Cheryl Cargie, head trader at buy-side fund manager Ariel Investments in Chicago, said that while the buy side is looking for more from its sales trader coverage, it depends on whether a buy side trader is representing a passive or active strategy. For a veteran with over 20 years in trading and representing all of Ariel’s trading strategies, Cargie wants a sales trader who will partner with her and be proactive.
“For a traditional trader like me, I want my sales traders to pay attention to my order and not just ‘set it and forget it’,” Cargie said. “I need them to be an extension of me.”
High-Touch Sales Traders Go Electronic
(MarketsMedia) By, Senior Editor · —
Today’s high-touch or cash sales traders are looking to electronic trading tools and skill sets to stay relevant in today’s equity market structure.
Born out of a “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality, sales traders are increasingly learning about electronic trading tools to cater to the buy side’s increasing appetite for technology along with human interaction. If not, more traders could find themselves out of work in a persistently difficult job market.
According to a recent report from Greenwich Associates, the human touch in trading is still as important as ever, even in a largely electronic marketplace. As the buy side looks to their brokers for an increasing array of services, simply acting as an order taker is no longer enough to ensure return business. The sell-side sales desk must provide proactive suggestions, understand market structure and offer clients advice on how to best leverage trading technology. And that is something an algorithm or smart order router simply cannot do.
Re-enter the human sales trader.
Kevin McPartland, head of market structure and technology research at Greenwich Associates, told Markets Media that new buy-side demands are being handled by a smaller sales force than 10 years ago. So in order to provide a high level of service to the buy side and keep its business, the remaining top-notch sales desks are leveraging technology “not only to help clients trade, but to better understand their customers’ portfolios, trading habits and profitability.” He added that technology does not replace human intuition in this case, but instead enhances the abilities already present on the desk.
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