Sales and trading is the backbone of an investment securities firm. Be it a stock brokerage, investment bank or a hedge fund - if a firm cannot sell its services, then it is unable to do business, and if it cannot trade well, then it becomes difficult to attract and retain clients. The United States continues to lead the global markets with 40.01% of the entire world stock market capitalization.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the biggest on Wall Street, with more than 2,400 companies trading on it, and 1.6 billion shares traded every day, it’s a hive of activity. With a combined market capitalization of approximately $30.1tn (as of November 2019), it significantly dwarfs its nearest rival, the Nasdaq (market cap of around $13tn) as the largest stock exchange in the world. The NYSE is also the oldest stock exchange in the United States - founded when brokers signed the “Buttonwood Agreement” on May 17, 1792.
Technology and data are of key importance in Sales & Trading. Greenwich Associates report that over $300m was spent in 2018 on everything from alternative data, to pre-trade transparency, to indexing, to real-time market data. Going forward top trading talent will need to be able to gather more of the right data, use tools like AI and machine learning, to analyze it and act on it in real time. Technology plays a vital role in this as 61% of institutional traders indicated they use a trading app when surveyed in 2018. Associations such as the Foreign Exchange Professionals Association and the Fixed Income Analysts Society Inc. focus on research and advocacy to make sure their members have the education and skills to thrive in a competitive trading market. The Global Financial Market Association is also exploring how financial institutions are incorporating sustainable finance products and services in order to maintain the trading industry’s growth.