Nick Roe of Citi Bank

Interesting interview that I picked from the myinvestorcircle web site. Citi Bank Prime Brokerage business is quite successful and Nick Roe responds here to some featured questions posed by the panel of this wonderful site.

Interview with Nick Roe Global Head of Prime Brokerage at Citi Bank – myInvestorCircle.


Trading and Experience

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.

The New South Sea Bubble…..?

This interesting Bloomberg article that I received as an alert, rightly reminded and alerted me to the possible potential conflicting situation regarding Southeast Asia Seas, with its increasing importance on the Global International Trade Landscape. The American Vice-President  Joe Biden does not share the concern of many, and in the recent visit to Singapore he made his demarches on this issue to  Japanese and Singaporean counterparts. We feature here his Bloomberg interview on the subject as well:

Important point is emphasized by Biden on the fact that the USA is a Pacific Power, America isn’t going anywhere and for the most part the success of the region rests on the stewardship of America’s military presence there.

Even if we could make this last point a bit contentious, it is without doubt that the increasing importance of Asia and Southeast Asia in the International Trade arena in general certainly stems in large part from the commitment of the United States to the region, and not just on Diplomatic, political or military fronts, as we could well easily notice the strong economic and corporate presence and interests of American companies of various sorts.

What is most relevant, I suppose in the article is the push of Biden to China to fend off and sign a ‘Code of Conduct‘ for operation on the region’s Seas, which indicates that there’s still the potential for diplomatic and political frictions on the issue. Despite the obvious interest of all parties that there will be a smooth and peaceful resolution of any friction. China, as a major player, and one that will certainly continue to grow in weight and importance, has also major responsibilities in avoiding any conflict or unpleasant difficulties for the free trade that benefits all in the end.

And given the huge yet to be discovered potential of the Southeast Sea….:

‘ China National Offshore Oil Corp. estimates the South China Sea may hold about five times more undiscovered natural gas than the country’s current proved reserves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

China, the world’s second-biggest economy, rejects U.S. involvement in South China Sea matters. While it has said it wants a code of conduct in the waters, it also seeks to resolve territorial disputes on a bilateral basis. It views the other countries as aggressors, accusing them of breaching a previous agreement on operating in the area.’

….it isn’t hard to see what is at stake.

With stakes that high, agreement is a common sense result.

Last but not least, there’s a reference to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, that seemed to have escalated the tensions in the region, and the US concern and bid to contain it. As far as China’s views are of concern this is abusive on the part of the US. But  Japan, on its part just wants to be able to regain some military weight, after the heavy restrictions of the World War II defeat, which I see as understandable in a world unpredictable and with danger where we don’t expect! Shivering….Biden tell us that everything will just be economic and diplomatic…..peaceful diplomacy. The world hopes he is right and successful….