12.06.2016
By Terry Flanagan

Excellence in Fixed Income: Samantha Coyne, KCG

This entry is part 18 in the series Markets Choice Awards: Women in Finance 2016

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Samantha Coyne was recognized for Excellence in Fixed Income at the 2016 Women in Finance Markets Choice Awards.

Describe the highlights of your career to date and your current role/responsibilities.

Samantha Coyne, KCG

Samantha Coyne, KCG

I currently run the Acknowledge FI business for KCG. I believe the last 4.5 years spent building this business has been the most fulfilling, exhausting and exciting of my career. When I joined Getco in 2012 (now KCG), the majority of US Treasury trading was executed by Interdealer Brokers (IDBs). We were the first firm to provide sell side banks with an alternative to executing with IDBs. While there was an obvious opportunity, we experienced challenges that ranged from marketing a firm to customers who had historically traded fixed income in a proprietary fashion, to leveraging an equities matching engine to trade US Treasuries, to explaining to potential customers the value of this type of offering in a market structure environment that had experienced very little innovation in the previous decade.

What do you — and by extension, your team and organization — do to achieve excellence in fixed income?

Acknowledge FI has had a substantial impact in improving the execution experience for many firms trading treasury products since launching 4+ years ago.  We are proudly working with the majority of the primary dealer community and a variety of other trading firms.  The success generated from our offering has spawned a cottage industry of competitors including other market makers and platforms that are dedicated to harnessing market making liquidity and reselling it.  We are live 22×5 and have a team of developers, operations, account/product managers and traders dedicated to delivering for our clients.

I believe my team and I have differentiated our offering by putting an emphasis on transparency and information sharing, and execution quality.  We have a unique perspective on the market, and sharing our viewpoint helps our clients get a more holistic understanding of the market.  It also incentivizes clients to share information with us, enabling a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit.  We have presented at a variety of lunch and learns, have had many of our customers (and potential customers) visit our offices and sit with our trading desk, and have even had customers call our networking team to brainstorm on issues unrelated to our offering.

What is your perspective on being a successful woman working in financial markets, and what is your advice to those who may strive for this?

I have three pieces of advice for anyone looking to advance in this business. First, don’t expect anything. Nothing will be given to you, and don’t expect it to ever be easy. Second, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to ask for a promotion. Don’t be afraid to ask the silly question. Don’t be afraid to take the risk. And finally, accept criticism and use it to make yourself better. Use the information embedded in a critique as an opportunity to work on bettering yourself and those around you.

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