Andra Belcea

Managing Director

Rates Derivatives

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Years in the industry: 13 years

Areas of focus: Asian rates, equities and currencies

Tell us a bit about your career journey to date?

I started in London as a summer intern and then I joined a graduate programme straight after university. Early on in my career I was trading Asian markets so I had a natural interest in that part of the world. I was keen to experience trading out of the Far East and after about three years in London I got the chance to move to Singapore. I then spent six years in Asia, initially in Singapore and then in Hong Kong before coming back to London and joining Mizuho in 2021.

I have spent most of my career trading some combination of interest rates, foreign exchange and cross-currency basis across developed and emerging markets.

What does a typical day in your role look like?

Trading floor days start pretty early, usually between 7am and 7:30am, although earlier starts are possible if there is risk to be hedged during Asian hours or early morning client trades. First thing in the morning, it is all about figuring out what happened overnight. Even though I trade a specific product, I do need to look at all the major asset classes – for example Asian rates, equities and currencies - to get a view of risk sentiment and how the market is likely to open in London.

Around 8am we have an update call with our London sales where we discuss major themes in our respective markets and trading interest that we would like to share with clients. Throughout the day we engage with customers, quote inquiries and spend a lot of time thinking about our risk and adjusting positions, hedging or increasing risk.

At the end of the day we close curves and run P&L.

You were recently promoted to Managing Director – what advice would you give to people just starting out?

Try to align your interests with your work and steer your career in that direction as much as possible. Banking careers are challenging, so when things feel tough you can remember you are lucky to do a job you enjoy.

It's also important to build a strong network as well as making sure that you always maintain a strong reputation of ethical behaviour and high professional standards.

What are the cultural differences you have noticed working at a global, Japanese bank?

When I was working in APAC, Japanese investors were always the most important accounts, so I had a lot of interaction with Japanese sales in my previous roles. During my time in Hong Kong my boss was Japanese and based in Tokyo and I also had the opportunity to work out of the Tokyo office for a few months early on in the pandemic.

Culturally joining Mizuho was an easy adjustment for me because I had already spent most of my career in Asia and working closely with Japanese colleagues.

Mizuho has a collaborative culture based on “nemawashi”, a concept meaning building consensus via one-on-one discussions before reaching a decision. I believe nemawashi can be helpful in any organisation and it is but one of the business practices that have made Japanese companies successful.

What do you do in your spare time / favourite way to unwind?

Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone working in an office, in my free time I love being outdoors. Weekend mornings I go running with my husband or we play tennis. Most holidays are spent skiing or sailing and both allow me to fully disconnect and recharge in a different environment from day to day life. However art, music and literature are great forms of escape that are always available and don’t involve physical travel. You will usually find me immersed in a book on my way home from work.

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