Conference Dailys TRADETech Daily 2018 - Page 13

THETRADETECH DA I LY THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF TRADETECH 2018 There are a lot of trust issues around gender for various reasons that need to be built up, but the industry is going about that the right way. woman and women were certainly becoming more successful in the industry, which I view as a very significant moment in my career,” Conn adds. Following the global financial cri- sis, and having worked at Atticus Capital and Instinet, Conn joined Barings Asset Manage- ment, before moving to Edinburgh to work at Baillie Gifford in his current role. an opportunity and the general premise of transparency is one that should be applauded. Conn says he has been encouraged by the pragmatic approach regulators have taken to ensure that whilst there’s transparency in the industry’s processes, there is an understand- ing that transparency in trading is not always a good thing. disadvantaged, something he says is his biggest fear. Conn considers navigating that new market structure and the rise in passive investing as other challenges for the buy-side at the moment. “We have to be sure we have access to suffi- cient liquidity and have to be open to change; I think that’s probably the biggest thing. “One of the Baillie Gifford shared beliefs is that we should promote the highest standards of service and professional behaviours to help enhance the reputation of the investment industry. I think there are a lot of trust issues around gender for various reasons that need to be built up, but the industry is going about that the right way. The fact it is a meritocra- cy is perhaps its biggest single strength. It’s great there are far more opportunities for women in the industry and women are very much treated as equals. I have worked now for three female bosses and I think it’s great.” Conn, like any other senior buy-sider, has his views on the MiFID II regulation although he takes a more positive slant than perhaps others would. He believes it’s “Probably the biggest take-away of the last two years has been the way that different parts of the industry have collaborated to try and come up with sensible solutions that ben- efit the end investor. Yes we have dark pool caps and we may all have our different views on those, but we do have a structure and it’s interesting to see how firms are looking to address the way we will be trading equities moving forward and doing so in a compliant fashion,” Conn says. Speaking to some of his trading counter- parts, bodies like the Investment Associa- tion and his head of trading peers, Conn is confident there are sufficiently smart people out there to ensure the industry will end up with a market structure where clients aren’t The buy-side must be prepared to adapt to a new paradigm and those firms who are more prepared to embrace change I think they will benefit, whether that’s change through technology or the way people do things. It’s difficult to tell but I think if a firm has the right ethics and ability to embrace change they will be in a stro ng position,” he says. “As asset managers we are acting a fiduciary on behalf of other people. We need to set a positive example not just within our industry but within our communities as well. Our actions and our behaviours should support society as a whole. The industry has tight- ened its controls and we are moving in the right direction to uphold and promote those standards.” Issue 1 13