TD Securities is the Wholesale Banking division of TD, the Canadian headquartered Financial Services firm now ranked sixth largest bank in North America. As its operations in Asia grow they continue to recruit new talent.
TD consolidated its trading and risk management operations for Asia in Singapore a number of years ago; while it recently opened a base in Tokyo, it also has established operations in Hong Kong.
Enda Kilcullen, Managing Director of Equity Derivatives Trading for Asia Pacific, explains: “We have been growing solidly year-on-year in terms of both revenue and the people that we have on the ground. We will continue to consider areas into which we can extend our product capability and recruit the trading talent that fits around that.”
The firm has a reputation for embracing technology, and in his Derivatives trading business Kilcullen values candidates with a background in both programming and financial markets. Kilcullen explains: “Asia is becoming an increasingly important market for our clients, and as a result of that it is becoming an increasingly important market for TD. “We have to make sure that we have the products systems and people to meet the growth and demand that are anticipated.”
Kilcullen explains that while technology is a disrupter, it also brings many positives in trading, particularly in terms of enabling scale and automation; TD plans to harness that potential as it develops. “Technology is the key word in the industry these days. We are going through a constant multi-year development platform change through all parts of the business, from our backend operations to our middle office and into our front office to ensure we have sufficient scalable platforms to be able to meet the client demand."
“I am excited by the changes we will see around automation in terms of how we manage our trading books and trading risk,” he says.
TD recently launched a round-the-clock trading model for its clients. “This offers client access across all of the various jurisdictions that TD operates out of, and it gives us an ability to offer clients North American products in Asian hours in their time zone, and offer more of an all-round service model for clients that meets their needs,” Kilcullen explains.
TD’s global equities derivatives business has been in growth mode since TD came to Singapore, and Kilcullen expects this to continue as the bank considers additional products which can be delivered in the region.
As a result, it is looking to recruit someone to work on its Global Equities Derivatives team who has a good blend of business and IT programming skills. “We are in the market looking to fill that hire with someone with a strong quantitative technical background coupled with the right aptitude, and with some markets experience to bring to the platform. They will get the opportunity to be instrumental in helping with the next build-out phase of our business,” Kilcullen says.
TD is also looking to recruit a similar skills blend for its Markets intern programme. It is looking for candidates with programming capabilities but also a strong aptitude for financial markets. Culture is also hugely important at TD, so it wants people with the right attitude and a positive outlook to fit in at the organisation.
Kilcullen says: “TD’s intern programme has been hugely successful. The depth of talent that we have been able to tap into from the universities here in Singapore has exceeded my expectations. The enthusiasm, technical knowledge, and understanding of the candidates is fantastic.”
Successful candidates are invited to work in the business for six months, where they become an integral part of TD. “We bring them up to speed on all the trade management. They undertake big projects to help build that understanding and we then look to the future to see if they are potential candidates that we can consider for full time roles once they complete their studies,” Kilcullen says.
“In terms of opportunities, the business is growing here in Asia and we are constantly looking for talent to join the platform. We have had multiple successful additions to the team at all levels over the past five to six years”.
Kilcullen has spent the majority of his career with TD, and he thinks it is a great place to work.
“It is a fantastic organisation. It is a well-run, well-orchestrated machine, and it provides great opportunities for people who come in who can embrace the culture, who have a strong work ethic and who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved,” he says.
“People tend to stay with the platform for some time and that is a testament to what TD is and its culture and what it brings to the market.”