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Finance & related services

Success Story: Quantitative Analysis and Technology team at Credit Suisse Poland

By Adam Lodygowski, Quantitative Analysis and Technology Poland Head
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Many people consider ‘offshoring’ as a way to reduce costs by moving low-value work to a place with lower wages, and then bundling similar work to increase process efficiency.

However, in the Quantitative Analysis and Technology Group at Credit Suisse, present in Poland since 2010, ‘low value’ is nowhere to be found. This department, initially established under the name of ‘Quant Strats’, was founded with an objective to ‘do more with less’. Poland, a country with strong mathematical and technical traditions, seemed to be the best location to start their journey.

What do quants do?

Quantitative analyst or “quant” is a financial engineer who applies mathematical methods to financial and risk management problems. Our job is to develop and implement complex quantitative models allowing to price derivative financial products and associated risks. To be a quant, you need to have a strong mathematical background, extensive financial knowledge, and solid coding capabilities. All these unique skills were identified and further developed while setting up the Quant Team for Credit Suisse in Poland.

Credit Suisse Quant Team

Initially, the key objective was to build modelling and technology group capable of strengthening the global Credit Suisse Quant Strats Team operating in London, New York, Zurich and Singapore. Due to geographic separation from trading, and limited local expertise, such a setup faced many challenges. Despite the odds, we have developed our success story to become the strongest and most diversified Quant Team in Poland. The key ingredient that contributed to our growth and achieved results lies within the local talented individuals willing to learn, proactively and relentlessly driving the improvements, not compromising on half-satisfactory solutions. Their passion for mathematical and programming excellence continues to remain the key component to our success. For the last five years, we have jointly delivered a number of key projects for the entire bank and effectively gained the trust of senior management and number of businesses we support. Our key strengths – continuous collaboration and knowledge sharing – has brought us all the way from team extension profile to a fully integrated part of the global Quant Team within the Credit Suisse structure.

QAT Poland covers all teams within Quantitative Strategies Modelling, Counterparty Portfolio Modelling and Quantitative Technology & Data. We are responsible for providing financial modelling software and desktop tools for front office users such as trading and sales, control and IT functions. Globally, we have around 500 members working in all main regions and covering all product classes and multiple divisions. We are an integral part of the Credit Suisse business model delivering critical contributions to various divisions and functions across the entire bank.

Quant Modelling Wroclaw

The competences of this team span modelling tasks within various business lines. Our work is focused on pricing the risk and value of derivatives, leveraging models under our governance. We provide crucial expertise in credit, rates, FX, commodities, equity derivative, XVA, indices and regulatory area. This group carries out a range of activities, among others, the creation of sophisticated stochastic models allowing for the valuation and risk-management of complex derivatives, development of analytics platforms used to deliver models to end-users and expansion of those models throughout the entire Credit Suisse Bank.

Projection Modeling Warsaw

Banking regulators require important financial institutions to demonstrate that they can endure adverse economic environments through a process called ‘stress testing’. The most salient of these tests, carried out by the Federal Reserve in the US, is the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). Since April 2018, Credit Suisse is required to make CCAR submissions, and therefore, we have grown our team to cover the work related to this requirement. The team has recently expanded its remit to provide times-series analysis modelling and mathematical modelling expertise to other regulatory bodies such as FINMA and APAC regulators.  

Quant Technology and Data Team Wroclaw

The technology team in Wroclaw is responsible for building, testing and releasing financial models, developing desktop and web-based tools used by trading and sales, and for developing-market building libraries. We are responsible for the development of key pricing engines, which are used by front office traders, risk management officers, and product controllers within Global Markets and APAC groups. We are delivering continuous integration that allows us to build 3,000 projects and run 10,000 tests daily. Under our management there are also two most significant strategic risk calculation frameworks used in the most significant risk management systems at Credit Suisse.

Training future ‘quants’

Building and educating the future generation of ‘quants’ has become one of our priorities. Hence, we have initiated a collaboration with top Polish universities in search for the best mathematical and computer science talents to help them acquire tangible experience within the financial industry. We have established the Credit Suisse Quant Scholarship Program targeting technical students from the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology to demonstrate how advanced mathematics and modern technologies are shaping the financial world. Top modelling and programming Credit Suisse Quant experts share their knowledge of the markets and products, teach appropriate computing techniques, and hold lectures on relevant quantitative methods to enable students understand the challenging nature of the work and the skills required to succeed in the role of a quant analyst. The programme concludes with a final project, which spans modelling and programming knowledge and offers career opportunities within the Quant Poland Team for the best graduates.    

Additionally, we are trying to build awareness among academic societies (lecturers, scientists and students) on quant competencies that are hardly recognised on the Polish labour market. For this reason, we have committed to a series of lectures for students and academics of a number of major Polish universities and technology colleges to broaden the quant finance expertise by helping aspiring candidates to upskill with the latest techniques used in the industry.

Recognising the potential of building international cooperation, we have partnered with universities abroad to share our presence and expertise with foreign students as well as the academic world to promote quant qualifications that incorporate the latest industry advancements. We are convinced that this will popularise quant analysts’ careers and attract top talents to the financial industry, and our organisation, in particular.     

Currently, our Quant Poland Team is an integrated business partner for key Credit Suisse businesses, risk managers, as well as regulatory and control functions. We are highly regarded by our stakeholders and frequently demonstrated as an exemplary team delivering sophisticated solutions to the business of a substantial added value. Due to gravity of our deliverables and extremely advanced implementations, we tend to be considered as a success story team. I personally think that we are just a group of very passionate and talented individuals enjoying the complexity of problems we face and solve every day.

About Credit Suisse in Poland

Credit Suisse has been present in Poland since 1992 through its Investment and Private Banking offices, Brokerage House and Asset Management businesses. Currently, the bank operates in two major locations – Credit Suisse Wroclaw since 2007 and Credit Suisse Warsaw since 2016.

Credit Suisse Wroclaw is the bank’s second largest office in the EMEA region and one of the largest employers in the Lower Silesia region currently employing almost 5,000 people. The office provides continued support to our global operations, contributing substantially to the bank’s effectiveness and improvement of its processes.

In September 2016, Credit Suisse opened a new office in Warsaw that complements the existing site in Wroclaw and already provides employment to 900 staff in HR, legal and compliance, risk management, IT and finance departments.

Both offices in Poland are part of a global Credit Suisse organisation supporting our diverse businesses in Switzerland, both Americas as well as the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions in such areas as investment and private banking, operations and risk management, legal and compliance, as well as infrastructure development and IT.  

Credit Suisse in Poland is one of the largest employers in the modern business-services sector offering outstanding growth opportunities and international career prospects to graduates and experienced professionals.

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