I am a former investment banking and securitisation specialist, having spent nearly a decade on the trading floor of several international investment banks. Throughout my career, I worked closely with syndicate/traders in order to establish the types of paper which would trade well and gained significant and broad experience in financial markets.
My investment banking career began in 1997 in the legendary Principal Finance Group at Nomura, where I worked on the financial model for the landmark purchase by Nomura of 57,400 military homes from the Ministry of Defence. Since the purchase price was £1.67bn and the assets were reportedly worth £6.7bn in 2017, this may well have been one of the best trades in history.
I then moved to Paribas, a French investment bank, where I conducted an innovative securitisation for £67m of the rental streams of students at Keele University, and subsequently relocated to the trading floor at Credit Suisse First Boston, where I led further securitisations including a €750m bond backed by Volkswagen auto loans. After leaving formal employment, I continued to trade my own multi-million portfolio, approximately quadrupling it.
Many people have trading experience similar to the above. What marks me out is what I did next. I decided to pursue my interest in philosophy at Doctoral level, specialising in the psychology of how we predict and explain the behaviour of others, and in particular, the errors or biases we are prone to in that process. This has very clear implications in driving performance in financial markets, since the job of the trader is often more about anticipating the actions of other traders than about analysing financial assets.
My most recent book, The Psychology of Successful Trading, draws on this diverse experience to show how cognitive biases can cause us to make errors in predicting the behaviour of other market participants and how remedying those biases can result in more accurate and successful trading strategies and, ultimately, higher profits.
- The Psychology of Successful Trading: Behavioural Strategies for Profitability; Routledge; Nov-2017
- Simulation Theory: A psychological and philosophical consideration (Explorations in Cognitive Psychology); Routledge; Dec–2016
- Defending Simulation Theory Against the Argument from Error; Mind and Language; Apr-2016
- 2016 PhD Philosophy, UCL
- 2012 MPhilStud Philosophy, UCL
- 2010 BA(hons) Philosophy, UCL
- 1992 PhD Particle Physics, University of Bristol
- 1988 BSc(hons) Physics Imperial College, London
I am a Director of the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom and Hon. Treasurer of the UCL Professors’ Dining Club.