Industry Insights - Georgi Slavov, Marex Spectron
Mr Georgi S. Slavov an ICMA Centre guest lecturer, joined us on the 13th of November to discuss careers in trading and research. Georgi has worked at Marex Spectron as the Global Head of fundamental research for the last five years and has held a career in the research sector of the finance industry since 2008. Georgi has been guest lecturing at the University for the past eight years and is currently completing a PhD at the University. He accentuated the importance of constantly growing your skillset to keep up with the ever-changing finance industry or get left behind.
Marex Spectron is a commodity broker with a breadth of commodity market coverage and provides proprietary technology, data and analytics offerings. It is a small cap firm with offices around the world. Georgi highlighted how working for smaller firm can allow you to gather more responsibility and experience.
Georgi gave an insight in to the buyside, sell side and research parts of the business. He talked about the different types of proprietary trades, e.g. those defined by their investment horizon or by specialisation and the different parts of the sell side, e.g. Prime Brokers, Market Makers and Execution-Only Brokers. Moving on to research, Georgi emphasised the importance of data in research and the quality of that data. He took us through the different types of research and the data that is used for them. This included Fundamental, Technical and Systematic Quantitative. Systematic Quantitative research is the most recent addition to the research that Georgi does, and it involves applying predefined rules to both technical and fundamental data to derive results.
During the session Georgi talked about the main skills required for a career in trading or research. He talked about how IT is now heavily used in research and is spreading to trading, so learning a computer language like R or Python is essential. A strong quantitative background is needed as you are dealing with lots of calculations and statistics and a strong knowledge in economics and finance, as it is important that you understand the area which you are trading/researching and what effects it. He also mentioned that although trading and research are very computer orientated areas to work in, soft skills are still as important as any other skill.
Georgi concluded the talk by discussing career advice with the audience. For a career in research specifically, he voiced the importance of identifying the industry you enjoy the most and find the most interesting as that will make it easier to research. Also finding out what the research is like for that industry and if you enjoy it, as research is different for each industry. Understanding the different types of research is also necessary. As far as finance careers in general he made clear the need to identify your edge and how you can add value to a firm and most importantly to choose a career you enjoy.
The ICMA Centre and the UoR Finance Society are extremely grateful for Mr Slavov’s time in joining us once again for an insightful and engaging session.
Charlie Morris, University of Reading Finance Society