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REVIEW MY CV: Help! I’m stuck in a prop shop

I’m currently working in a proprietary trading house, and am looking for a role as a junior equities analyst, trading assistant, or desk assistant. – Basically anything that could get me a foot in the door into the front office! I like to be around the people that are making the decisions and running the desks, from whom I can learn.


Passed CFA Level 3


MSWindows 3.1/95/98/00/ME/NT/XP/03/07/Vista, Pastel, MSExcel, MSWord, MSAccess, PowerPoint, MSPublisher, MSFrontPage, Internet Explorer, MSOutlook, Bloomberg, Lotus Notes.

Previous Employment.

2009/10 –
UK Prop trading house

London, United Kingdom

Liquidity Provider/Trader – Nymex WTI

Responsibilities include:

· Formulate and execute fly and spread trading strategies.

· Liquidity provider for Nymex WTI Oil Futures

· Building and maintaining positive P&L while minimizing trading risk

· Creating and implementing profitable trading strategies

· Ability to articulate clear ideas/strategies both verbally and in writing

· Understanding of macro-economics and the drivers of economic trends

· Excellent understanding of settlement, variation margin, P&L statements and other operations issues

2009/02 –

2009/07 Big 4 Accounting firm

London, United Kingdom

Risk Analyst – AML

Responsibilities included:

· Research into AML Risks of companies and Individuals;

· Analysis of company structures and related AML issues;

· Liaising with branches and clients regarding business practices ;

· Streamlining the processes of a new business unit ;

2008/03 –

2009/01 US investment bank

London, United Kingdom

Exclusive Portfolio Analysis – Securities Lending – Sales and Marketing.

Responsibilities included:

· Responsible for pricing and valuation of exclusive portfolios for the dividend arbitrage and securities lending businesses.

· Manual entry of trades and corrections to groups of trades to make them more efficient.

· Liaising with back office and clients to fix breaks.

· Liaising with operations and traders on billing and portfolio setup.

· Risk reporting of exclusives portfolios to the desk and compliance.

· Performing calculations for renegotiations of exclusives with lenders and resultant co-ordination with operations and finance.

· Providing support to controllers on exclusives reporting and reconciliations.

· Generating a reporting system for the current positions of the Funding desk.

· Designing and preparing reports for traders showing outstanding positions, efficiencies and various other metrics they request throughout the day.

· Producing a Marketing Information pack for marketing drive to new markets.


2006- 2008 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exams – Passed All 3 levels on first attempts.

2002/02 –

2005/12 University, South Africa

Bachelor of Business Science (Hons) Finance

· Majoring in Accounting, Economics and Honors in Finance.

· Covering Law, Business strategy and Information Systems.


Kite surfing, Snowboarding and surf skiing. Trail running, Whitewater canoeing and scuba diving. I love been outdoors and pushing myself to my physical limits.
Reading history and science books, books about amazing people and events that changed history and from which we can gain inspiration.

Comments (24)

  1. You’ve changed jobs too often – you need to stick to a job for 2 years otherwise you’ll just like flighty.

  2. Were you in prison in 2006-2008?

  3. Your CV doesn’t make sense.

    1) Use consistent/complete/UK date formats.
    2) Is all you were doing between 05-08 CFA exams?
    3) Bank -> Big 4 -> Prop Shop doesn’t really compute.

    Why are you leaving the prop shop? Your pedigree isn’t fantastic for trading at a top bank/hf, and if you’re decent there’s no reason you shouldn’t make decent cash where you are. If your performance is really solid, you can probably make the HF transition later.

  4. Your IT skills are pathetic, and even more so when you list them on your CV that way.

  5. little wrong with the CV ..Decent Academics and a logical although unexciting career history…..but for goodness sake..get rid of the Interestd or a least use a spellcheck and use some Grammar (no pot to kettle comments please !)
    Also ..what happened between end of Uni and your apparent first job..you cannot cover sucha large gap with “studying for the CFA Exams”
    You have now found the Glass Ceiling ! It is very hard although not impossible to migrate form a Prop Shop to mainstream..but you will need to work hard and probably step back to risk to make the move
    Good Luck

  6. What was your Job title at your first Banking role,

    I wouldn’t hire you because your CV doesn’t make sense.

  7. I think that it’s rather audacious of you to consider an FO role, when the credentials are simply not there.

    Getting a masters will do you no favours…

    All is not a loss…

    The only realistic way for you to enter mainstream is by proving yourself… Your only realistic option is to excel in your current position… If you can make money, capital will find you!

  8. I agree with the comments about job hopping. Your current employment does not seem too terrible. If you do move again within the next 12-18 months, make it somewhere you want to stay for 3-5 years.

    The bit about your choice of reading matter sounds a bit cheesy. No need to list all the versions of WIndows, either.

  9. comments here are pathetic. All of them come from headhunters or from young banksters…

    Why do you want to go in a Bank? Banks barely do any prop trading at all. Stay put and make money, the end result and process will be far better and more exciting

  10. Only list relevant IT skills. IT skills in Windows and Outlook are taken for granted if you’ve ever worked on a computer. You may have learned VBA or some other useful programming language so list that and get rid of anything on your CV that doesn’t catch someone’s eye and isn’t results oriented. Trading is a results oriented position, so it would help to list some major achievements or where you helped make money and how.

