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Mats Rywe, Equity trader at SEB Investment Management in Stockholm has an impressive 27 years’ service with  the firm. We caught up with Mats at our recent 9th ATF Nordic roadshow in Stockholm where he shares with us his personal insight to his career in the early days and his thoughts in general having worked within Equity trading for over two decades.

After my military service and four years of university studies in Behavioral Science, I started in 1981 to work at Persson & Co, a small brokerage firm in Stockholm, Sweden.
After two years I moved to  Alfred Berg fund commission, where I stayed until 1990 before heading off to start the centralized trading desk at SEB Funds in September 1990.
I started to trade for one or two so called  ‘Allemansfonder - containing just Swedish large cap names.
Then this business exploded and we, plus  other Swedish banks started up lots of funds for example Continental European funds, North American, sector funds etc.  In the late 1990’s when the Asian markets started to become frightfully volatile,  our local fund managers in our Hong Kong office requested the need for more live time trading. I was therefore asked to move to Hong Kong to  trade real time in Asia and  Japan.

After four very interesting years, I moved home again in 2001 to start trading for our “new” Russian and Eastern European  funds.

Five years ago I was also asked to be responsible for all FX trading that goes on at SEB Investment Management.

Trading for “traditionally stock picking” fund managers has always appealed to me,  giving me the opportunity to locate liquidity and negotiate large blocks direct with my counter parts out there.

Unfortunately this side of the fund management business has shrunk over  the last couple years due to several reasons so I, like  everyone else on the buy side,  must adapt to the new ways of managing funds and therefore also new and more sophisticated ways of trading. But I still believe that this kind of liquidity finding, besides adding some Alpha to the PM are also well in line with Best Ex.

The reason why I have stayed within trading instead of maybe fund management is that when my markets close, my working day also closes! (Apart from some late evening placings you have to coordinate with your PM’s).

Tomorrow is a new day with new prices and new flows…this is a market with constant changes so there is always something exciting happening out there! Plus….I do not have to go to bed with a lot of positions every night!

Around four hours’ drive north of Stockholm, in the middle of the deep forest, close to the Swedish mountains, is my place for contemplation and relaxing.
My wife and I have an old farm house up in northern Dalecarlia.
Once or twice a month during the year we go up there just to recharge our batteries, work on the house, take long walks with our dogs which is a great contrast to the often  long and hectic trading hours at the office.

The good thing with sitting on a centralized trading desk is that you are in the middle of the action, more particularly, you are the action!
For example when you have managed to buy or sell a very large block at a very good price, everyone is pleased. 
You, your broker, your PM and hopefully later, the shareholder!

Earlier, (around 15 years or so ago), trading systems were not as developed and “safe” as they are today.
Back then we could have made simple trading errors such as buying instead of selling or trading the wrong stock. Turning off your screen at market close and leaving the office on such a day is not a great feeling.

Today’s trading systems have a lot of “safety nets” built in so it’s more or less impossible to make trading errors…even on a very hectic day!

I think to be able to do this job you must know your markets and of course your brokers who covers them. It’s also important to make sure they know you, so when you approach them, they should know what your preference is.

Experience, humour and humility takes you a long way!

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