The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Intelligent Trading Summit: The Human Resources Conundrum

Statistics presented by MathWorks at this week’s A-Team Group Intelligent Trading Summit suggest a significant skills gap among UK graduates entering the financial services sector and a need to develop fresh skills in areas such as data science.

Presenting the results of the company’s skills research project among 43 buy-side firms, Steve Wilcockson, industry manager of financial services at MathWorks, said 62% of respondents reported a skills gap affecting the financial sector, with 34% saying the gap has worsened over the past three years and 53% saying it has stayed the same.

Solutions suggested to close the gap between skills required of graduates by industry and those that they actually possess include the integration of real-world problems in academic curricula, a solution favoured by 44% of respondents; encouragement for university students to combine the study of IT and maths, favoured by 37%; and provision of a stronger focus on IT and maths in secondary schools, favoured by 40%.

Beyond statistics, discussion among the research participants demonstrated a need for improved graduate skills in maths, statistics and data analysis, as well as the need to combine multiple science, technology, engineering and maths subjects with a view to merging theory and practice, and creating graduate capability in developing and implementing insightful data analytics.

Focussing on capital markets, Wilcockson outlined two phases of trading covering the development of trades from strategy modelling to back testing and live trading from data management to decision making and execution. Describing the skills required in each phase, Wilcockson said: “Development and testing require an understanding of data, modelling and analytics, as well as market knowledge and soft skills such as creative thinking and critical thinking to identify what could go wrong with a model. Live trading requires similar skills, including an understanding of data, testing, software and hardware, and application programming interfaces. It also requires critical thinking and creative thinking. These requirements boil down to key skills in data, mathematics, computer science, market and domain knowledge, and personal skills. There are courses covering these subjects, but none cover them all together.”

Resolving this problem, MathWorks argues that multidisciplinary education will develop expertise in data science and collaboration between mathematics and computer science. The company also suggests the best skills development will come from engaging children in computing at a young age and immersing both school and university students in project-based learning. As Wilcockson concluded: “Closing the skills gap is not just about hard skills, but about encouraging students to think in a wider way.”

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: Operational Change Management Under Brexit

You can listen to the recording of this webinar by registering on this page. The UK’s departure from the EU – whatever the eventual terms – presents financial institutions of all types operating within Europe with a huge change management challenge. Deciding where to locate which activities, how to organise them corporately and legally, how...

BLOG

Hurricane Capital Advisors Selects SS&C Platform

Hurricane Capital Advisors, a New York based start-up offering a global alternative investment management platform, has deployed SS&C Technologies’ front-to-back office solution to provide fund administration, customised middle office solutions, FIX connectivity, hosting, and order and execution management systems. The firm expects to carry 10 portfolio managers on the platform by July 2021. “We wanted...

EVENT

RegTech Summit New York City

Now in its 5th year, the RegTech Summit in NYC explores how the North American financial services industry can leverage technology to drive innovation, cut costs and support regulatory change.

GUIDE

The Global LEI System – Slow but Sure

After what looked like a slow start to the summer, the initiative to establish a global standard for legal entity identifiers (LEIs) took a series of significant leaps forward during August, that appears to have put the project firmly back on track. If the marketplace felt a little reticent in June and July, it could...