Recent Posts

The Conversations

By Derek On October 11, 2011

“Conversation is an exercise of the mind; gossip is merely an exercise of the tongue.”

So they say and I thought it would be interesting, maybe even a little enlightening, to interview the various cast of characters currently active on the Asian financial scene. The business itself is interesting enough and it tends to attract interesting people. My aim here is to give some of them a platform to talk about themselves and their careers. I hope this will give you a taste of not only how to “break in to finance” but also, what it is like working in the industry.

You can learn a lot by listening. I have found out (usually to my cost) that the more I talk the less I learn. With “Conversations,” I am trying to speak to people in different areas of the business, all of whom have years of experience. Take them as

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Blog Update, or What am I Doing?

By Derek On October 1, 2011

What am I Doing Here?

I have started to get a lot of the information I wanted up on this blog. I am explaining this now because since my blog went live last week, colleagues, friends and clients have all asked me the same question: what am I doing?

The Reason

Having worked in markets on and off (and I believe off is better) for 18 years, I have had the occasion to train a lot of people who were new to the business. This was true at UBS and CLSA and now at Mirae, my current employer. I have noticed that newbies all seem to share the same misconceptions, bad habits and wide-eyed questions. Having just put two new green salesmen, Daniel H. and Jeff T. through my rigorous training program, they are now on the phones bringing in millions. Of laughs. But they are getting better fast and talking to clients and opening accounts. So, I thought why not take some of

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Your First Job on the Trading Floor

By Derek On September 12, 2011


“If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.” Warren Buffett

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Desk

If you get lucky and are offered an entry level job on the trading floor you will likely be a “desk assistant.” A “desk” is a team of people with the same job description. There is the “sales desk,” the “trading desk,” the “execution desk,” etc. Research does not have a “desk” because they do not sit on the floor, they sit in “research.”

We say, “He works in research,” not, “He is on the research desk.” When I began working in New York for UBS, I was a junior salesman and under my name on my business card it just said, “Far East Desk.” It was like I was a piece of furniture! When I got a promotion to AD, assistant director I no longer belonged in the Ikea

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