TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
- There has been a push within Barclays over the past few months for its equity traders to learn the coding language Python.
- The goal is to empower traders to run post-trade analysis for their own clients, as opposed to asking Barclay’s small team of quants, to do it.
It’s time to go back to school for members of Barclays’ equities trading desk.
The bank has been encouraging and enabling its traders to learn how to code in the programming language Python in recent months. Daniel Nehren, Barclays’ head of statistical modeling and development for equities, told Business Insider the goal is to have traders develop and run their own post-trade analysis, as opposed to relying on Nehren’s team of roughly 30 quants to do it for them.
Doing so will free up Nehren’s team to have more time to analyze post-trade reports and make adjustments to improve how the bank executes trades for clients.
It’s a move that indicates a shift in how the bank services clients — gone are the days of on-size-fits-all. Clients of the British bank, which has one of the fastest growing stock trading teams in the industry, don’t want to be overburdened with a 40-page document that covers more information than they need, Nehren said. Instead, they’re interested in specific analysis geared exactly towards what they are looking for.
The issue, however, is that Nehren’s team only has so much time and resources.
"You have to find a way to balance, essentially, that bespoke resource-intensive view with the reality of, we are not going to have 500 quants running post-trade analytics for everybody," Nehren said.
Barclays is setting up traders with code, template examples and blogs and online training classes they can watch to teach themselves how to code. No formal classes are held, but Nehren said his team is happy to sit down with any of the traders to talk through issues they are having or to help them code.
One of Python’s key benefits is its readability. Unlike other coding languages, Python can be more easily understood by those without a background in programming. Just because it is easily digestible doesn’t mean it has sacrificed any power, though. Python can be used for machine learning and data analysis.
Sign up here for our weekly newsletter "Wall Street Insider," a behind-the-scenes look at the stories dominating banking, business, and big deals.
The language has become increasingly popular within the finance community. According to a recent GitHub report ranking the top technologies favored by its community, Python was the third most popular programming language.
Nehren also said he believes traders will be able to offer suggestions for improvements to algos the bank is using as they gain better insight through their Python programs.
"As we give them the depth of being able to look at what these algos do and how they behave, the innovation comes actually from this cross-pollination," Nehren said. "The depth of partnership that just this effort has brought between my team and the coverage team and sales team, I think that just could be a game changer on its own.
Barclays’ equities business posted $614 million in 2018 third quarter revenue, an 33% increase from the year-ago period. It will report fourth quarter results later in February.
- A top venture investor that’s backed companies like Bird and TheRealReal explains why CBD is primed to explode
- BB&T’s acquisition of SunTrust will create the sixth-largest bank in the US
- One of the largest US marijuana companies scooped up a fashion-forward brand known as the ‘Hermes of Marijuana’ in the latest pot M&A deal
Source: Business Insider