3 min read

Excellence in Trading Platforms: Regina Tan, Tradeweb

Excellence in Trading Platforms: Regina Tan, Tradeweb

"Particularly in Asia, there is lots of potential for further electronification of trading workflows across different asset classes and products."

Markets Media spoke with Regina Tan, Director, Institutional Sales at Tradeweb, who won Excellence in Trading Platforms at the 2023 Women in Finance Asia Awards.

Regina 2

Can you please tell me what is your day to day role?

Advocating electronic trading and its benefits for buy-side investors is the very essence of my role as a director of institutional sales at Tradeweb. Particularly in Asia, there is lots of potential for further electronification of trading workflows across different asset classes and products, including government and corporate bonds, interest rate derivatives and exchange-traded funds.

Every day I strive to help clients access and manage liquidity more efficiently, and also to enhance and streamline their trading processes. Having worked in fixed income markets for more than 16 years helps me to better understand their needs and pain points, and then to identify the right solutions for them.

As I am based in Singapore, I primarily look after local institutions including asset managers, hedge funds, private banks and family offices. Two of our newest product offerings in Singapore include global credit trading and portfolio trading. One of my key objectives has been to show traders operating in these markets how to achieve time and cost efficiencies by using functionality that better informs their trading strategies and improves their access to liquidity.

Market conditions have been volatile, but what have you found to be the most challenging?

Institutional investors have had a tough time navigating the extreme market conditions of the last few years.  Most of my clients trade multiple asset classes and products, and they all seem to agree that access to liquidity has been their main challenge when markets turn awry.

As a multi-asset electronic trading platform, Tradeweb has the advantage of offering clients a wide range of trading protocols and solutions that cater to different market environments and liquidity conditions. We serve as a one stop shop, enabling clients to trade the 40+ products available on our platform using a single interface.

Another big ask from clients is execution efficiency, and I have found that our rules-based automated intelligent execution tool (AiEX) has proven instrumental when traders need to focus on more complex transactions. One of the most popular AiEX features in Asia is what we call ‘Time Release’. Exactly five years ago, we became the first dealer-to-client platform to enable traders to schedule transactions outside of Asia trading hours or at market close, which helps improve execution quality and outcomes.

What skillsets are required for today and have they changed over the past couple of years?

A growth mindset is an absolute must for anyone aiming to be successful. Also, a willingness to continuously upskill and expand one’s knowledge is very important, particularly given the rapidly evolving environment. One of the lessons learnt from the pandemic is that we must embrace change rather than resist it.  The successful transition to remote working highlighted the value of adaptability and at Tradeweb, we saw that translate into behavioural change leading to faster adoption of electronic trading workflows.

Another skill that is becoming increasingly relevant is emotional intelligence. Aside from facilitating more meaningful and fruitful interactions with colleagues and clients alike, it can also help individuals boost their performance and thrive even in high-pressure situations.

How did you get started in financial services and is this the career you envisioned? If not, what had been the plan?

I started my career in 1995, working as a trainee at J.P. Morgan in New York. For an Asian woman to enter that prestigious Graduate Program felt like a huge achievement at the time, and it helped consolidate my knowledge in the financial markets. Next, I spent six months working for JPM in the futures and options pit of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. This was a great learning opportunity and a thorough introduction to how markets operate.

When I returned to Singapore, I began to cover central banks, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and asset managers – first for JPM and then for UBS and Credit Suisse - further deepening my understanding of the fixed income space. My current role at Tradeweb, which I joined last year, allows me to leverage my sell-side experience to promote the use of Tradeweb and electronic trading in general across fixed income products.

Is this the career I envisioned for myself? Absolutely. I have had a wonderful journey so far, and I am fortunate to be part of an industry where I don’t stop learning. My job has also provided me with a sense of fulfilment, as everything I do is aimed at making our clients’ jobs and lives easier.

How does your firm support women and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in general?

Our Global Women’s Network continues to encourage employees – men and women – to push the discussion of diversity forward and develop initiatives that actively promote equality and inclusion. It also regularly hosts employee and client events addressing a variety of topics and, more recently, introduced a Breakthrough Leader Awards program to recognize and celebrate female clients who are driving change within the industry.

In addition, Tradeweb offers company training modules to support the continued education for employees, including fixed income training sessions. Last year, we launched our Women in Tech Network, which aims to empower our women employees working in technology through recruitment, networking, leadership and career development opportunities.

We also boast a very energetic Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, which was created to help educate our people on what truly inclusive behavior entails, while encouraging employees to share their own experiences and cultures, not just internally but also with our wider community.

 

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