James Corcoran is celebrating 7 years with the Firm. See below his impressive FD story..
“I joined FD as part of the first ever Options intake in June 2009. There were six of us, the largest ever intake at the time, including two of my good friends from college – Shaun and Kindy. We drove up to Newry the day before our start date and found our way to the office after popping into the Canal Court to ask for directions. We didn’t know it then, but our new home would go on to become a focal point of the Newry nightlife scene for many generations of graduates to come.
We had our induction to the company the next day. Brian hammered home the importance of Basic Concepts 1, Paul gave us a masterclass in the art of tying a tie, and Graham told us how FD had acquired two companies in the two short months since he had joined as CFO. We got the sense that this was an exciting time to be joining a fast-growing company.
My first project involved a trip out to MRP headquarters in Philadelphia, where I worked on building an analytics platform for FD’s digital marketing arm. To anyone who has had to maintain or enhance that code over the subsequent years – I apologise.
It was then time to join the sarcastically named Brain Trust team (known these days as the Swat team) in Newry along with fellow Optioners. Outrageous amounts of responsibility were placed on our shoulders. If there’s something about FD that hasn’t changed over the years, it is the trust and confidence we place in our talented young engineers. You could say that we “learned by doing”. And to this day, none of us wants to take responsibility for a certain bug which caused us to stay up until 4am fixing it the night before we went live. It’s amazing how wrong things can go in the world of high frequency trading when you multiply by a large number instead of divide by it. Character building, they say.
Two short weeks later, it was my turn to travel. Victoria gave me a generous 48 hours notice to get my bags packed for a six month project in Sydney. I flew out that weekend. When I arrived, I was given a seat on the trading desk on the 23rd floor and had a view overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge. Initially I thought I was dreaming, or perhaps suffering from severe jetlag. What a place to work! By day, I worked in a team to help build out the Asian part of the bank’s global analytics product. By night and at weekends, I embraced the Australian lifestyle. Six months turned into a year, and I then moved to London to help build out the European part of the bank’s system.
Next up was a stint on the FX time series team in a Top Tier Investment Bank in London. A lateral move to the FX eTrading desk ensued before taking some time out with a six month sabbatical. At this point I should mention that I’m one of the growing number of individuals who met their partners in FD. Ann and I headed off to South America together. Our wedding is scheduled for next year.
Upon returning to FD, I joined the product team, initially working on projects using FD software for clients. These days, I concentrate on growing FD’s product business in London where I run our European pre-sales and solutions engineering teams. My current role involves interaction with many different departments: working closely with R&D to stay abreast of the latest product capabilities, with clients to customise our software and build out solutions tailored to their needs, with our sales teams to pitch our software to prospective clients, with our marketing team to ensure we get the right content onto our website and social media platforms, and with our recruitment team to help attract the best talent to the firm. There’s still a lot of travel as well, and in the last year alone, I have been as far west as Arizona, and as far east as Moscow.
FD have invested heavily in Kx technology in recent years, and we have amassed an impressive portfolio of solutions backed by world class technology and products. From winning financial industry awards for our Market Surveillance software, to genomic research, to analysing image data taken from satellites in space, our software is now powering some of the world’s biggest and most complex problems. We are entering a new and exciting phase as we rebrand our technology division and expand into new industries, and I am very much looking forward to being part of the growing Kx team in the FD family.”