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The subtle art of not taking a risk

Release date:
09 Jun 2022

The subtle art of not taking a risk

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk (...).” This quote by Facebook – now Meta – founder Mark Zuckerberg does not apply to everyone though. Especially not to Julia Martin and Germain Lefebvre, trainees in CCP Risk Management at Eurex Clearing: they thrive to become risk managers by completing a graduate trainee programme in this area – and therefore help to ensure the safety and integrity of our markets.

Germain Lefebvre & Julia Martin

Making markets safer

Placed in between the buyer and seller in a transaction, central counterparties (CCPs) like Eurex Clearing play a key role in managing risk and ensure the stability of financial markets, including when clearing members default. Just like Deutsche Börse’s claim ‘creating trust in the markets of today and tomorrow’ teases, we make markets safer by reducing risks for our clients,” says Julia. To do so, Julia and Germain develop skills ranging from applying and analysing complex methodologies to a variety of products to coding new models and automation tools to monitoring data or preparing for emergencies through stress testing. This requires a comprehensive understanding of the business and all components that form the CCP Risk area – something both gain by rotating through different teams.

How to create trust in the markets of today and tomorrow

Having grown up in Frankfurt, Julia graduated in Mathematics in Business and Economics with a focus on Finance. “I wrote my master thesis on a derivatives-related topic connected to the Eurex business, so it was a natural choice to apply for the Graduate Trainee Programme at Deutsche Börse,” she explains. After the interview process, she was considered a good fit for the CCP Risk department and offered a newly implemented traineeship in September 2020. Julia is currently training with the Default Management's trading team, after having completed rotations in Models & Analytics and Risk Exposure Management. In addition to learning about core risk topics, this has also allowed Julia insights into IT and project management.

Germain, who studied in Marseille, holds a double engineering master’s degree in Economic and Financial Data and Decisions and in Quantitative Finance & Insurance. Following an internship, Germain has been part of the graduate programme since November 2021 and just started his second rotation in Model Validation. There, Germain takes care of multiple validation projects, verifying that models like Prisma are adequate and perform as intended. ​​​​Before that, he completed his first rotation in the Risk Methodology ETD team of Models & Analytics, where he worked on the launch of a new crypto product.

This goes to show: managing risk is a complex task requiring collaboration across teams. “All departments are linked to one another,” Germain explains. “It’s like a puzzle. With every piece you get a better and bigger picture and understand how everything is interconnected.” Julia adds: “If you work with different people, you get to know diverse viewpoints and see the company from various angles – this adds a lot of value.” Therefore, they stay for five to six months in each team to dive deep into the topics – and both are keen to gain the maximum out of every rotation.

Rotating it back

Supportive colleagues are essential to their training, as are curiosity and taking ownership of their own developments. “I had the opportunity to approach people and see what corresponds to my interests and schedule. The support from colleagues across all areas has been great,” Julia says. Summing up the experience so far, Germain adds: “I especially love to see the light in people’s eyes when you tell them about the traineeship, because it is such a unique opportunity for job starters. In the end, the main goal of a journey like this is giving everything back and being helpful for your colleagues and the company in the future.”

About Eurex Clearing

Since April 2014, Eurex Clearing is authorised as a CCP (Central Counterparty) under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

CCPs have evolved as mechanisms to ensure settlement of trades, including when members default. They stand between the buyer and the seller, making them the central counterparty for these transactions – both in Exchange Trade Derivatives (ETD) and Over-the-Counter (OTC). This includes derivatives, equities, bonds, secured funding, securities financing and energy transactions.

Eurex Clearing serves about 207 Clearing Members in 22 countries, managing a collateral pool of EUR 53 billion and clearing trades valued at EUR 10 trillion every month.


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