Prop trading business at global bank

Trading business

We helped a Managing Director of a global investment bank and his team of quants and technologists set up a new proprietary trading business (a “prop desk”). The client aimed to expand and complement the existing business units with new a desk providing non-correlated revenues, based on statistical trading principles.

The primary mandate was to design and deploy algorithmic trading strategies, across liquid electronically traded assets, leveraging some of the existing technology infrastructure. As well as partnering with other desks in London, New York and other major financial hubs worldwide.

The multi-asset portfolio included Fixed Income, Currencies, Commodities and select Energy Equities. The contracts traded included Exchange Traded Derivatives (futures and options) and Over The Counter (forex and metals). Some of the trading strategies were high frequency, some low frequency.

Some of the deliverables of the project activities we led:

  • Business & technical specifications
  • Trading strategy development & deployment processes
  • Risk management processes
  • Asset-specific algorithm development plans
  • Backtesting system and graphical user interface
  • Market/ reference data (proprietary, Bloomberg and Reuters)
  • Software and hardware infrastructure (OS, servers, data storage, networks)
  • Relations with other desks, IT and other functions
  • 3rd party relations, such as CME, ICE, Euronext, Eurex and LME

In addition, we helped monitor Phase 1 of Production (live trading) and Risk ($25 million Value at Risk for a one-day holding period).

It took us about a year to help launch and manage the new business successfully. To help manage the change and the business, we adopted an approach based on some PMI standards, combined with our knowledge of capital markets and the bank’s structure, culture and politics.


Contact the Team Lead who worked on this project:

Mauro Tortone

View posts by Mauro Tortone
Mauro advises financial services, technology and mobility businesses and leads the Strategy & Finance practice. His expertise is in strategic change, capital markets and more. Mauro has over 25 years of experience working with banks such as UBS and Deutsche Bank, smaller financials, fintechs and others across Europe, the US and Asia. He sat on the CISI Corporate Finance Forum Committee for ten years and is passionate about sustainability.
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