Campbell Gilbert
Campbell Gilbert
Managing Director
Head, European Rates Trading

Years in the industry: 21 years

Areas of focus: European Swaps Trading

Tell us a bit about your background

I grew up in Dunedin, New Zealand which is now best known for its University. Having studied various quantitative subjects I was at a loss as to what to do and stumbled across “derivatives trader”. Fortunately Bankers Trust (BT) had an small office in Auckland and I was lucky enough to get a job there. Bankers Trust was a mid-size investment bank based in NY and was extremely entrepreneurial having been one of the original banks to actively trade derivatives. Unfortunately, BT lost a lot of money in the 1998 Russian crisis and was eventually taken over by Deutsche Bank (DB). As a junior trader this was a godsend as DB was extremely global in outlook and very keen to transfer people around the world. Because of this I was lucky enough to spend three years working in Tokyo. I then transferred to London and worked at DB until 2015 before joining the investment banking business with the goal of creating a Flow Derivatives business.

What do you do at Mizuho?

I trade Euro denominated IRS and run Rates Trading in Europe.

In a short paragraph, could you explain European Swaps Trading and what it involves?

Within European Swaps Trading we have small teams trading cleared swaps in all liquid currencies with specific focus on Euro, US dollar and Japanese Yen. Interest-rate swaps are the benchmark for many other products and used actively by a diverse set of clients. Trading is done in a hybrid manner with significant volumes executed both electronically and by voice. Margins are extremely tight for vanilla swaps so a lot of our time is spent working with quant and IT teams in order to optimise trading and hedging systems.

Since starting at Mizuho, how have you found working here?

I joined from a larger bank which is much more established in the swap market. The challenge of trying to build a business within a smaller, more nimble organisation has been highly enjoyable.

What trends do you foresee for the future of European Swaps Trading?

The current trends are well established and likely to continue. In particular, further moves towards electronic trading seem inevitable. Additionally, there has been a significant reduction in the number of truly global banks with many concentrating on regional strengths which I expect to continue.

What has been the highlight of your career?

I was lucky enough at my previous employer to be involved in a business which transformed from relatively small participant to top 3 globally. This was done with a relatively young and inexperienced team who worked very well together.

What do you do for fun outside work?

I live in West London with my wife and two daughters. They are relatively young (5 and 3) so most of my spare time involves spending time with them. I played a lot of golf when I was growing up in NZ and so play as often as I can. Being from NZ I watch a decent amount of rugby following both the All Blacks and my local team, The Highlanders.