Having worked in the electronic trading business at Bank of America (BofA) since 2014, Anita Panchmatia is at the forefront of fast-moving innovation in market technology. Using data science and artificial intelligence, Anita is helping build a smarter electronic trading platform across the global equity business, as well as fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC).
We were excited to sit down with Anita to learn more about her career path, the importance of being a specialist versus a generalist, and why now is the time to join the financial services industry.
Please tell us about yourself and your role at Bank of America.
I am a Managing Director in the electronic trading business, a fast-changing and innovative space at the cutting edge of trading. My role is to drive revenue growth and enhance the client offering by delivering transformational technology solutions. Our product strategy typically employs new technologies and FinTech solutions. I work primarily on large-scale initiatives that span the global markets, collaborating closely with our technology and quant partners, in addition to our control partners worldwide.
I majored in computer science at the University of Warwick, which grounded me in system engineering and prepared me well for my early roles in technology. My ability to shift seamlessly between technical and business domains led to product roles on sales teams and in the chief operating office. The combination of technical and client-facing roles early in my career positioned me well for my current role.
How did you become involved in the electronic trading space?
My first exposure to electronic trading was as an intern at JPMorgan Chase. I subsequently joined the graduate scheme and helped build some of the first electronic trading platforms. The role combined my passion for financial markets and technology.
I joined the Private Wealth Management business at Goldman Sachs in 2003, working in London and New York. I joined BofA in 2011, initially in the wealth management business. I returned to electronic trading in 2014 in a global role spanning our equity and fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) businesses.
How has technology influenced your role at Bank of America?
Today, technology is integral to my role and the most exciting aspect of building electronic trading platforms. I work with FinTech partners that are innovating everywhere, from trading venues to client chatbots. We are using data science and artificial intelligence to make our trading strategies smarter. Electronic trading is an increasingly competitive and fast-evolving space, and technology is a real differentiator.
The strategy and governance skills acquired in my technology roles have equipped me to contribute to domains outside of financial services too. I draw on that experience in my Board Advisor and Non-Executive Director roles in the healthcare and ESG sectors.
Throughout your career, what challenges have you been presented with that you’ve had to overcome?
At the beginning of my career, I worked in the private banking and capital markets businesses in New York and London, with roles in technology and the front office. I enjoyed the breadth and variety of work, but it was challenging to develop a career plan and assume more responsibility with such a broad base of experience. I was lucky to find a sponsor – and a role model – who helped me think more strategically about my career choices. This led to me building expertise in one specialized area, electronic trading, which has been very satisfying and rewarding.
What advice would you give to people interested in working in the electronic trading industry or who desire to have a role in the technology sector?
First, play to your strengths. Capital markets is a broad domain and can accommodate many interests and skills, so marshal your energy towards aligning your job with your passion.
Second, be open to new challenges: put your hand up, seek opportunities and collaborate. At BofA, we have exceptional employee networks designed to enhance skillsets and build professional connections. I have met many of the smartest people in the Bank through these diverse groups. Don’t underestimate the power of making such invaluable connections; you never know where they may take you.
Thirdly, skill up. Technology has opened up a world of candidates. It is important to have the core technical competence to position yourself for success in a global marketplace. The time is now. With the rise of FinTech, blockchain, AI, and sustainable finance, there are more opportunities than ever before. There has never been a more exciting time to work in financial services. So, dream big.