TradeTech: Nine out of ten traders favour permanent hybrid working

By Gill Wadsworth.

Nine out of ten traders favour a permanent hybrid working model post-pandemic, research conducted at TradeTech revealed.

In the second day of the buyside conference in Paris, delegates were asked their preferred working model, with 57% opting for two days out of the office, while 28% said they wanted three days at home.

Just 4% of traders favour a return to full-time office work, while 5% said they wanted to work at home five days a week.

Yannig Loyer, global head of trading in securities financing and derivatives at AXA Investment Managers.

Yannig Loyer, global head of trading in securities financing and derivatives at AXA Investment Managers, said: “Remote working for two or three days a week has been fairly standard for the buyside. But it is important to be flexible. Traders can ask for two or three days at home and firms can agree to it, but there may be reasons that you have to work in the office for five days in the because something has happened.”

However, financial regulators are yet to make clear the rules governing remote trading, which David Miller, senior trader EMEA Equities at Invesco UK, said may expose firms to risk.

“What we would really like from the regulator is clear direction, which I haven’t seen too much of so far. It has been done mostly on trust but there is a risk when you trade from home, and we need to manage that.”

Miller added: “We haven’t had any really big blow ups in the last two years so [the regulator] probably hasn’t felt the need to be too disruptive just yet but I do envisage some intervention fairly soon.”

Daniel Leon, global head of trading, treasury management and global solutions at HSBC Global Asset Management.

Daniel Leon, global head of trading, treasury management and global solutions at HSBC Global Asset Management, said regulation would have to be informed by companies’ experience of moving to hybrid working models.

“Everybody is in discovery mode and it’s going to take probably another three years before people see the challenges and opportunities. We spend a lot of time with compliance, and we are discussing the best ways to share information and to communicate. It is this discovery process that will inform regulation in the future.”

Jason Lenzo, global head of trading at Russell Investments.

Jason Lenzo, global head of trading at Russell Investments, said US regulators had proven flexible in their approach to remote trading but added they were “pivoting to the information that comes to them in real time” and anticipated regulation was imminent.

Discussing the challenges remote working posed to trading desks, Lenzo said retention was the biggest.

“We were hiring consistently throughout the pandemic and some of the new didn’t have that networking session when they joined. As we started to migrate back to the office, they didn’t know who to reach out to on the trading floor. At the end of the two and a half years, we’re starting to see cracks. People are leaving and making decisions to go elsewhere,” Lenzo said.

“That’s one outcome [from remote working] that probably, as an industry, we haven’t solved yet.”

David Miller, Invesco & moderator, Julia Streets.

 

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