Joanna Nader: “Volatility and uncertainty are our way of making money”


Joanna Nader is unlikely to comment on where the markets are going or what their rhythms mean for the economy.

The head of the global strategy of the TP ICAP group stays away from any opinion on subjects such as supply chains or the energy crisis. Oversee the global strategy and execution of the FTSE 250 business – whose primary function in 26 countries and 10 regulated locations is to facilitate market transactions between investment banks, brokers and asset managers – by made a necessity.

But as the supply chain and energy crises continued, Nader understood what market volatility and trading volumes meant.

“Anything that is considered positive for the business is good,” she says from the perspective of the world’s largest inter-brokerage brokerage in terms of revenue, with a global market share of around 40. %.

TP ICAP recorded a 16% increase in third quarter revenue due to growth in energy and commodities across all asset classes, with volatile energy market prices providing negotiation opportunities for clients. Third quarter revenue was £ 447million, up from £ 388million, which included a £ 51million increase related to the acquisition of the institutional trading network Liquidnet. Year over year, the group’s revenue was flat at £ 1.8bn, but net profit fell from £ 67m to £ 96m.

READ Q3 revenue climbs 15% at TP ICAP

“More direction in the markets, more volatility and uncertainty about things like inflation and the direction of interest rates – all of these things are useful for activity levels, this is how we win. really money, ”she said.

Markets resumed in 2021 after the 2020 crash. It was not until the end of March that trade resumed, when world leaders attempted to resolve the Covid crisis.

Just as banks have suspended dividends amid high uncertainty, the company has suspended spending plans. “We immediately had to send everyone home. But because we didn’t know what was going to happen, we just decided we needed to focus on keeping the money, ”says Nader.

But while Covid has put some plans on hold, it has also helped the company see gaps. “The pandemic and the rapid acceptance of remote working made it more evident that the entire market, as well as us, needed to go electronic. “

Nader looked to jumpstart the company’s growth agenda with a presentation in December 2020 in which she fleshed out her plans to acquire New York-based Liquidnet to bolster e-commerce. The move also promised a cross-sell opportunity to 1,000 asset managers to increase engagement with the buy side, and naturally aligned with TP ICAP’s corporate strategy around electronization “and” aggregation of this liquidity and diversification ”. The company closed the $ 525 million cash transaction in March.

READ TP ICAP agrees to buy Liquidnet

During the year, the company partnered with environmental risk management firm Speedwell to launch a climate index that uses global weather data to track the rate of climate change, which helps market participants cover their investments. It also launched a currency pricing product and a transaction cost analysis product for the bond market.

But the addition of Liquidnet has been one of the most significant developments for Nader due to the pioneering nature of what it brings to the market.

“We are truly the first to electronize the purchase-side workflow process. Our solutions capture all the relevant details of newly announced obligations. So as soon as it’s announced, we put the information into the traders’ order management system, ”she said.

Reflecting on the acquisition, Nader accepts having lived through difficult days.

“When we were working on the Liquidnet transaction, I was working very long hours, weekends and during my vacation. I was pretty tired at the time, ”she says.

She is clear that this is not how she works all the time. She is usually in the office around 8:30 a.m. and leaves around 7 p.m. But when does she stop looking at her emails? Before going to bed?

“I don’t have a diet. If something happens and I look at my screen, then I will look at it. If I don’t look at my screen, I won’t.

There is no escape from repeated headlines about city workers suffering from the ‘always on’ culture.

“I have read these articles and I can see how this can happen. We’re mostly back in the office now, but I can see that for people who are constantly on Zoom or Teams calls, one after another, the temptation is often to schedule them exactly one after the other ” , explains Nader.

As life in the city returns to a new hybrid, Nader is busy tweaking the execution of the Liquidnet acquisition. Setting up broker-client credit trading for corporate bonds is part of his plan.

“We are hiring in the credit segments. We have a progressive hiring plan across the company, ”she adds.

This is a positive change from his most recent staff change. Earlier this year, TP ICAP said it had to stop serving some of its clients based in Europe because the pandemic delayed post-Brexit plans to move 80 to 100 brokers to the continent.

READ TP ICAP’s ‘disappointing’ trade delay in Europe highlights City Brexit issues

Brexit was well underway by the time Nader arrived in 2019.

“It has certainly added some complexity to our business. We had to relocate many brokers to manage this different regulatory environment without any agreement for the City, ”she says.

The company has also hired in Europe: “As the City and the EU evolve, we will probably have to continue to evolve our footprint. We really have to follow where the traders are.

Nader has set himself the goal of meeting the company’s multi-year goals over the next three to five years. So far, the company is on the right track, “but it’s a complex execution,” she said.

CV

Born

May 1970

Education

1994

MA in Economics, Queen’s University, Canada

1993

BA (Hons) in Economics, Queen’s University, Canada

Career

2019-present

Head of Group Strategy, TP ICAP

2018-19

Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets

2009-18

Director of Investments, JRJ Group

2007-08

Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff, CEO Office, Emea, Lehman Brothers

2000-07

Senior Vice President, Equity Research, Lehman Brothers

1999

Manager, Arthur Andersen

1998-99

Director, BMO Financial Group

1997-98

Senior Advisor RAROC, CIBC

1996-97

Senior Analyst, BMO Financial Group

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Penny Sukhraj

About Larry Noble

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