UBS is building up its derivatives-focused technology headcount in Hong Kong as it looks to improve automation and cement its position as one of Asia’s leading derivatives players.
The Swiss bank, which was named top equity derivatives house at the Asia Risk awards for the fourth year running last week, has been hiring Hong Kong-based technologists to work on its derivatives platform, say local IT recruiters. It currently has three derivatives Java developer vacancies on its careers website.
UBS’s Asia equities business is using machine learning and artificial intelligence models, developed by teams in Hong Kong and Shanghai, to improve and automate pricing accuracy, hedging effectiveness, volumes and risk recycling, according to Risk.net. “We have enhanced and streamlined pricing, order-taking, documentation and post-trade analytics,” Vikesh Kotecha, head of equity derivatives at UBS in Hong Kong, told the website.
If you want a derivatives tech job at UBS in Hong Kong right now, you’ll want to be a Java developer. Two of the firm’s current Java openings in the function require, “working on a trading platform covering numerous APAC markets, including warrants, listed options, ETF market making and algorithmic trading”, according to the bank’s careers site.
Moving into a derivatives tech job from a Google or a Tencent is likely to be difficult, however. UBS’s developers work directly with its traders and preferably come with experience of real-time trading platforms (within warrants, listed options, futures, and market making). Knowledge of market-link technology, in particular the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol, will also help you get into UBS, and once there the core-build technology you’ll be using includes Java, Oracle, Linux, Ant and TeamCity.
UBS’s recent investment in derivatives technology is helping it handle strong growth in listed warrants and callable bull bear contracts within its Hong Kong business.
It also comes as UBS and other global banks eye up expansion of their derivatives operations in Hong Kong and Singapore. Asia typically makes up less than 10% of the global over-the-counter derivatives market, with London serving as a large booking centre for Asian trading. But banks are now considering whether more Asian trades should be booked locally because British and European regulations – and Brexit – are making the UK a less appealing hub for Asian derivatives.
As we’ve previously reported, this could create more derivatives trading and technology jobs over the next few years. “There would certainly be significantly increased spend on both front and back-end tech at banks in Asia,” Warwick Pearmund, associate director of emerging technologies at Pure Search in Hong Kong, told us.
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