    Could you also give me some advice about working in a Prop Shop as I wouldn’t mind working for a decent one if they do some Market Making? I’m trying to get in trading so any advice that you or the other guys on here have rather than just applying to the Grad programs would be helpful. Thanks :)

  11. I wouldn’t bother with listing all the old Windows versions; knowledge of them just isn’t relevant – it just makes you sound old when you remember Windows 3.1 (says the guy who still has a copy of MS-DOS 2.1 somewhere)

  12. Interests made me feel physically ill… But what really got me was having to read “Internet Explorer” under the heading computer literacy… Come on mate – your better than that. And while we’re playing the honesty game… let’s face it, you’re not really a prop trader are you? You’re in some sort of middle office role, right?

  13. I can’t work this out. You seem to be another tedious full of yourself antipodean back office grunt for the most part, you emphasise your low level IT “skills” and I seriously doubt your SA degree is worth more than toilet paper.

    But then you imply you are a hot shot prop trader, making money, defining strategies blah blah blah.

    So if thats true stay put and make money, why leave? if not then you are just another lying sack of useless puke which is what I strongly suspect.

    If you do leave head straight for settlements, forget front office, I wouldn’t hire you to even make my tea and enter my trades.

  14. I’m not agree with most of these answers.

    I find your cv really interesting, for me it means that you are curious, open minded, and able to do a lot of jobs.

    I know at least one hedge fund managar who could be really interested by your cv.

    Working in investment bank, accounting firm, prop trading house, well done.

    Are you agree with me when i say that you’re able to work in different companies, industries, or is it that you don’t know yet what to do in your life ?

    Forget all bad comments. Most of them suck up to their boss.

  15. Here are my thoughts:

    What are your trading results, put that down or at least allude to them through sharpe ratio, VaR, risk/reward ratio etc. (you can exaggerate here ) Also, any trader I know would call themselves a market maker……you are talking like someone who is unfamiliar with trading terminology (save for your fly spreads reference!) Things like clear articulation of trading strats needs to be taken out, that is a given, what about things like curve construction, risk management etc

    Def need to fill in the 3 year gap, if you were either partying ridiculously or detained against your will then put simply, LIE! talk to some friends at a local company who would be willing to provide a reference for you if necessary…..although no-one is realistically going to check unless you say you worked for a multi-national or well-known firm.

  16. You can make the move from a prop house but be prepared to take a step back. I did as I was a trader’s assistant at a US ib but and the but is big, it will take a combination of luck, high performance, networking and sheer bloodymindedness to get into front office….especially since FO is now harder than ever to get into. I tried but couldn’t initially so it may be worth considering doing a Msc/MBA at a decent bus school (I did). I now trade for a hedge fund so that goes to show that everyone else on here that says you can’t do it are idiots!! yes it is hard but doing EVERYTHING possible to get into the job can make all the difference! obviously there are people who will stroll onto an analyst or associate grad scheme but the vast majority are not in this bracket so my final piece of advice is DON’T GIVE UP!!

    final points, list experience in years…especially useful when job-hopping!!! also, things like trail running are fine, things like reading about amazing people….. you sound like a teenager! And finally, your grammar needs drastic improvement, been is not being, you pass things at the first attempt not on!

  17. Why oh why does everyone want to be an equities analyst – I have been an ER since 1996 on the buy and sell side. Believe me it is not an easy nor fun job sometimes if your sector is in the toilet. The skill set required is one of a geek, an intellectual. Stay at your prop shop and make some decent money.

  18. This doesn’t add up. Liquidity provider in WTI working in London but no Brent/WTI arb? No Brent trading at all?No flat trading either?
    You, sir, are a greedy Saafer middle office person , job hopping to the next big pay packet who can’t make money in spreads and has gaping holes in your CV.

  19. ‘2006- 2008 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exams – Passed All 3 levels on first attempts. ‘

    Well, you should know then that saying that you passed them all on 1st attemp is a violation of the Code of Conduct

  20. Yeah I agree with many comments. Stay where you are. Prop Shop great and move to a HF at some time.

  21. You are taking the Mikal aren’t you? Do you still convert Sterling to Rand when you shop at Pound Stretcher?

  22. ‘2006- 2008 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exams – Passed All 3 levels on first attempts. ‘

    Well, you should know then that saying that you passed them all on 1st attemp is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

    Well Dai, since you are probably studying for the CFA level I exam, you better read the book againg, since it is NOT a violation of the Code of Conduct to state that you passed all exams on the first attempt.

  23. Insert your comment here (under 1200 characters)…’2006- 2008 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exams – Passed All 3 levels on first attempts. ‘

    Well, you should know then that saying that you passed them all on 1st attemp is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

    Well Dai, since you are probably studying for the CFA level I exam, you better read the book againg, since it is NOT a violation of the Code of Conduct to state that you passed all exams on the first attempt.

  24. @Dai – saying that you passed all CFA on 1st attempt is not actually a violation of the Code of Conduct. It is only a violation if you then imply that you have a superior level of ability as a consquence of this.

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