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[ C O V E R S T O R Y | N E I L J O S E P H ] I n many ways Neil Joseph is a perfect advert for career mo- bility at JP Morgan Asset Management. The firm’s European head of equity trading first joined the business around the turn of the millennium on a placement year during his univer- sity studies, about the same time that JP Morgan was being acquired by Chase Manhattan in a $30 billion deal. Clearly the firm made a good impression on Joseph, who, freshly armed with a degree in Business Computing, re-joined the firm in 2002 as part of its graduate training scheme within the investment banking technology team working on fixed income. “After two years I moved over to asset management where I worked on trading technology, which was a really interesting time for me,” he says. “That’s where I started to get my interest in the trading side of what was going on. “At that time there were a lot of different changes going on in the trading space, so I was able to partner with the desk and work with them on the design of their future technology landscape and relevant platforms to address those changes that were happening both on the desk and in the wider industry.” Fifteen years after starting his initial role with JP Morgan, Joseph now heads up the European equity trading desk for the asset management business based on the northern embankment of London’s River Thames. But his earlier work with the technology side of JP Morgan Asset Management has formed a consistent vein running throughout his career and still represents a significant part of his remit for the desk. Within two years of joining the asset man- agement side of the business, Joseph had de- livered implementation of a fully FIX-integrat- ed execution management system and its first transaction-cost analysis system in the run-up to the arrival of the first MiFID regime in late 2007. The challenges that the new regulatory environment threw up for Joseph and his col- leagues at the time were mitigated through the adoption and continued development of these technologies designed to optimise efficacy and 24 // TheTrade // Summer 2018 execution. “Having delivered the relevant tools that we needed in terms of exe- cution management sys- tems connected through FIX and enhancements to our own proprietary order management systems, we then turned our focus to automa- tion, which was exciting,” Joseph recalls. “We implemented our first auto- mated trading system in July 2009, which was probably one of the first implementations of its kind. People now talk about the ‘algo wheel’ – whereby as well as selecting an algo it also selects the broker to use, giving consistent data for analytics and removing trader behavioural bias – and I think we were relatively early in building this type of functionality.” Co-locating talent Joseph transferred to the JP Morgan Asset Management trading desk in 2010, which now trades all European equity orders regard- less of where that order came from globally, comprised of three developed market specialists, two emerging market specialists, and three program and automated trad-