In 1991, at the age of 22, I left Bristol University armed with a Joint Honours degree in Economics and Accounting. I held aspirations to become an equity market trader in the City of London with a “merchant bank” (at the time this was the quaint term that was applied to what would eventually become the global Investment Banks). The deregulation of the financial markets, subsequently coined as the “Big Bang” had happened five years earlier, quickly followed by the largest slump in financial markets in history. The economy was slowly emerging from a deep recession (sound familiar?) and jobs were hard to come by. I held a job offer from Price Waterhouse, having had two months experience there the year before, as part of a summer internship. With my parents counsel ringing in my ears (you never meet an accountant who is out of work), I decided to qualify as a Chartered Accountant and review my job prospects in three years’ time.
After a highly enjoyable three years at Price Waterhouse, six months of which was spent in their Restructuring department and Corporate Finance division, I had qualified as a Chartered Accountant. I decided to try and land that elusive job in the City. The economy was starting to pick up strongly and I had identified the derivative market as the most exciting and attractive area for a numerically minded aspiring trader.