First Name: Silas
Position: Senior Trader
Education: Master of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Nationality: Hong Kong Chinese
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Toronto and Hong Kong, and went to a UK boarding school for the last two years of my secondary education. I studied Manufacturing Engineering at university but I decided to go into finance upon graduation. I joined Eclipse as a trainee trader back in 2011.
In which activities, organizations or hobbies were you involved during your studies?
I played football at a competitive level throughout my student life. The highlight would be my two years in boarding school where I got to travel around the UK on Saturdays for away matches. At university I played the electric guitar in a band. Our repertoire consisted mainly of Asian pop and rock covers.
Why did you get into trading and choose market making?
Although I studied Engineering in university, I tried out summer internships in a number of different industries, including consulting, manufacturing and finance. Out of these experiences, it was finance – particularly the role of a trader – that attracted me the most. I love the fast pace and the gaming element. It feels good when you make money, knowing that you have outsmarted the market.
Why did you join Eclipse?
I was really impressed by the traders during my interview at Eclipse. I had a chance to talk to other junior traders and learn about their work and the company culture. I liked how Eclipse gives trainees their own book to trade if they pass the three month training program.
Could you tell us about your work and your typical day?
I am currently trading the Taiwan options market. I usually get in at around 7:30 am, having caught up on the news on the way to work. The pantry is well stocked with a wide variety of breakfast options and I have my breakfast at my desk, while getting ready for trading. The Taiwan options market opens at 8:45 am and ends at 1:45 pm. After trading I take an hour’s break, either getting some food or hitting the gym. I then go back to the office and work on projects or analysis.
Why do you like working at Eclipse?
People here are smart and fun to hang out with. Hierarchy is very flat and you are encouraged to voice your opinions or trading ideas, even if you are just a trainee. Every trader has his own strengths and interests. I personally like looking into new strategies or products. Eclipse offers traders opportunities to try out different markets and projects, and gives traders a lot of freedom to develop their own strengths and interests.
What unique experiences or projects have you been involved in at Eclipse?
In 2015, I was given an opportunity to train a trainee trader who passed the three month training program and began trading. Being a trainer added a new dimension to my job and also helped develop my soft skills.
What is unique about Eclipse?
Eclipse is a small and compact organisation compared to the banks. Again, the hierarchy is flat. As a trader, you work closely with every department in the company to develop new strategies or IT capabilities. Whenever I come up with an interesting idea, I can just walk across to the other side of the office and start discussing with the developers and quants.
What qualities must you have to be part of the Eclipse trading team?
To be a trader, you must be quick witted, able to work under pressure and diligent. Strong mathematical and analytical skills are essential. At Eclipse, you also need to be a good team player. Even though every trader has their own individual book, we work closely as a team.
How is Eclipse different from other market makers?
Eclipse has strong IT infrastructure and algo trading capabilities, but we still put a lot of emphasis on volatility trading and using each trader’s own judgment.