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Coffee With Kanishk Swarup – Equity Derivatives Trader from Credit Suisse

6 September 2008 8 Comments

Hi Readers,

Its time to get a flavour of some of the non-engineering roles in Coffee Profiles. And its my pleasure to start off with Kanishk Swarup, equity derivatives trader from Credit Suisse.
Special thanks to Varun Bhandari, IIM Bangalore for introducing Kanishk.

Coffee With Kanishk on Equity Derivatives Trading
Me: Sundar Rajan G S
KS: Kanishk Swarup

Me: Hi Kanishk, Welcome to Coffee With Sundar! Can u give a brief introduction to yourself. You can talk about your background, academic qualification, work ex, hobbies etc.
KS: Well I was born and brought up in Jamnagar and then moved to Calcutta to do my A level studies. Once I finished that I moved to LSE to do my undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics. Graduated from LSE in 2005 and have been working with Credit Suisse as an Equity Derivatives Trader since then.
I nurture a passion for Movies and Acting.. and have pariticpated in lot of plays as a student. My fav sports include Cricket, Tennis and F1.

Me: Can you give a brief description of the nature of work you do as an Equity Derivatives Trader
KS: As I am a Flow Trader in Equity Derivatives, I have a few distinct roles.
One aspect of my job is risk management in which I try to minimise and hedge the market risk that exists on the trading book.
My second role is to make markets for our clients, which constitute hedge funds, institutional funds, etc. Finally, I try to generate trading strategies that will most effectively deploy the bank’s capital toward generating superior returns.

Me: What are some common misconceptions about your job?
KS: I think one of the most common misconceptions about the job is that there are pre-conceived notions on how a trader should be..
Super aggresive, Loud, Math geeks, great with excel skills are just a few of them. In reality.. there is no standard characteristics..
Everyone is different and the most quiet ones can be the best of traders as well. Whats important is your passion for the role and the ability absorb presssure when your trades go against you and yet be able to think clearly.

Me: Typical education qualification required??
KS: There is no typical qualifications required for what I do. We have traders from the most diverse backgrounds having sudied the most varied courses.
Economic background helps to understand the macro picture better but thats not a pre-requisite. Everything that you need for the job you get to learn when you start.

Me: What are the skills sets required to do well in this profile?
KS: Necessary skills for this role include the ability to work under pressure, to think clearly and to act quickly.
You need to be a fast decision maker. Moreover, I think you need to be passionate about numbers to be in a trading role as you are dealing with them all the time.

Me: Can you talk about pros and cons of this profile?
KS: I love the work I do because it gives me immense satisfaction.
From time to time, my job can be very busy and I don’t have time to stop – and it can be difficult to forget about it.
But, there are no two days that are the same, and I learn something new every single day. There is always so much to learn and there is nothing stopping you from growing.
The only thing stopping you from getting more responsibility is yourself. If you can demonstrate an ability to handle things well, you will be given more responsibility.
Hence your success is pretty much in your hands which I think is a great plus.

Me: Can you recommended some good books? (like bibles for doing well in this profession)
KS: These are few good books
Dynamic Hedging- Taleb
Fooled by Randomness Taleb
Option Futures and Other Derivatives- Hull

Me: Thank you Kanishk for answering these questions. Readers, hope you enjoyed this edition of Coffee With Experts with Kanishk. Click here for previous episodes of Coffee with Experts
Have a jolly weekend!!




  • Ashutosh Didwania said:

    Good one!
    I had similar misconceptions about an equity derivative trader. Glad that the reality is different from what I thought it is.

    Chief Evangelist
    In The Orbit.

  • Prashant said:

    Hi Sundar,

    You have been tagged ;)and Please collect your Blog awards too.,. 🙂



  • aiyappa said:

    Hi Sundar

    I came across u website thru googling … well its informative portal helps in understanding various professions… well i have suggestion can u come up with platform/solution for the people who struck in some career domain and find completely lost not knowing wht to do… can u set a platform where experienced professional will advise people after going thru their profile what to do .. Or like advising best career opportunity. For eg I post resume for derivative trader and experienced proff will tell if can really take up or not based on previous experience

  • Sheena Rai said:

    Nice Interview

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