The truth about technology jobs on the trading floor


Richard Hickling knows a thing or two about what it’s like to work in investment bank technology. During his 20-year career in financial technology, he worked everywhere from the New York Stock Exchange to Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Macquarie, BNP Paribas, and Bank of America. His specialty was financial software and analysis. But in January 2020, Hickling gave up everything to start a crypto tools provider.

Contrary to the general perception of technology jobs in investment banks, says Hickling, the banking industry isn’t a bad place to work as a developer. “What I’ve always liked about working in banks is that you work with excellent technologists in an area that is fundamental to the global economy, “he says.”

Technologists in banks often complain that they are second class citizens compared to salespeople and merchants who deal with customers. However, this is to be expected, says Hickling, because working in technology in a bank is like being part of a Formula 1 racing team. “The dealers are like the drivers, so it’s perfectly fair for them to get the recognition.”

Hickling says you may have around 200 employees assisting a head of desk on an exchange floor through middle and back office and pre-trade processes. “Everything is geared towards helping the traders. They are the ones who take the risk.” Just as Lewis Hamilton is the name everyone knows from Formula 1, dealers are the names everyone in banks knows, says Hickling.

When Hickling started working in financial technology in 2000, he said the industry didn’t have the flaw it has today. Technologists did not want to work in defense companies, but finance was still seen as a career goal worth pursuing. His rehabilitation is important to him – dealers in banks and funds are the linchpin of everything, and when you work as a technologist on the trading floor, you have an important global role, he says. “These dealers rate everything around the world. There are a relatively small number of people who set prices through their trading activities.

If working as a technologist on the trading floor has been so fulfilling, why did Hickling stop? Crypto was even more exciting. “When I realized what trading is like in the crypto world, I was hooked,” he says. “Has crypto trading It’s only really been around since 2009 and was mostly under the radar – no one had the chance to write all of the trading tools that the pros especially need. “

Hickling’s new company, ProfitView, bridges this gap by offering crypto traders the types of PnL and risk analysis tools available for other asset classes. “WWe manage the income statement in real time, and we take it to the last Satoshi, “he says. The intent is to provide pre- and post-trade analysis in the crypto space for both boutique crypto funds and crypto funds Cover that were founded by professionals in other asset classes.

Hickling co-founded ProfitView with Jahan Zahid, a former Forex trader and quant at Bank of America. The company is self-funding. At the moment, they have teamed up with crypto trading company Bitmex, but want to expand to 17 more top exchanges in the coming months. Hickling says he coded the platform himself – which is clearly another benefit of years of financial technology. It is planned to hire more developers soon.

Photo by Gustavo Campos on Unsplash

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