June 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

Focus On: Landing Your Dream Job

In 2015 it pays to think differently when trying to stand out from the crowd in landing your perfect investment banking job. Back in April Nina Mufleh made headlines due to her innovative approach to Airbnb. She created a website, nina4airbnb, with marketing analysis on Airbnb’s expansion into the Middle East. Not only was the approach different and stylish, but Nina clearly gave some thought to her analysis. Sending market analysis in the form of a website to an HR Manager at your targeted IB may not get you an interview for that job you would kill for, but it pays to think laterally.

Creating a website is an extreme example but it does pay to have an online presence. It’s probably a good idea to have an updated LinkedIn profile. Like it or not, recruiters and employers often check out your online profile when they’re considering interviewing or hiring you. Make sure all your skills are up to date and current to give you the best opportunity to stand out from the pool of candidates you’ll be compared with.

There are a number of important tips to remember when you get an interview. It might be obvious, but learn about the organisation you’re wanting to join, and be clear about how your own skills and experience qualifies you for the position you’re interviewing for. Check out GlassDoor to see what other employees have thought of the company, or to find out what questions previous candidates have been asked in their interviews. It’s also a good idea to think about what sets you apart from everyone else going for the same role and have some of your own questions in mind to ask the interviewer.

If your off-the-wall approach lands you a meeting with that IBD HR rep, make sure you look the part when you arrive. A survey of 2,000 hiring managers suggested that 33% claimed to know whether they’d hire someone within the first minute and a half of meeting someone.

May 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

Focus On: Bitcoin

Bitcoin is in the news all the time now, but does anyone actually know what it is and what it’s used for? This month we attempt to clarify what on earth this new currency is all about.

Bitcoin is essentially a new digital peer-to-peer currency which is created and held electronically. It doesn’t have a central body or group controlling it, rather it is controlled by all Bitcoin users, with everyone using compatible software to utilise the technology. There are no banks involved in controlling one’s Bitcoins or charging sizeable fees.

This relatively new techology facilitates online transactions which are all authenticated by digital signatures lurking behind the scenes. Bitcoin is based on mathematical formula, as opposed to, say, the price of gold or the economic performance of a certain country.

Bitcoin is becoming much more windespread now and big players are taking note of what Bitcoin is doing right. Just this week it’s been reported that NASDAQ will be utilising blockchain technology currently used by the Bitcoin network to keep a track of its digital transactions. This technology would allow for faster, more secure trades, decentrallised from any bank.

Last week The New York Times reported that “New York state’s top financial regulator has granted the first license to a Bitcoin exchange, allowing it to open legally to customers across the United States.” The exchange is called itBit and has immediately commenced taking on customers. “This is a big deal, not just for us, but for the entire Bitcoin industry,” said itBit’s chief executive.

Goldman Sachs recently came out stating that Bitcoin could help shape the ‘future of finance’. “Innovations in network technology and cryptography could change the speed and mechanics of moving money”, their report said in March.

Making a payment with Bitcoin is simple. It’s like moving money from your wallet into your wife’s wallet, using your computer or smart phone instead of giving her cash. You don’t need a bank or merchant facilities or anything else you might usually need to transfer money between people or businesses. While it’s not mainstream yet, it won’t hurt to keep an eye on what this relatively new digital currency is up to over the next year or two.

April 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew died last month. He was 91 years of age. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets in the pouring rain to watch the funeral procession which carried his coffin through Singapore. There were ten hour queues to file past his coffin in the parliament. So what made Mr Lee so special, and why did over 1.1 million people pay tribute to him at different sites across the country?

Mr Lee was the longest-serving prime minister in history. He was Singapore’s first PM, and was in this position between 1959 and 1990, overseeing the country’s independence from Britain. Under his prime ministership, in 1963 Singapore joined the newly created Federation of Malaysia, only to leave again in 1965 following riots and racial tension.

Recognising the importance of a strong economy, Mr Lee transformed Singapore into a major exporter, making use of its now very busy port, encouraging foreign investment and raising workers’ standards of living. He was responsible for making Singapore a crucial player in the Asia-Pacific region and leaves behind a legacy of an impeccably organised country with a strong economy.

170 foreign dignitaries attended Mr Lee’s funeral. “Lee Kuan Yew was a towering figure in Singaporean political and social life”, said Australia’s Julie Bishop. “He was a giant in the region and an incredible statesman. He’ll be sorely missed”.

March 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

Focus on: Algorithmic Trading

Algorithms are essentially a set of rules to be followed for the purpose of calculations, so it’s only natural that they’ve made their way into financial services. This month we take a brief look at algorithmic, or high-frequency, trading.

In the world of trading, computers can be programmed to take specific actions depending on certain parameters and market conditions. In essence, algorithms can monitor stock prices and place an order to buy or sell at a speed unable to be matched by a human. These decisions can be made instantly and more accurately by computers.

Algorithmic trading in theory should avoid any chance of human error but significant errors do occur, as we’ve seen in recent years in places such as the UK and the US. It also removes the emotion from a human-made trade which can so easily affect decisions.

There are many technical options when it comes to writing these algorithms to obtain different outcomes and avoid any fraudulent or inaccurate traing behaviour.

Algorithmic trading has been criticised for not being transparent and hiding the identity of large players but it has been widely embraced and accepted since the beginning of the century. It also features in Michael Lewis’ well-known book Flash Boys about a group of Wall Streeters who realise the market had become much less free since the GFC.

Big players in algorithmic trading include Susquehanna, GETCO, IMC Pacific, Optiver and Timber Hill.

February 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

Focus on: Dark Pool Trading

‘Dark pools’ have been in the news a lot over the last year or two but how many of us really understand what they are? This month we attempt to clarify any confusion and answer questions you might have about dark pools.

Also known as ‘dark pools of liquidity’, dark pools are a name given to private exchanges unaccessible by the public. They began in the 1980s for exactly this reason – to give institutional investors a place to trade away from the stock market.

Dark pools get their names because of their lack of transparency. You don’t know who else is trading with you in a dark pool but this can give you a price advantage.

Around 2005 dark pools accounted for 3-5% of market activity in the US but as regulations changed broker-dealers launched some of their own dark pools. Dark pool trading activity is increasing. In 2014 it accounted for around 15% of volume in the US, with all non-exchange trading having surged to 40%.

There are three types of dark pools: independent, broker-dealer and exchange offered. Prominent independent dark pool providers include Instinet (Chi-x), LiquidNet and ITG. All the big IBs offer dark pool trading to their clients including Goldman Sachs (SIGMA X), Morgan Stanley (NightVision), JP Morgan (JPMX) and Credit Suisse (CrossFinder).

January 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

We hope you had a safe and happy holiday season and are looking forward to a successful year ahead.

Global financial markets had a steady end to the year which bodes well for Australian asset managers as we continue to see a growth in funds under management. Asia-Pacific saw the best year for M&A on record in 2014 with another strong year forecast. Australian M&A activity reached over US$116bn last year and grew 20%, reaching the highest levels seen since 2011. The year ended with Goldman Sachs at the top of the league table followed by Macquarie and UBS.

ECM revenue across Asia-Pacific reached $4.5bn at the end of 2014 which was the highest it had been since 2010. Goldman Sachs again led the way followed by UBS and Morgan Stanley. Syndicated lending followed a similar trend in Asia Pacific reaching $523bn, led in part by demand in China. Loan volumes in the region finished 13% higher than 2013.

Best wishes for a prosperous yeah ahead. Kindly keep us in mind should you require any recruitment assistance throughout 2015.

Our clients include

* Prior invoiced clients across the region.