Spot light on Paul Cable, Head of International Fixed Income Trading at T. Rowe Price
Head of Trading Champion 2020
2020 has been a year of disruption – how has your desk coped with the pandemic? What key learnings can be made?
2020 certainly was a memorable year, and having just passed the 12 month anniversary of our London Trading team working from Home, it seems an appropriate time to reflect. Most importantly everyone remains physically and mentally healthy, and that continues to be a key focus here at T. Rowe Price. In Q1 of 2020 we were quick to react to the Pandemic, protecting staff and planning swiftly for remote working. Equipment was provided where needed, and the Trading team were soon up and running from their respective homes. What was once hard to imagine, very quickly became the new normal with Traders, Portfolio Managers and Analysts having the same communications that once took place in office corridors now done virtually; over WEBEX and ZOOM. Communication has been the key learning point from the pandemic. There is no such thing as over-communication in a remote working environment, and in many ways, the Trading team has benefitted from the more formal structure of daily virtual meetings; as it has provided us with a regular platform to participate in the investment process.
Which projects have you successfully worked on this year?
Away from pandemic related projects, one significant development that started in 2020; and will continue through 2021 is our journey towards automation. This iterative process of moving small, liquid trades to a low touch platform is being championed from within the team. The goal is to optimise the Desk’s time such that Traders have more capacity for generating alpha for our clients through trade idea creation and finessing execution of the less liquid trades.
How do you envisage the trading desk of the future post the pandemic?
Some things will never be the same again; and that’s a good thing. I think we’ve all learnt that there can be more flexibility, with the option of working from home on the table as we move forward. However, what must be preserved is the good culture and relationships that existed in the office pre pandemic. Collaboration and being part of the investment process will remain central to a successful trading desk of the future; and as Markets evolve towards better transparency and more electronic execution, the future needs of a desk will revolve around data consumption, analysis and desktop application interoperability.
What are your top tips to inspiring traders about how to reach to the top of their profession?
Dedication, Diligence and Don’t be afraid to ask questions… the only stupid question, is the one you didn’t ask!
What top tips do you use to optimise your mental health? #buysidementalhealth campaign 2020 by the Buy-side Trading Community (BTC)
A pet! The Lockdown life saver for my family has been our dog… regular walks (rain or shine!) results in time away from the screen and that’s so important while we eat and sleep in the place where we work.
What has been your career path before your current role?
I’ve been very fortunate to have experienced numerous roles at T.Rowe Price before moving into Trading. I’m now into my 23rd year at T.Rowe; having spent time in the back and middle office before joining the Trading Desk in 2008. It’s been a journey that I wouldn’t change, forging relationships along the way and taking with me an understanding and appreciation of other parts of the business.
I have to say that my role as Head of our International Fixed Income Trading desk is made easier by having a fantastic Trading team in Hong Kong and London to work with.