Dean Synnott Tibra Capital Graduate

Dean Synnott

University of Wollongong
Junior Quant Trader
Dean studied Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance at University of Wollongong

What's your job about?

Tibra is a proprietary trading firm based in Australia that’s goal is to provide liquidity, price fairness and the efficient allocation of capital in the financial markets. Tibra takes a systematic approach in developing a wide range of diversified trading strategies that take advantage of cutting edge systems to execute effectively in the global markets.

My role as a Quant Trader is to research, monitor and improve new and existing trading strategies. This includes conducting mathematical and statistical analysis of financial markets, looking into the microstructures of different financial products and performing benchmark analysis of live trading strategies.

What's your background?

I grew up in the coastal town of Wollongong, Australia. From a relatively young age my dream was to work in the financial trading sector and chose my high school subjects to lean towards mathematics and computer science. Once graduating I studied a degree of Mathematic and Finance Majoring in Quantitative and Computational Trading at the University of Wollongong. This degree was designed by the University of Wollongong in conjunction with Tibra to provide graduates with the knowledge required to work in a high frequency trading environment.

I was always very good at mathematics and had a strong aptitude for programming. I was fortunate enough to start learning to code during high school which gave me a head start on most of my cohort through university. I also had a keen interest in stock market trading where I took full advantage of free trading simulations to experiment with different strategies and gain exposure to trading equities.

I applied for the graduate role at Tibra in my last year of University due to its close proximity to Wollongong and reputation as a leading proprietary trading firm in Australia. After completing the graduate process which involved aptitude testing, a group interview and panel interview I was offered the role of Junior Quant Trader and starting in early 2018.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes. I believe that anyone that has enough drive can learn to do anything. However, working in the financial markets on live trading systems requires someone that thrives working in a high stress environment. You would not need a background in mathematics or programming, but you would need to think logically and be able to understand and learn the concepts and theories behind trading in the financial markets.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The thrill of betting your wit against the market every day and trying to find new and innovative ways to improve our systems and strategies. Tibra supports and encourages your own research of any new ideas I might have and provides the time for me to pursue it. Tibra is also unique in its location compared to most other financial firms. The office is 100 metres from the beach and a short walk from the escarpment which everyone takes full advantage of throughout the day.

What are the limitations of your job?

Working in the financial markets can be a very demanding job. As such the hours can be long and depending on the markets you are responsible for it can require early starts and late nights. Quant research can also be challenging as in most cases as there is little source material to reference and its up to the quant to innovate and find new ideas. This style of research can be hard for people to adjust to when compared to that performed at university. 

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Spend more time programming in lower level languages as it builds the foundation of understanding that can be transferred to almost any other higher level language.
  • Practice is the best way to learn. So find a way to practice the types of work you will need to perform once you leave University.
  • Advice is free, so ask anyone and everyone that you can for advice on your future.