Thursday, 22 August 2013

Dying Of Proprietary Trading In Banks

Today, I went for a career fair organised by a bulge bracket bank. There were many divisions and booths that really interest me, but 3 particular booths caught my eye, namely:
  1. Global Markets
  2. Private Banking
  3. International Personal Banking
For those of you who have been following me through this blog, I am sure you must be curious why I did not mention sales and trading specifically. The fact is, proprietary trading in banks are dying due to stringent regulations and many traders have moved on to form hedge funds. What is left now in banks for proprietary trading is just sell-side trading, market making etc. Speaking with a vice president from one of the booth, he acknowledged that proprietary trading in banks might completely disappear altogether in the coming decade.

To be honest, the whole ballgame for getting into trading is now much harder. Without the option of trading in banks, one can only turn to hedge funds, mutual funds or asset management firms like Fidelity Investments. But the fact remains that these firms are more competitive to get into than banks and many similar firms prefer someone with working experience in banks. This in turn creates a scenario where the undergraduate could be faced with too much choices.

After a tour in the career fair, I am now left more confused rather than more clear. I always wanted to do trading, but the fact is, I look towards the lifestyle of sales. Being a hedge fund manager would give me the best of both worlds. I do not even know what to apply for in my second year summer break. I am honestly quite tired, trying to juggle work, study, family. The road ahead is unclear but one has to keep moving forward regardless.

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