A distinctive mix of talented people and trading styles
The landscape of trading firms; some are large and well established. I used to work for two of them where most processes are running smoothly, and trading strategies typically prove their edge. However, on the flip side, it turns out to be hard to make a difference or create extra synergies. Others are small and commenced their operations more recently. These are often spin-offs from the aforementioned establishment. They typically trade in a niche market where a certain trade or strategy is adopted and optimized. Scalability can be a challenge, and it is uncertain how long this particular opportunity exists. Over the last few years, I have seen the European options market become immensely efficient. The race to the latency bottom comes to an end and price deficiencies are increasingly harder to spot.
So why Maven?
I’ll explain why Maven is unique in all its dimensions. To start, the unique mix of trading strategies makes it a one-of-a-kind place to work; next to its market making operation, Maven deploys algorithmic strategies, as well as a more hedge-fund style approach in its prop trading division. This blend enables a diverse group of people to join, as different trading styles meet in the very same company.
Maven finds itself in a very interesting scale-up phase as we are continuously looking to generate synergies between the very different strategies. Where many of these aren’t even present in the larger trading firms, they can be found in niche companies, where operations are stand-alone.
Imagine a firm being a pricing machine: providing liquidity not only externally, but also facilitating each other internally, with the knowledgeable flow. Through this method, tremendous synergies can be created, and it is happening in Maven as we speak. It is exactly the opportunity I took as an experienced trader; I can apply my trading skills and market knowledge to a much wider spectrum of strategies than I knew before.
For me, Maven offers a plethora of opportunities; it is awesome to help set up the Amsterdam office, optimize our global grads academy, and acquire knowledge from different business areas. I had very little exposure to digital assets, hedge-fund style trading and short end rate products, so it is great to see my learning curve steepening once more.
“As a rule, a man adapts himself to conditions so quickly that he loses the perspective”
A quote from my all-time favourite trading book, ‘Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.’ Successful traders typically have good mentors, and I used to have one in the past (note that the reverse need not be true). He showed me the title – it was his favourite too, and I have read it three times. The intriguing part is that the book is full of trading wisdom, behavioural finance and one-liners that teach about psychology. The first time I read it, I could not relate to any of it, but after a few years of trading, I knew exactly what the main character felt throughout his career. And when re-reading, I still find passages suiting my personality, which I did not spot before.
The point I am trying to make is that a certain mental reference, even so successful, can make you settle [for too little], whilst there is so much out there. All that I had learned in the past turned out to fit in a bigger picture: different trading techniques, building a new office and working with new great people.
This is why I picked Maven: the opportunity of a wider perspective, even after over ten years in the sector. And I am inquisitive to see how it will play out.