in trading in Investment Banks or Hedge Funds.
From pointing the need to start early in life to have some gifts and hints for the Business world to be prepared to change one’s mind set once you reach the big job, Anton Kreil is honest and sort of tries to demystify all the fuss that sometimes surrounds these big companies and businesses.
Further in the interview, Anton Kreil explains on students questions why volatility is important for someone starting trading these days, that the kind of volatility that is profitable in the Markets are in the Equities Markets and not in Forex.
He also talks about company and corporate culture, why innovation and entrepreneurship is so important in the business of Finance, and the great comparative advantage that Goldman Sachs has concerning that issue.
Interesting his take on the issue of the developments leading to the Financial Crisis, and the opinion that a shift in corporate culture from talent and pure business mind set to a culture thwarted by politics and greed and the hiring of untalented people to do sensitive and important jobs. He moves then to the experience at Lehman Brothers, and the way he was hired to raise the Risk profile of the Trading Desk of the Bank. He tells that he encountered a business with a transforming Risk profile and culture from conservative to maybe excessive risk taking, as well as too many people taking risks.
A more relaxed Anton Kreill talks about the work-life balance of a person working in these sectors, and even tells some stories about his personal life. The difficulty of striking the right balance may lead to humorous situations and laugh out loud stories. And….the standards of Human Capital are deteriorating and one of the reasons is the declining compensation for top talent!
In one of the last videos, Anton explains that the most talented people in the business have migrated to Hedge Funds or started their own businesses trading their own money. We learn his view of the declining standard of the Investment Banking industry as a whole, the way the new regulations are commanding a structural decline and shift to this industry, and the most talented are even leaving the Western World and finding new lives in the Emerging or Frontier Markets
To be a self-starter is an absolutely key trait that most if not every successful trader must have.
The edge of being a former trader of an Investment Bank is also fading very rapidly with the rise of Electronic and algorithmic trading, but the experience can always be important with the new Internet take on the Markets.
Winning in trading isn’t for everyone, we further learn……but the show must go on. Great interview and college moment and congratulations to Cass Business School.