You're a trader working in cash equities, equity derivatives, FX, rates, credit, or commodities. Which bank should you work for if you want to surround yourself with supremely talented colleagues who can make money in almost any market? Research firm Tricumen offers some pointers.
Instead of looking simply at banks' trading revenues by product, Tricumen compares banks' trading revenues and trading profits with the amount of risk they take (as measured by Value at Risk). This has a few advantages. A bank that takes big risks to achieve big revenues and big profits could be a fun and interesting place to work, but it might also be volatile and prone to blow-ups. The traders who achieve the big profits at this big risk-taking bank might just be using the bank's big risk appetite as a proxy for their own trading skills. In a lower-risk environment they might be totally inept.
Instead, the most skillful traders will be those who can make big profits even when they're working for a bank whose risk appetite is very low. On this basis, it looks the best traders on a product-by-product basis can be found working for the banks below.
As ever, J.P. Morgan comes out on top. Cynics will point out that Value at Risk (VaR) is a fallible measure of banks' riskiness. This is true. Equally true, however, is that VaR is the only measure of risk employed across different banks. It may be open to manipulation, but it's still all we've got.