Role: Head of European Execution
Business area: Trading & Securities Financing (TSF)
Nationality: French
Location: Paris

How did you come to work at AXA IM?

After having worked four years on the sell side for various brokerage firms, I wanted to join a trading desk at an asset manager to bring new ways of trading using my previous experiences. I joined AXA IM in 1998 as a European Equity Trader based in Paris. The position allowed me to gain a transversal view on client requirements and I think it's a real added value to have seen both sides.  After 3 years, I moved to London remaining in the same team.  In 2004, I returned to Paris.  I took up my current role in 2006.

What do you currently do?

The TSF Equity Trading, within which I work, acts as an intermediary between AXA Investment Managers fund managers and the market. Our team is the first point of contact for the fund managers.

In the morning, before the market opens, I'm in contact with brokers who provide us with the latest micro and macroeconomic information about the European, US and Asian markets. My role is to gather information about the markets and work closely with the fund managers keeping them abreast of the latest market trends in the European market, which helps them to make the decision to buy and sell securities.  My team and I then execute those trading decisions.

What do you like about your job?

I like being at the centre of what is going on and that each day is different. What makes my role interesting is being part of the investment process and working with the team of experienced traders in a fast paced environment.

My position requires a lot of energy, drive and the ability to work under pressure. In addition, being able to build and maintain a trusting relationship with the fund managers and mutually support one another in the team is essential. During the day, I am focused on the market, but when I finish work I unwind and catch up socially with colleagues.

I like being in the nerve centre of what is going on and having to face the unexpected. That's what makes my job interesting: it is always changing, it surprises me. I also enjoy the part of my job which involves contact with people both internally, with managers, and externally with our counterparts.

My position requires a lot of self-control, reactivity and dynamism. We undergo a lot of pressure from fund managers and the market is constantly on the move, so we need to be quick and efficient. I stay concentrated all day, but when I finish work I step back and think about other things.

Interview led in 2006.